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How to use tags to organize your site

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Choosing the right tag for your content can be difficult. Tags are important not only for SEO but also to provide a good visitor experience. As a site becomes larger it is necessary to create and maintain a logical structure, categories and tags serve this purpose. In this article we will look at tips on how to use tags to organize your site, allowing visitors to easily find content that interests them.

When we tag a content with the wrong tags, besides making the navigation on the site difficult, we are harming its search engine optimization. Let’s understand a little better what tags are and how to use them to improve the structure of your site.

What is a tag?

A tag is a label, a marking that we add to the produced content. Not to be confused with metatags or HTML tags that are also present on the site.

This tagging can be done on any content and is nothing more than a taxonomy, a way of classifying and organizing the content within the site. We are most familiar with the term “tag” but we can also use “label”, “subject”, “topic”, etc.

What happens when you create a tag?

When you add a tag to a post it is added to the tag file. For example, this site has a content SEO tag. When I added that tag to this article, it was added to the article’s archive.

This makes perfect sense. When you click on the “Content SEO” tag you will see a collection of content related to content search optimization. Choosing the right tag is part of content optimization and is therefore part of this topic. Furthermore, Google will also understand that all posts in this tag file talk about the same topic.

In WordPress (and most other CMSs) when you add a tag that has never been used before, it automatically creates a file for the tag you have created. Here is a problem faced by many companies: writers and editors create specific tags for one post or another, and in some cases add dozens of tags in one post.

In doing so, they end up creating hundreds and even thousands of tags that group one, two, or at most half a dozen posts together. This makes life very difficult for the user, who wants to be led to a reading of a content related to the topic he is consuming at the moment. In addition, the search engine will have difficulty determining the relevance of topics if they do not have good organization and grouping of content within the site.

Read also: 6 mistakes in website structure and how to avoid them

How many tags should I use per post?

You should never use too many tags in a given content.

If a post is well produced you can expect it to address a specific topic, nothing too broad. My recommendation is to use one to four tags, regardless of the length of the content.

How to choose the right tags?

Every site or blog has a certain scope, an area of operation. This breadth of content will probably give rise to your tags. On this blog I often write about SEO, which is a very broad discipline and therefore I use it as a category. Within SEO, I write about content SEO, technical SEO, SEO for images, SEO copywriting, WordPress SEO, etc. All these topics are tags that I use in my articles.

Before you choose a tag, ask yourself:

  • What other content does the content I am producing relate to?
  • Which tag best applies to this content group?
  • Is this the best keyword that I can use as a tag for this topic?

Don’t invent tags, they should be existing keywords or phrases. They must be words that people are looking for. Just as in producing a piece of content, the choice of a tag must be preceded by keyword research.

Optimize your tag page

Seek to optimize your tag pages with relevant content. It can be a short description of the topic or even a page with videos and images.

Notice that when creating a tag you, within your SEO strategy, have two alternatives:

  1. Index your tags
  2. Do not index your tags

Indexing tags

By choosing to index your tags, you are telling the search engine that these pages are important. It is assumed that you have worked out your description, done proper link building, and want the search engine to scan, index, and display the tag in the SERPs.

Not indexing tags

On the other hand, if you choose not to index your tags, they will not be indexed and displayed for user searches on the web. They remain part of the user experience, who can find similar content by clicking on one of them at the end of a post, but will not be able to find them through searches.

A common mistake is sites with a significant number of tags (far more than they need) seeking indexing and ranking for all of them without proper optimization. What happens in these cases is that the tags end up harming the optimization of the site.

I have had clients who submitted more than 20,000 tags (that’s right, 20K) and they were all marked for indexing. In these cases the search engine spends a lot of crawl budget (the “budget” for crawling and indexing pages) on low-quality pages with little or no chance of ranking. Good pages are no longer crawled and indexed because of the presence of these “bad pages”.

Promoting tags

One of the great benefits of using tags correctly is the possibility of sharing and distributing content topics in your marketing actions.

In all your campaigns (email, WhatsApp, push, PPC, etc) you can, instead of targeting specific content, promote topics that are of interest to your target audience.

Category and tag pages have a high conversion rate, either direct or assisted.

Reviewing tags

Like other content, tags deserve a review from time to time. As I have mentioned in other articles, the structure of a website can be somewhat dynamic and the focus of your business can change over time.

Read also: Old content on the site, update or delete?

For this reason, periodically take a look at your tags and identify which ones are unnecessary (duplicates, poorly grouped content, irrelevant) and which ones are relevant to the structure of your site and your business. Remember: the structure of your site should reflect your business.

Choose your tags with care

Don’t view the activity of choosing a tag as something tortuous or that will bring more work into your editorial flow. Like categories, tags are important for SEO both from the user’s and the search engine’s point of view. Choose them with your visitor’s experience, reading flow, and engagement in mind.

Summary of how to create and use tags properly:

  • Don’t use just any tag. Do some research to see what keyword is relevant to the topic;
  • Use tags to group relevant content for the user and for search;
  • Don’t create a tag to group just one or two contents together;
  • Optimize and index your tag pages;
  • Promova suas páginas de tags, elas possuem alto poder de conversão;
  • Periodically review the relevance of tags to your site.

And on your site, how are tags being used? Are they optimized, getting traffic, or helping your visitor’s experience?

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