How to Use or Disable Tags for SEO in Your Blog Posts
If you’re in the Blogging for Home Pros Facebook Group, tags are something I mentioned in last Friday’s video.
Today, I want to elaborate on the topic and give you some tangible advice for using them (or disabling them) as needed.
How Do Tags Work on Your Site & for SEO?
First, what are tags in a blog post?
Simply put, tags are words you can use to further categorize the main topic(s) of your blog post.
How do websites use tags?
Website providers (Squarespace, WordPress) aggregate posts with the same tag onto a new tag-specific page. So if your blog posts show tags at the end, your readers will be able to click one to see all posts relating to that specific topic.
If you don’t have tags available for your readers to click, your website STILL creates additional pages for each of those tags — which isn’t necessarily a good thing! Keep reading...
How do tags play a role in your website’s SEO?
On their own, tags don’t play a huge role in SEO (whereas categories do). However, the existence of additional pages created for each tag DO affect your SEO, and this is where you have to pay attention.
Good for SEO: If you use the same handful of tags over and over, your tag-specific pages will be filled with content… and that’s great! (The same can be said for categories.)
Bad for SEO: If you use a wide variety of tags every time you publish a blog post, you’ll have tag-specific pages with ONLY one or two blog posts. Search engines will then see this page as a “nearly empty,” and dock your SEO points.
What should you do with tags on your website?
The answer to this depends on whether you’ve been blogging for a long time or are just getting started.
If you’ve just started blogging…
Option 1: Look through your tags and decide whether any of them will be routinely common themes throughout your posts. Delete the less likely contenders and keep only the ones that apply to 5 or more posts.
Option 2: Delete all tags entirely and focus on having highly specific categories with plenty of content instead.
If you’ve been blogging for a while…
Option 1: Turn off tags in your website’s SEO settings.
Option 2: Go through and delete all tags that apply to less than 5 or 6 blog posts.
How to turn off tags in your website’s SEO settings
In Squarespace: Blog > Settings icon > SEO. Scroll down and under “Hide from SEO search results,” select “All Tag Pages.” Then SAVE.
In WordPress: Go to “SEO” > Search Appearance > Taxonomies > Scroll down to Tags > Switch to OFF
Yep, it’s really that simple, but using tags correctly (or not at all) can make a huge difference in how search engines are perceiving your site — empty and incomplete or robust and full of relevant content?
I’ll wrap it up here, but if you have any questions, ask below! We’ve got your back. ;)
See you next Monday,