Is it better to tag blog posts with long- or short-tail keywords to get relevant organic traffic?

by flippp
7 replies
Hello all,

I am wondering which blog post tagging strategy is recommendable regarding the tag pages which are auto-generated by most blog systems such as WordPress or Ghost: Using long-tail vs. short-tail keywords?

Long-Tail:
  • mac vpn software -> example.com/tag/mac-vpn-software
  • mac firewall software -> example.com/tag/mac-firewall-software

Short-Tail:
  • mac -> example.com/tag/mac
  • vpn -> example.com/tag/vpn
  • firewall -> example.com/tag/firewall
  • software -> example.com/tag/software

My assumption would be that long-tail keywords for blog post tagging would be better:
  • Better chance to rank on SERPs for these keywords via auto-generated tag pages
  • Much more relevant traffic from auto-generated tag pages

However, most often I see that blog posts are tagged with short-tail keywords (blog / seo) vs. long-tail keywords (blog seo). Even when using short-tail keywords, would you even have a chance to rank for a relevant long-tail keyword such as "blog seo" rather than attracting very broad traffic via the terms "seo" and "blog".

I am not talking about optimizing and ranking the blog post itself but using the auto-generated tag pages from a blog to attract relevant SEO traffic.

What are your opinions or better experiences and facts about this? In general, can these auto-generated tag pages rank well in Google?

Thanks,

Philip
#blog #keywords #long #organic #posts #relevant #shorttail #tag #traffic
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    I would probably just not use tags at all. Unless you are building out the tag pages to something useful, you probably don't want those pages ranking over your actual posts.
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    • Profile picture of the author flippp
      Thank you, Mike. That's a good point.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    You mean Categories? Then the answer is SHORT.

    In these 2 examples:
    • mac vpn software -> example.com/tag/mac-vpn-software
    • mac firewall software -> example.com/tag/mac-firewall-software

    those would translate to:
    • example/Cat <Mac>/vpn_software
    • example/Cat <Mac>/firewall_software

    And if you had depth to your content, meaning more than one or 2 articles related to VPN or Firewall, I would turn those into sub-categories, and that would look like:
    • example/Cat <Mac>/Sub_Cat <vpn>/post title
    • example/Cat <Mac>/Sub_Cat <firewall>/post title

    Lets approach this from a different angle. Forget about SEO and do whats right for the end user. We are in essence talking about Navigation above and beyond anything else here. So whats easier for the end user? Categories broken out into <Mac> and <PC> with sub cats like <VPN>and <Firewall> and then individual articles? or the method you are thinking?

    We as builders have to understand WHO is looking at our pages, and what they might be interested in. A PC user as an example lands on a page about a specific PC firewall right? They might be inclined to use your breadcrumbs and see what other articles you might have related to that. By following the UX ( User Experience ) the navigation questions get answered for you.

    By following UX you will end up with a deeper page navigation IE example/mac/vpn/article. Deeper sites tend to propagate better in Google and Bing as a general rule. Not always the case, but it definitely helps.

    Hope that Helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author flippp
      Thank you savidge4. I appreciate your detailed answer but it goes into a different direction. I am not talking about a website's navigation structure but using blog post tags in a user- and search engine-friendly way to drive organic search traffic. I am just looking for some validated experiences / results / facts in this respect.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        From an SEO-point of view, see Mike's post above.

        From a user-point if view, the shortest tag that is useful.

        Example: if you ran a site about how to dress.

        A tag called shirts might be useful on a general post about shirts but not as useful for a post about Italian shirts for toddlers.
        There, shirts for toddlers would be the way to go. Or Italian shirts. Or Italian shirts for toddlers.

        But you do not want to make them too narrow.

        Think of your site as a book store. Tags are section ames.

        Your fiction section can be called fiction if it is small. If big, part of it would be called mystery novels, another one mystery short stories, another one young adults novels, etc.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by flippp View Post

        Thank you savidge4. I appreciate your detailed answer but it goes into a different direction. I am not talking about a website's navigation structure but using blog post tags in a user- and search engine-friendly way to drive organic search traffic. I am just looking for some validated experiences / results / facts in this respect.
        The answer is one in the same. Tags or navigation in the end, provide the same results.

        The issue with "Tags" is that they appear within your post as links. The more links on a page the more you degrade a pages "Link Juice" And the exact placement of these "Links" is then determined by the theme itself and more often than not are towards the top of the page. Search engine read pages top to bottom left to right. So links or text closer to the top of the page carry more weight than those to the bottom of the page.

        Tags and SEO is just not a good combination.

        Categories on the other hand, because you can then create SUB categories in terms of the URL better define the URL and its possible SEO impact. You can read here: ( https://developers.google.com/search...ata/breadcrumb ) the actual benefit in doing this VS say this article: ( https://www.searchenginejournal.com/.../396114/#close )

        The added benefit to Categories in Wordpress is the ability to place a Category block at the bottom of the page to other related content.

        Again think about the user... do you want a link to other content in the form of a Tag at the top of the page, or do you want links to other related content at the bottom of the page ( as in once the end user is done reading the article )

        But if you feel you have to put them in please read this: ( https://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/wordpress-tags ) and no-index your tag archive pages.

        But again, i cant say this enough there is far more benefit in Category use over Tag use.
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