Boost Your Site’s Navigation with a New WordPress Plugin

Boost Your Site's Navigation with a New WordPress Plugin

Joost de Valk, creator of the Yoast SEO plugin, has developed a new (and free) plugin to address a site architectural issue that might carefully reduce a website’s ability to rank.

Site Architecture

Site architecture is a key SEO aspect since a well-organized website with easy navigation allows customers to find the material and goods they want easily. Along the process, it assists Google in identifying and ranking the most significant sites.

Topic categories are the most popular and practical approach to organizing a website. While some beginner SEOs feel that organizing a website by topic is an SEO strategy, it is simply common sense. Organizing a site by topic areas allows users to easily dive down and access relevant information.

Tags: Contextual Site Navigation

Contextual navigation is another option for organizing a website. Contextual navigation is a method of providing site visitors with connections to further web pages that are relevant to the webpage and their current interests. Tags are used to give contextual links. Tags are highly relevant connections to information that website users may find interesting.

For example, if someone is reading a webpage about a new song by a pop celebrity, they may be interested in reading additional articles about that performer. A publisher can establish a tag that connects to a website including all articles about that particular pop star. It doesn’t make sense to establish an entire category for hundreds of musical artists since it defeats the point of hierarchical site navigation (which is to make the material easier to discover).

Tags address the problem of making it simple to browse more material that a particular site visitor is interested in at the time. It’s contextually appropriate navigation.

Having Too Many Good Things is not Always Good

Creating a long-term plan for organizing a website might be undone as the business expands and trends shift. A popular musician from some years ago may have fallen out of favor (as they frequently do), and people have lost interest. However, those tags remain, connecting to information that is no longer relevant, contradicting the goal of internal site navigation, which is to link to the most significant content.

Joost de Valk studied a (very small) sample of WordPress sites and observed that almost two-thirds of them had overlapping tags, or several tags relating to the same material, as well as thin content pages, which are webpages with minimal value.

In a blog post on his findings, he wrote:

“Tags are utilized incorrectly in WordPress. Approximately two-thirds of WordPress websites that use tags have far too many tags. This has a huge impact on a site’s prospects in search engines, particularly if it is large. WordPress websites employ too many tags, frequently neglect to display them on the site, and the tag pages lack original content.”

The sample size was limited, and it is possible to argue that his findings are not reflective of the majority of WordPress sites. However, overlapping and out-of-date tags can be an issue for websites.

Here are the three major tag navigation issues that Joost identified:

1. Too many tags

He discovered that some publishers put a tag to an article with the assumption that other articles will be added to that tag after those articles are created, which often does not materialize, resulting in tags that link to only a few articles, if not just one.

2. Some themes lack the tag functionality

The second issue arises when websites update to a new theme (or version of a theme) that lacks tag capabilities. This results in orphaned tag pages, which site users cannot access since the links to them are absent. However, because those pages still exist, search engines will locate them using the autogenerated XML sitemaps.

3. Tag Pages May Become Thin Content

The third issue is that many publications do not spend the effort to provide substantial content to tag pages, which are just pages of links with article extracts that are likewise replicated on category sites.

Use Fewer Tags

This is where Joost de Valk’s new WordPress plugin comes in useful. It automatically removes tags that don’t connect to enough pages, which helps to normalize internal linking. The new plugin is named The Fewer Tags WordPress Plugin. There is a free and paid Pro version.

The plugin’s free version automatically removes any tag pages with less than 10 posts, and it may be configured to delete pages with five or fewer posts.

The Pro version’s added feature gives publishers more control over tag management, allowing them to combine tag pages, automatically construct redirects, and issue a 404 Page Not Found server response.

The following is a list of benefits for the Pro version:

  • “Merge and remove unnecessary tag pages fast and efficiently.
  • Redirects deleted tag pages on the fly using your preferred SEO plugin.
  • Includes an online tutorial where Joost explains what you should do!
  • The long-term solution for a website’s tag troubles!
  • Once you’re finished, uninstall the plugin!”

Source- searchenginejournal

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