It’s notoriously difficult to consistently get traffic from Google search results, especially with Google’s search engine algorithm constantly changing and fierce competition from other news websites. Yet, it’s a crucial piece of any modern publishing business. As such, every online publisher is asking itself the same question: how can you maximize the amount of traffic you receive from Google?
There are many ways to increase your search traffic, but one of the most effective ones (and most underutilized ones) is to structure your content well by creating the right tag pages and a powerful internal linking structure.
In this blog post, we will give you actionable tips to increase your SEO traffic by creating powerful tag pages and supercharging your internal linking. You will learn, among other things:
· Why almost all online publishers are creating the wrong tags.
· How you can make internal linking an SEO superpower for your website.
· Why putting effort into creating the right meta title for your tag page is vital.
Note that in this article, we will use the phrase ‘tag pages’, but there are several different terms that are used interchangeably online, including topic pages, archive pages, category pages, etc. Whatever you call them, the basic concept remains the same: a page that lists all articles relating to a specific topic.
Creating tag pages can help you build authority for certain topics within the Google ecosystem. This means if you make a tag page and create links from all articles to this tag page, this will help you build up authority for this topic on Google.
As an example, let’s say that you have a tag page about Lionel Messi, and every time you write an article related to Lionel Messi, you create a link from the article to the tag page about Lionel Messi. This way, you will build up authority for this topic on Google.
Building up authority in this way has two major benefits.
1. Your tag page itself will rank well on Google. When someone searches for ‘Lionel Messi news’, Google will rank your tag page high in the search results.
2. All news articles listed on the tag pages will also be ranked higher in the Google search results when Google assigns authority to your website on a topic. This is especially true for the Top Stories box, which can help you to get a lot more traffic for these articles.
The most common mistake we see is editors who create tags mainly to categorize content internally without thinking about SEO. You then see tags created like ‘outdoor 2022’ or ‘exciting’ which don’t align to actual search intent and therefore aren’t as effective as they should be. Or you see a lot of similar tags being created like in the example below.
The main rule to keep in mind is that you should only create tags for topics related to your website's main topic and for which there is a reasonable amount of search traffic. This is because the main reason to create tags and tag pages is to attract search traffic at the end of the day. You can use tools like Ahrefs to check how much search traffic there is for a specific topic.
Once you create a tag, it’s worth creating a specific tag page that can list every article that is tagged as such. This creates a powerful repository for your visitors to discover other articles with that topic and it further strengthens your SEO ranking for that specific keyword. The more you build this in, the better your internal linking will become.
TIP: Check the search results in your Google Search Console regularly (for example, at a fixed time per week) to see if there are new relevant keywords with a lot of search volume that you have not yet created a tag and tag page for.
Once you have determined that there is a reasonable amount of search traffic, you can create the tag and set up your tag page correctly.
Once you have created the right tags and tag pages, it is vital to make sure these tag pages rank at the top of the Google search results.
This comes down to three pillars:
For Google, a link counts as a recommendation from one webpage to another. The more recommendations (i.e. links) a page has, the higher the page will rank in Google’s search results. So, to get the most out of your tag page, create as many internal links as possible from articles to the tag page.
At Newsifier, for example, we have built a system that automatically creates an internal link to the tag page from the first time the word of the tag is used in the article. This automatically provides many internal links to your articles' tag page, thereby improving the Google ranking for the tag page. All of this without you having to lift a finger!
Another good way to improve your internal linking structure and the ranking of your other tag pages is to add links to other relevant tag pages on your tag page. For example, when you have a tag page about Prince William of England, you can also add links to the tag page of his wife Kate Middleton, and the tag pages of his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. All of these connections will help Google understand your website structure better and will give a better ranking to the pages you link to.
Bonus tip: Add links to relevant evergreen articles on the top of your tag page where possible. Adding relevant evergreen articles related to the top topic of the tag page can significantly increase the click-through rate from your tag page to other relevant pages on your website. As these articles are always relevant, they tend to get a really high click-through rate over the long term. This, in turn, increases the click-through rate of your tag page and improves the SEO of your website.
A high click-through rate from a tag page also increases the overall ranking of your website in Google results. When someone visits your article from Google and bounces (leaves your website) immediately afterward, Google deems your website as less relevant and will penalize you in the rankings. But when people land on an article and then visit more articles, Google sees this as a positive signal that your website is exciting and will rank your website higher.
Another good way to help your tag page rank better in Google search results is by adding links to your most important tag pages in the footer of your website. This is because your footer is visible on every page of your website, so you are creating a lot of backlinks at scale to your most important tag pages, which Google highly values.
The Meta Title and Meta Description determine how your page is displayed in the Google search results. This is essentially the billboard for the page and so you want to make sure it is as compelling as possible.
Each tag page should have an attention-grabbing meta title and it should contain the main keyword of the tag page. This way, Google can better understand what the page is about and for which keywords the page should rank well.
The more compelling the Meta Title is, the more people will click on it and the higher Google will rank the page. Google uses the click-through rate as a sign of a page’s relevance and usefulness and will index it accordingly.
The same applies to the meta description. So make sure that your meta description is written to pique interest and to encourage people to click, while still championing your main keyword. Because, once again, the more clicks on your page (relative to the other pages on the same search results page), the higher it will be ranked by Google.
An excellent way to check the current meta titles and meta descriptions of your pages is to use www.metatags.io. Here you can enter the URL of your page to see what the current meta title and meta description look like to a random Google visitor.
Adding the right content helps Google to understand what value your web page offers visitors. It can also help to rank the web page for more keywords.
Ensure you include the most important keywords around your tag in the text on the tag page, so keywords that also relate to the tag. You can use Keyword Tool to find these supporting keywords. We’ve also written a lot on this topic so, you can check out our help section for more detailed tips on optimizing your tag page with content.
Another excellent way to add relevant content to your tag page is to add the most frequently asked questions (and answers) to a tag page.
You can find the most frequently asked questions about a particular word via the Keyword Magic tool from SEMRUSH. In this tool, you can enter the tag and see what questions people have about this tag (topic).
Note: This only works with tags (topics) that have enough search traffic.
Another good way of improving the link structure of your website is to add links to related articles from within your articles. This way, you create relevant internal links and increase the click-through rate from articles.
But don’t put all your related article links at the bottom of your article. It’s also important to include them natively within your paragraphs and between them. This can significantly increase the click-through rate to related articles. Within Newsifier, for example, you can add related articles at all positions within an article with just two clicks.
I hope the above helps to explain why creating tag pages and a robust internal linking structure can skyrocket your SEO traffic. It’s an incredibly powerful strategy that can help you radically transform your SEO and your web traffic if you do it effectively.
In the spirit of the article, here are some additional resources that you can dig into that can help you grow the SEO traffic for your website.