How to Use WordPress Tags

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posted on: February 5, 2018

One of the most underused areas of a person’s WordPress blog or website, are tags. Most people are unsure of what they do and how to use, and as a result, they are really missing out on how to optimize their individual blog posts.

What are tags?

Tags are a way where you can identify specific details about your posts and connect similar posts together. They present a simple way for you to sort content by a single piece of information. Depending on your theme, tags might be visible to the user or a component of your theme might be dependent on tags. In my premade blog themes, in order to display recent post under “You May Also Like…” the code is dependent upon tags.

How to use tags efficiently

Tags should be short and contain two or three words at post. They are meant to represent important details or keywords contained within your post. Tags should always be relevant to your post.  Here’s a few examples:

  • Example 1: Fashion blog with an outfit post featuring midi skirt by ASOS
    Tags: spring fashion, ASOS, casual s tyle
  • Example 2: Food blog with a Labor Day BBQ recipe
    Tags: Labor Day, BBQ, Pork, Gluten-Free

Best Practices for Using WordPress Tags Efficiently

Punctuation: You want to make sure that you are using the same punctuation on each tag. A common error is that I see “outfit” and “Outfit”. These are creating two groups of post instead of one. Pick a style and use it consistently. I tend to follow standard grammar rules for my tags.

Consistent and Regular Use: Tags can be overused and underused; often the latter is most common. If you only use a tag once or twice in the whole entire site, then there is no point in having it (similar to categories). That tag is not relevant to what you are blogging about. Delete it. At the same time, if you use the same tag on all your posts, it is too general.

Organizing + Managing Tags

Similar to WordPress categories, you want to make sure that one to two months, depending on how frequently you blog, you audit your tags. It is very easy to forget to use tags, especially if you have contributors to your site. Maintaining them can be very easy. When I check my tags, I go through a quick checklist:

  • Review all of my tags under POSTS < TAGS to make sure that there are no repeats and that tags are formatted correctly
  • Remove any duplicate tags
  • Review all posts since my last audit and ensure everything is tagged correctly. Since I’ve included tags in part of my blog post writing process, I’ve rarely ran into the situation where I needed to edit my tags

What are the benefits of using tags?

If you use one of my premade blog themes, then tags are used to display relevant posts at the footer of each solo post. This relevant post feature provides new users with an opportunity to read more of your content, especially similar content.

I’ve read a few different places which say that tags help optimize SEO and other areas that say they don’t.  There is really no downside to tagging correctly. It will benefit your readers, and could positively impact your rankings.

You might also like How to Clean-Up Your Blog Categories and How to Use WordPress Categories.

Want more WordPress tutorials? Check out more posts!

Editor's Note

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