In Best Practices for Using Categories, I shared that categories are great for broader topics, but what if you wanted to be more specific? This is where Tags are used and today I’m discussing the Best Practices for Using Tags. Tags are similar to categories, however, they are used to narrow in on your topic and describe your post in more detail. Using them will allow people who are interested in the same topics as you to find what they want to read.
Let me give you an example:
A travel blog might have 5 or 6 broad categories – Asia, Oceana, Americas, Europe and Africa. To help readers find posts related to a specific country or a local sight, you use tags. If a blog post was about travelling to Machu Picchu, the caregory would be ‘Americas’ and the tags could be ‘Peru’, ‘Cusco’, and ‘Machu Picchu’.
And just as categories do, tags also offer an opportunity to increase traffic to your site via search engines.
When I discuss these concepts with clients, I’m often asked “How many tags should I have?” The team over at WordPress recommends 15 or less of tags and categories combined per blog post, personally, do what you can, don’t feel like you have to have 10-15 tags. I tend to recommend 3-5 tags and 1-2 categories, this will ensure you don’t get stuck on tags and you move forward with your blogging.
Best Practices for Using Tags
- DO use words that have been used mutiples times within your post content. If the tagged word appears once or not at all, then the word is not important or it is irrelevant.
- DO keep your tags consistent especially if you are abbreviating. For instance, if you use ‘Hong Kong’ as a tag, don’t substitute it with ‘HK’ or ‘Hongkers’.
- DO manage your tags and regularly merge or delete tags that are no being used.
- DO link to tags from within your pages and posts. By doing so, you’re sharing additional resources to your readers, and in turn that increases your engagement.
- DON’T put more than 3 words in a tag. Long phrases or a sentence is not a tag and should be left for your blog content.
- DON’T overuse tags. If you are using the same tag or tags, then you are most likely being too general and broad. Reconsider the tags and be more specific.
- DON’T tag stuff. This means, don’t use every possible word that means the same thing. As an example, psychologist, counsellor, and therapist, instead choose one word relevant to you.
The purpose of using tags is to engage your readers in the topics that most interest them, and to help you sort your content so it can be found easily. Tagging is not necessary – it is entirely up to you. If you choose to tag, do so for every post.
So… to tag, or not to tag, that is the question only you can answer.
If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.