How To Tag A Post

| April 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

How To Tag A Post imageLearning how to tag a post and to do so effectively is a lesson that can take ages to learn.  It is not that tagging a post is difficult; it is that there is very little information on the world-wide web that will teach you how to do it properly.

Sure, everyone has an opinion on how to tag a post, but there does not seem to be an exact science out there for the fact that tags serve different purposes for every blogger.

First things first…What’s your goal?

Post Tags imageWhen learning how to tag a post, you’ll first need to ask yourself an important question:

What is the purpose for your post tag?

You see, post tags were invented for the purpose of assisting visitors with navigation on a website or blog.

But then blog categories will accomplish this same goal.  So, do you want your visitors to navigate your blog through the use of your categories or through the use of your tags?  This decision will reflect how and why you tag your posts.

On the other hand, many bloggers rely on both tags and categories to help visitors navigate their site.  And there is nothing wrong with doing this as long as you learn how to tag a post effectively.

For example, lets say that you have a category titled “desserts.”  You may tag a post with keywords like “pie, brownies, cookies,” etc.

In other words, your category can be the title of a much broader subject.  Tags can then help you to dig down deeper to something more specific, and at the same time, link readers with posts across multiple categories.

On the other hand, I personally do not use tags for navigational purposes.  I rely on categories and static pages to assist my readers in navigating my site.  I use tags more as the same keywords that I am optimizing for in my posts.  In other words, tags do not really play a large role in my blogging efforts.  But since WordPress makes it so easy to tag a post, I go ahead and use this functionality anyway.

Getting started…

Remember, do not even bother tagging a post until you have determined how and why you are using your tags!

Once you have this figured out, lets begin.

In your WYSIWYG editor (where you write or edit your blog post in WordPress), you’ll notice the “Tags” field in the right-hand column.  Like I said, WordPress makes adding tags very simple.

Adding Tags To Your Blog Post imageEnter your tags right here.  You can either add them one at a time by typing your keyword and clicking the “Add” button, or you can add multiple tags separated by commas.

Now, keep in mind that if your tag is more than one word, do not separate each word with a comma.  Keep your phrase intact.  Again, I had to learn this lesson the hard way.

For example, my tag for this post is “How To Tag A Post”

Good example for this tag:

How To Tag A Post,

Bad Example for this tag:

How,To,Tag,A,Post,

Notice that I also capitalize the first letter of each word.  Your tag will be displayed exactly as you type it depending on your theme, so either go with all lower case letters or capitalize.  Pick a single format and stick with it.  This will ensure that your blog continues to look uniform and professional.

How many tags should I use?

If you own a self-hosted blog, you can technically use as many as you like.  If using a service like “your-blog-name.wordpress.com,” I believe that WordPress will limit your tags to 10.

However, you should never, never, never use this many.  In my own experiences with learning how to tag a post, I had to learn the hard way to never use more than about 5 or 6 in one single blog post.  Today, I never use more than about 2 or 3.  Sometimes, I use only 1.

Stuffing your blog post with useless or irrelevant tags is never a good idea, and in my opinion, just makes your blog look like it was written by an amateur.  Contrary to what many bloggers believe, tags do not help you rise in the search engines.  Furthermore, over-tagging will not assist your visitors in finding relevant and related content on your blog.  If a tag does not apply to your post, do not add it.

In short, learn how to tag a post with care and thought.  Work smarter, not harder.

Next, learn more about post tags and how they are used in What Are Post Tags?

What about you?  What are your experiences with learning how to tag a post?

Category: Blogging Tips, WordPress

About the Author ()

Dave Fennell is the founder and editor of Marketing Methods Online and BloggerGo. Learn more about him here. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

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