What to Use as Tags for Your Blog Posts

When adding labels/tags to blog posts, which do you think are necessary? Do you think it’s necessary to have a label for every book series mentioned on the blog, etc, such as ‘Divergent’ ‘The Hunger Games’? I’ve had my blog for a few years but am only now adding labels and tags.

In case you don’t already know, it’s important to realize that tags/labels don’t impact your SEO whatsoever. So, that means tags are really only used for one main purpose: to draw relationships between posts and for organizing your blog.

Use tags to connect similar posts

So if you tag a post with “Divergent”, I can click on that tag link to see every single post tagged with “Divergent”. If I click that link, it means I want to read about Divergent or see all the places where Divergent was mentioned. Using this logic, you should focus on the important or prominent ideas/topics/books/authors in a post.

Tags in book reviews

I personally focus on a couple things when tagging my book reviews:

  • Book title
  • Author
  • Series name
  • Genres
  • Themes/topics in the book (bad boys, love triangles, etc.)

You can also add in publishers if you want. The only reason I don’t tag with publishers is because I have a custom taxonomy for my publishers. Example: HarperCollins. They’re essentially tags, but only for publishers.

Tags in discussions posts

Now let’s look at some example tags for discussion-type posts. Think about what the topic of the post is and draw out some of the key ideas. I find it helpful to think about the tags you already have in your database and see if any of those fit. Tags aren’t any use at all if you have hundreds of tags that are only used once. The idea is to connect posts together, so you want tags to be used more than once.

For this post, I’ve chosen to use three tags: Tags, Organization and Blogging.

This post is about using tags, so Tags is an obvious choice. But what is tagging all about? Organizing your blog. So that’s where Organization comes in. And finally, none of this would apply if it weren’t for the simple act of Blogging.

Don’t try to cram in every keyword imaginable

You won’t really benefit from adding in 100 tags. That would probably just result in you having hundreds of tags that are only used once, which is what you don’t want. Simply focus on the important, key topics. And finally, try to reuse tags as much as possible.

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  1. I tend to add a lot of different tags to my posts as I also thought it would help with getting those be found when using a search engine. But when you mention they are mostly to group posts of the same topics, some of the tags I am using seem irrelvant suddenly. Thanks for explaining this! This will certainly make me think more about which tags to add to my posts in the future!

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    1. If you want more info about why they’re not used for SEO, check out my reply to Julie S. below. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Nope! Google (and other search engines) stopped using tag-like keywords many years ago. It used to be common practice for you to put tags in a meta tag in your header and that’s how search engines would find relevant content, but they removed that because it was so heavily abused. People would add in keywords that actually had nothing to do with the post/page just so they would rank for that keyword.

      Now search engines are smarter and actually analyse the post itself to determine how to rank. So keywords (in the sense of literally just adding tags or meta tags) don’t affect SEO at all.

      The only way to use keywords these days is to incorporate them in your post. So if you want to be ranked for “Dark Days Tour 2015” then you have to use those terms constantly throughout your post, especially in heading tags (i.e. <h1>Dark Days Tour Schedule for 2015</h1>).

      But just tagging your post with keywords/labels doesn’t affect SEO. It’s all about the content of the post itself and how you code/structure it.

  2. Truthfully I’ve never been much of a tagger (er…wrong word, maybe?). All of my older posts are untagged simply because I relied on categories to do a lot of the work for me, but now that I’ve cut down my categories and simplified them they’re not doing what tags could do. I’m not looking forward to going back and tagging posts but it might be a good idea. ๐Ÿ˜› Awesome post!

    Sydney recently posted: The Rating Dilemma
  3. Is there anything wrong with having a lot of tags? I tag everything so I can find them myself in the search bar. I don’t have the tags appear on my blog page though so others do have to deal with the clutter. I am just curious if having a lot of tags hurt anything? Plus I think the tags help linkwithin find similar posts to put under a post.

    1. I don’t use Blogger, but I’m pretty sure the search bar doesn’t actually rely on tags at all. It uses the content in the posts.

      But no, there’s nothing particularly wrong with having a ton of tags.

  4. This is a really helpful post. I’ve always struggled with how to effectively use tags. I never knew what would be a relevant tag and why. And, I had NO IDEA tags weren’t used in SEO, but after reading your explanation to Julie it makes a lot of sense. This has given me some ideas on how to tag posts going forward, and I think I might actually take some time to clean up all of my current tags. Thank you, thank you!

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