How To Use Tags Correctly

If you read yesterdays post you probably figured out that tags are really important for your blog posts and like I promised here are some things you can do to use tags to optimize views and follows on your blog:

1. Timing- Timings are really important when it comes to blogging topics and tags. If you find out that something is trending or being searched a lot that day that relates to what you write about I would suggest adding that to your tags and you will definitely notice a spike in views.

2. Amount- I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t know how many tags to use and often use too many or too little which effects their stats badly. In my opinion the perfect amount to use is between 5 and 10 because if you use less than five you will lose a lot of views you could have got and if you use more than ten WordPress will categorise your post as spam and it won’t show up on the tags section of the reader.

3. Be less specific- I’ve heard a lot of people encourage using specific tags but to be honest I have found using less specific ones actually helps more. This is probably because a less specific tag like “food” is much more likely to have a larger following then something more specific like “salad.” However, if you prefer you can also add a couple of specific tags with your non-specific ones.

4. Be honest- Don’t lie in your tags section. Even though it’s difficult to get views sometimes and using false tags may get you more views it will actually be a bad thing for your blog in the long run. People will figure out your posts are just clickbait and you will end up decreasing your following instead of increasing it. Plus, since most people will figure out you’re lying they will most likely not revisit your blog.

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116 thoughts on “How To Use Tags Correctly

  1. Thanks PoojaG. Your posts are really helpful. A question I have is how do I efficiently determine which tags or topics are trending. I’d like to set up an automated way to gather up current events that are related to particular subjects—based largely on tags used in my posts. When those subjects are trending, I can update or publicize previous articles or write new ones. But, searching for this by hand is very time-consuming. If you have ideas, I’ll look forward to reading about them in an upcoming post. Thanks so much.

    1. I’m so glad you find them helpful! I think Ubersuggest would be really helpful for that- they have a lot of features that will help you find the best tags to use, what’s trending etc. Hope that helps!

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  7. Hi. Thank you for your thoughtful and useful posts.

    Creating an efficient and effective tag and category structure is one of the more important promotional steps bloggers often overlook. It’s important to get it right. And you’re dead on about people who use too few or too many tags are losing out.

    Just a heads up, though. The maximum number of tags and categories is 15, in any combination. 🙂

    I double check this on my blogs every now and again to make sure it hasn’t changed. But I think it won’t because it’s in WP’s documentation.

    *Remember posts tagged with a combination of more than 15 tags and categories are removed from the Reader to ensure that tags contain relevant content. You can use any combination of tags and categories, as long as the total count doesn’t exceed the magic number 15.


    (And keep up the great work. 🙂 )

    1. You’re absolutely right about the 15 tags, I need to edit that and this comment was stuck in spam too, sorry!

      Have a great rest of your week too.

      1. No worries on the spam thing. In fact, apologies for posting that twice. :/ The first one disappeared into the ether when I hit send. No notifications. Thought it might’ve gotten apam filtered due to the link. Tried again without one. Also disappeared into the ether. Left it at that. 😉

        There are a couple or three pages around that “recommend 5 – 10 tags as optimal” and also mention if there are too many tags, WP won’t put the post on the reader. I think over the years some people have misinterpreted that, and posted 10 as a hard cap. It’s possible you saw a site that said 10 was max.

        I started blogging way back in 1995 (OK, it wasn’t called blogging then 😉 ) But only came to WordPress dot com in 2015. It took a few posts on the new blog to figure out the hard cap, even then, was 15 tags and categories. I probably had to find that page I posted the link to before it dawned on me. 😉

        1. Yeah WordPress tends to put a lot of comments on my site that are real comments in the spam folder for some reason 😞

          Wow, we started blogging on the same year. Well on WordPress at least. I started in 2015 too. I think I must have read one of those posts that mentioned 10 tags are the most one should use and didn’t realise till later on that 15 was actually the maximum. 😂

          1. 🙂 2015 was a good year.

            I don’t get as many comments as you so, unsurprisingly, not quite so many end up in the spam folder. But this does remind me to go see what Akismet has filtered out lately.

            Oh… one other thing: if a post goes over the 15 tags + categories limit, it won’t show up in the WordPress reader at all. Not in the tags section, not in the categories section and not in the “newest posts” feed. (Learned that the hard way more than once. 🙁 ) The post is basically invisible until the search engines index it.

            1. Yeah it’s a good idea to check your spam once in a while. I do it every few days just in case.

              I’ve read about that too and now I go out of my way to make sure my tags are never more than 15.

  8. Good post.

    One correction, however. The maximum number of tags and categories is 15, not 10, and in any combination. (I’ve tested this.)

    From WP’s document “Better Tagging for Increased Traffic”

    *Remember posts tagged with a combination of more than 15 tags and categories are removed from the Reader to ensure that tags contain relevant content. You can use any combination of tags and categories, as long as the total count doesn’t exceed the magic number 15.

    1. Thanks and you’re right it is 15 tags. I wrote this post quite a while back and at the time I thought it was 10 tags because I had read that somewhere like 5 or 6 years ago. And it might have been at the time, not too sure. However, it’s 15 tags now and I need to edit some of these older posts.

      Thanks so adding that information and I apologise for the late reply. You were unfortunately stuck in my spam.

  9. Thanks for the link to this, Pooja. I had no idea about the amount of tags. I always thought the more the better. Would making changes to amount of tags I’ve used in past posts make a difference, or should I just implement this going forward?

    1. I had the same issue but I learnt a few years ago that it’s better to use a smaller amount of tags. It does help to change the amount in older posts too but mainly implement it going forward.

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