Using WordPress Tags

| October 7, 2009 | 22 Comments

This may sound real strange, but it was only very recently that I discovered the power of WordPress Tags.

I’ve been using WordPress for a year and a half now and I’m still learning about it. Originally I was so totally overwhelmed that I did a happy dance when I was able to release a blog post. Once having done that I tried to learn a little at a time on an as needed basis.

Power of the WordPress Tags

Just like when I first started writing on the internet, my meta keywords consisted of single words followed by commas. For those of you unfamiliar with the all but defunct meta keywords, those were the words placed in the header of every web page to entice the search engines to visit your page and rank it appropriately. Anyway, my key words should have actually been key phrases, but being new I didn’t quite understand the concept.

[smartads]

Similarly, I did the same thing when I started using WordPress. At first I didn’t use the tag feature at all. I didn’t know what it did so I didn’t want to screw things up. Then, I decided to use my ever so useless single word key words. Post after post I filled the tags with single words followed by commas. Talk about a waste of time.Keywords

It wasn’t until recently (I’m ashamed to admit), that I realized that tags were one of the tools used by search engines to help folks find my site. Once I discovered that and started to put the tags to good use I noticed an increase in traffic.  Unfortunately, I didn’t monitor the before and after, but I do know that my traffic did improve.

Freelance Writing Trial and Error

I find that earning money online is all about trial and error.  Hopefully, you’ll quickly learn from my mistakes.  The sad part about this little faux pas is that it took me about a year to figure it out.  By that time I had a couple of hundred blog posts.  I now have to go back and correct them all.

Oh well, better late than never.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Blog, WordPress

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (22)

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  1. Crystal says:

    Thanks for checking, Felicia. That’s what I was afraid of but just hoped I was wrong. I’ve looked all around and tried the Blogger help forums and no luck. Oh well. Someday I’ll graduate to a glitzier blog that allows me to do whatever I want!
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Strength is a Must! =-.

  2. Crystal says:

    Hey Felicia –

    Sorry if there’s a better place to ask this question but I was just wondering if the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” option is a WordPress thing or if there’s some way I can add the code for that to my blog with Blogger? (See how little I know!) Thanks!
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Comment and Maybe Win a Cookbook! =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Crystal, I’m not so sure that Blogger has the feature you’re talking about. Well, at least I haven’t found it. I haven’t used my Blogger account in a while, but I signed in looking for the option but couldn’t find it.

      Maybe someone else here is more familiar with Blogger and can give you better advice. Sorry I wasn’t much help.

  3. I figured out what you were talking about tags and I’ve been using them all the time.

    what i didn’t know was the information about Google seeming to give them weight while lowering the weight of metatags such as All-In_one uses.

    Thanks for that and gift for gift. If your going to be using tags heavily on your site the following plugin might help lower your bounce rates.

    http://mitcho.com/code/yarpp/

    It is a related posts plug in and after some tweaking its performing quite well and saving me a ton of time in manually adding related posts into my post html.

    It has a ton of features and seems to work well from just seeing it in action for a single day.

    I figured you might want to look at this if your using tags heavily.

    Thanks again,
    .-= Elvenrunelord´s last blog ..Comment on Socratic Forum by black hattitude =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Thanks for the info, Elvenrunelord.

      Actually I do have a related post feature installed here. I just haven’t spent time in learning how to get the most out of it. I’ll put that on my ‘to do’ list.

  4. Lisa says:

    I tend to use my tag pages when I make incoming links. When you click on the tags it brings up a page of everything tagged with ____. I do this because sometimes I intend to write more on a topic, and I want readers to always see the most recent content.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Building DoFollow Links with a List of Dofollow Sites =-.

  5. Crystal says:

    Yeah, I thought the labels were basically the same as categories. Guess I’d better hit the blogger help site and find out about tags. Every day I find out something new that I don’t know!
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Can You Really Lower Blood Pressure by Eating Chocolate? =-.

  6. Crystal says:

    Do you happen to know what the Blogger equivalent is to WP tags? Is it labels? Or are labels just categories?
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Can You Really Lower Blood Pressure by Eating Chocolate? =-.

    • Felicia says:

      When I check my stats at StatCounter, folks don’t seem to be finding my blogger blogs via the labels. I think labels serve more as a way to create categories rather than search engine tags.

  7. Meliisia says:

    Just curious: How do you check how “folks have found” your blog posts?

    • Felicia says:

      Melissa, as mentioned in my response to Tiffany above, I use StatCounter to track my blog stats and found out that way.

      Here’s an earlier post on stat tracking. If you’re not already tracking your blog/website, check out these tools.

  8. Lissie says:

    Are you using all-in-one or platinum SEO plugins? If so then make sure you do NOT noindex your tag and category pages. That means that google will crawl those pages – giving your site more indexed pages. Sure its duplicate content – but Google is smart enough to know a tag page is a dup of the original post.

    I also show tags at the end of each post – its theme dependent – it means that if someone clicks on a tag they will go to a summary page like this http://lissowerbutts.com/tag/how-to-make-money-online/ – ie every tag is another internal link which is all good too – for readers and search engines.

    I put about 5 tags per a post and try to be consistent (but I forget quite often LOL)
    .-= Lissie´s last blog ..Its Spring! End of a Quarter Report – How To Manage the Dollars =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Lissie you make a good point.

      You can see the tags for each of my posts if you click on the “Filed Under” link underneath the blog post title.

      Personally, I don’t use the all-in-one plugin, but I’ll check it out. All I know is that when I check how folks have found my blog posts, I see my tags appended with my blog name in the Google search results.

  9. Cyn @ WriteForEhow.com says:

    Wonderful post, Felicia! I have been using tags on MOST of my blogs for the last year or so. I have noticed that those that I DON’T use tags on have less traffic and (as a result) lower PR.
    .-= Cyn @ WriteForEhow.com´s last blog ..eHow Warning: Amazon Slaps, Too =-.

  10. Interesting. One thing, not doing all that keyword research would sure allow me a to write 🙂

    So what tags should I be using?

    ? ? is there a difference?

    Still seems like putting the keywords in the all-in-one-seo plugin for word press gets google to notice my posts more often.

    I’ll write a related article to my main traffic driver and make it similar to that article and see if it gathers anywhere near the traffic once it ranks, and not use any keywords at all in the plugin.

    I’ll let you all know what I see over the weeks ahead. I have this post stared in Google Reader so I can come back to it easily.
    .-= Elvenrunelord´s last blog ..Survey News: Survey Invites Increasing =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Elvenrunelord, do what works for you and your blog. I find that sometimes I stumble upon things that work by trial and error.

      What works for you may not work for me and visa versa. I use the tags feature built into WordPress to insert key phrases. If your SEO plugin works, then keep using it.

      The great thing about the internet is there is more than one way of becoming successful.

  11. Nice introduction to the concept Felicia and thank you for bringing it up, but…..

    I want more. You explained that the tags were important, but you never explained why and exactly what to do with them. I assume your referring to the tags and if so are there any others that are important?

    I still feel that metatags are important for adding keywords and spend a bit of my time creating a keyword lists for articles that have improved my rankings by many places and in a couple cases 100’s of pages, simply by creating large lists of keywords associated with the page in question.

    My traffic has more than tripled since I started using metatag keyword lists combined with updating my blog at least once a day or at a minimum 6 times a week.

    Posting on the weekend is really not necessary in my opinion because traffic at least on my blog seems to die down on Saturday and Sunday is the worst!

    However I do want to learn what I can do with WordPress tags to increase the search engine love all I can. I’m new at this and honestly, I’d like you to visit my blog and give me a honest opinion. I”m doing the best I know how at the moment and sometimes my effort does not seem to be worth it toward my personal blog.

    • Felicia says:

      Elvenrundelord, your comment got caught in my spam filter and I just discovered it.

      When I first started building websites, I used to be sure to include meta tags for each webpage. Recently, however, Google has admitted that they do not use keywords meta tags in their ranking.

      As far as how to use tags, insert key phrases that you think people will use to access your blog post. I tend to use a minimum of four if I could think of four such key phrases. But, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t employ good SEO practices here. Some of the content sites I write for require at least 6 key phrases.

      I’m not saying not to use meta key tags as other search engines still use them, but I’ve not put as much emphasis on them when building websites as I used to. On my blogs, however, I now use the WordPress tags which seem to work just as well or even better in my experience.

      I suspect that your traffic more than tripled because you were consistently adding more content. There is a direct relationship between number of posts and amount of traffic. The larger the blog/website, the better the chances of getting more traffic.

  12. Tiffany says:

    Really? I wasn’t even sure what those tags were for. I’m curious how you finally found out about this. I guess I better start using those tags as well. It will be interesting to see what effect they have on my traffic.
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Why Are Exotic Pet Supplies So Expensive? Tips to Cut Costs =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Tiffany, I tend to experiment with one feature at a time. One day I experimented with the tags not expecting any results. I noticed the change approximately a few weeks later when I checked my blog stats through StatCounter.

      StatCounter showed the key phrases used to find my blog posts. I noticed that a lot of the visitors used the exact same key phrases as I put in the tag section. That was enough to convince me to continue using the tags.

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