blogging, Community

Using Tags in Blog Posts

The keywords you enter in a post show up at the bottom of your article or blog post in WordPress and are commonly called ‘tags.’ If your blog post is about your trip to New Zealand, your post might be tagged Travel and New Zealand.

Do you add so-called ‘tags’ to your blog posts? Do you think much about what the tag might be?

There is so much debate about whether tags are beneficial or deleterious to SEO, I have assembled some tips for you to decide, for yourself, based on the purpose of your blog.

Tag Pages in WordPress

WordPress will create a Tag Page linking your post to all other articles tagged with that keyword. This is important from a Search Engine perspective as it can help you rate higher in a search index.

Did you know that if you repeatedly use a tag word indiscriminately, WordPress will bump you from the WP reader? This lowers the chance for readers to find your site.

Tag your posts accurately

Google reads tags or keywords completely differently: “website” and “web site” and “websites”.

Duplicating the same term in a category, as well as a tag, will confuse Google and the search engines will not know which page or site to rank first.

Be consistent in the way you tag your posts.

There’s nothing wrong with either keyword, [‘web site’ and ‘websites’, above], but choosing one form and using it that way consistently increases your chances of getting ranked for that form of the keyword.

So pick one and stick with it. Either you always use “website” as your tag or you use “web site”. Don’t use both interchangeably or you’ll be missing the chance for better rankings and more traffic.

Use Tags that relate to your article

Doing your homework and looking up the number of searches each version of a keyword gets, is time-consuming and tedious, but it will help you when you are starting out. If you add bogus keywords as tags, then your “tag pages” will be full of spam.
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How Many Tags is a Good Number to Use?

What is a good number of tags to use?

The jury is still out on this question. Some recommend 4 – 12 tags, others say the less the better and still others maintain the more you use, the higher you will rank.

When visitors click on a particular tag, they reach the page whereon all posts, having the same tag, are displayed. It allows them to look for the desired content easily. Tags and categories are both examples of a taxonomy system. When used correctly, a good taxonomy system can boost your site’s SEO. The opposite is also true: when used wrong, it’ll break things. (

What have you found worked for you?

Less tags or more?

Do you use Categories and Tags, or one or the other? Let me know in the comments.

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98 thoughts on “Using Tags in Blog Posts”

    1. I think that is the general advice. 15 is quite a lot I feel, although this depends on the post. On doing an audit of my tags, I try to think how many people might search on a particular term. Some are too specific for anyone to search on them, I think and so I have deleted those.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I have categories, of course– then I use tags, always have. I have curated lists of them that are divided in my mind by general, specific, once in awhile. I cannot imagine not using them, to be honest. How else would I alert a reader to what I was thinking about when I wrote my post? Also they’re fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tags are the best way to look for articles of interest in WP search.

    My guess is not more than 5 appropriate tags,and minimum 2 ,suffice for the search engine to pick.

    My understanding is that tag system in WP is different from that of FB or Twitter or Instagram (hash)…..and I am not not sure why it is so.

    The less one thinks about SEO,better.

    Categories & Tags make life easier for the followers.

    Thank you Amanda for this helpful post.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Amanda.

        My feeling is SEO is a must for bussiness oriented blogs.
        For non bussiness oriented blogs…I feel it’s a waste of time.

        I may be wrong.
        But the truth is …..

        Come whatever… nobody cares anybody! That too in blogosphere…..

        People somehow find you if they are interested in your work.I found you for the exact reason!
        Never I depended on SEO
        No doubt tags will come to our help if properly inserted.

        So better to be happy with limited community than struggling to cover the entire ocean…..

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I use categories to organize the web site, so you can look at all my China Travel articles in one place, for example, and tags as additional information, like an article about China may have “kites” or “sampan” as a tag. No particular strategy to how I use tags: whatever occurs to me as relevent when I am filling out the information, whether it be a few or a lot, before posting and rarely look back. After almost six years my tags have gotten kind of messy and cleaning up tags is something I start out to do then stop when anything more interesting catches my mind…and that’s pretty much anything.
    If you are a business you would want to be more disciplined in your use of both categories and tags than I tend to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Amanda, thanks for the tagging tips. The rock-n-roll group Boston had a great song called “Amanda.” They did not do many albums, but almost all of their songs were good, including this one – tags or no tags. I don’t know if I told you this, but there was blogger from Australia who visited the US and my wife and I met her in all of all places, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Sitting on my desk as I type this is a little stuff Koala bear with an Aussie flag. G’day mate. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I use both categories and tags, and I try to be methodical in my use of them. I’m a former librarian, so organising information in hierarchies is something I was trained to do! The tip about being consistent in which form of a word you use is useful – I will definitely bear that in mind for the future!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I should like to be able to use Dewey ! 😀 (Do libraries still catalogue that way ? – my work experience in them was four years from 1961 to 1964 !!) It would be such fun to have to work out cataloguing and classification, I reckon !

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, many do (in the UK at least) but often category labels too, to simplify things. I learned cataloguing but never worked in that field. I was a children’s librarian for many years, then got into management, government policy and consultancy, so it’s a long while since I was ‘hands on’!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I loved working in the Children’s section of the Fremantle Public Library, my first job out of school .. I claim that there’s more commendable literature in a decent library for children than in many adult libraries.

          Liked by 3 people

  6. On Saturday, November 7, 2020, Something to Ponder About wrote:

    > Forestwood posted: ” The keywords you enter in a post show up at the > bottom of your article or blog post in WordPress and are commonly called > ‘tags.’ If your blog post is about your trip to New Zealand, your post > might be tagged Travel and New Zealand. Do you add so-call” >

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks Amanda,
    As my blog has developed over the past three years I can see categories emerging. Not yet even thought about tags. Need to get sorted but not sure which account to go for. I currently have a premium account, payment due 17th December.
    I haven’t really had the time to see if a free blog or personal blog is better suited to my needs. I know at present that funds don’t allow for a premium account renewal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have always had a free blog Margaret, and WordPress are very generous in what they give you for free. The only down side of a free plan is limited storage so you might resize your photos and not load them full size or you will run out of storage space. Also, a free plan means you will see ads on your site. What do you intend to use your blog for. Personal jottings, similar to mine or selling merchandise?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. On further reflection I know that I am prone to getting ‘sucked in’ in more ways than one. In this instance taking notice of word press e mails in relation to purchases.
        Sorry for poor communication re my blogging history. My blog is for myself and fellow bloggers not for business or selling purposes.
        I started with a free blog, then a personal blog (enticing choice of words as a selling point in my view) and then a premium plan.
        Overall I have enjoyed my journey so far and will carefully consider the way forward.
        From new fellow bloggers and from googling I see the different options explained and even a blogging school!
        The new classic editor has altered the photo posting process but thank you for your valued comments about this.
        Maybe new beginnings?
        Take care ❤️🙏🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I have around five I always use on every post and add a few if the post requires it. One question. IF I use photo and photo challenge is just one word superfluous and photo challenge will cover it. Does combining photochallenge change anything?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I would use photography and photo challenge. That way you cover photo in both instances. It would be a moot point and if you asked WordPress, you would likely get two different opinions depending on who you ask. You could post a test post and see what turns up in the reader when you do a search. That would be interesting. Duplications are only relevant for ranking for search engines and thus more important for business sites, I feel.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I use both categories and tags. Categories are easier for me so I can sort my posts but I have to say I struggle with tags on the blog and across social media. Apart from the obvious tags (eg travel and countries), it’s harder to know what is a good tag to use and requires some research which I don’t want to use my time for!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I couldn’t see any tags on this post? What do you commonly use, Amanda?
    Interesting, though I suppose obvious, that using the same category and tag is a bad idea. I’ve used Jo’s Monday walk in both for some time. Some of my categories are no longer used. Depends how much you want to drive traffic to your site. If it’s a business then you need to know these things. What about hashtags? Instagram tends to have dozens. I’ve never used them to search out like minded people. Perhaps I should? 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jo, you win the prize. I wondered who would pick that up? I checked the box “do not display tags on the post” in Dashboard> Appearance. Tags commonly appear at the end of my posts.
      You are right it is more related to business, although there is speculation about the value of this in business circles. Some believe categories is more important. For me it is about the purpose and finding like minded people and building a community. I link my blog to Instagram but don’t use it much and find typing out the hashtags a bit of a pain. Instagram does have a different audience don’t you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Completely! I have a number of WP friends on there but that just results in duplication, and often on Facebook too. You might as well stand on a chair with a loud hailer 🙂 🙂 But I have also found some very beautiful photographers on there, and mutual interests, like Portugal. But it all feels very time wasting. Why don’t we just get on with our lives? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for this – some really good tips.
    I’m not an SEO expert, but I do use categories and tags. I try to keep categories at a high level and break it down in the tags.
    I do really like that tags and categories get their own pages – I find it handy to share them as related links.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I am learning little by little about how to run a blog nowadays. I am trying to be more careful at the time I use tags. Your article is very helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I always use tags and categories, whatever is relevant. But, I never researched this topic. Blogging has to remain fun. 🙂 In the future, I plan to put more effort in my blog, but, for the last thirteen years, I’ve pretty much done what I want, since I can’t spend more time on that, as a full-time nomad who works from the road…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve given up on both categories and tags. If I use the lap top to publish a post I seem to manage to categorise it ok. But I tend to use my iPad for my writing, and my iPhone for photos. I air drop the photos to the iPad. The phone and iPad cause enough fiddling around. The lap top was good when we were taking photo with the big camera. The iPad is hopeless (or I’m hopeless at using the iPad) when it comes to publishing checks. But I prefer using the iPad over all, so categorising and tagging is out for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t realize the ipad was such a problem with wordpress. I find posting on the mobile phone a bit challenging but great for uploading photos via image resize.


    2. Do you have an external or bluetooth keyboard to type with the ipad, Chris? I was thinking of getting a new ipad but it would be no good if I couldn’t blog on it.


    1. That makes good sense to just yes key words from the post. I also must take your advice there as I will sometimes use an umbrella term as a tag when I should be employing only words used in the post. Thanks for that, Molly. Have you been blogging for long? It sounds like you have worked out some great strategies for SEO?


  15. Wow, I didn’t realise how important tags were in increasing ones reach. I have been using a specific tag on all my posts and if it is decreasing my viewers o might have to change that?


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