My tagging strategy needs a tune-up! Does yours? Here’s a roundup of tips and information about using tags in blogs to build traffic and find the right audiences. In my future “restart” of my blog (the Daily Prompt word of the day!), I’ll be creating a new design that makes much better use of tags and categories to build my audience! Here’s some tips from my research so far!
Using tagging to build audiences
As I gear up for the redesign of this blog, it’s time to re-think my tagging and category-creating strategy. Posts with a total of MORE THAN FIFTEEN tags and categories combined are removed from the WordPress Reader. Why is that? Because of the Olden Days tactic known as “keyword stuffing”! This is a grey or black hat technique for driving traffic and outcompeting other content by using every word, tag, category or other “meta” data to lay claim to territory on a search engine return page.
Wow, I had no idea that people (a) still did that sort of thing and (b) WordPress was wise to this. 🙂 This limitation is mentioned in a couple of WordPress.com blog’s posts about using tagging to build readership, so it’s authoritative advice– the real deal. But clearly I may not be using categories and tags ENOUGH!
Further advice: the more categories you use, the LESS likely your post will be included in a topic search. WordPress advises that we use from five to fifteen categories AND tags together, but no more. So the strategy I have been using (of no more than two categories and three tags) has been useful. But perhaps I should use a few more tags.:) Relevant tags, of course!
Many people search for things to read using tags. The WordPress.com walk-through on tagging is very helpful, if you’re not familiar with tagging. Even us old dogs can learn new tricks! I had no idea that there is a tag editor in the “black” WP Admin dashboard that lets us put in a description of the tag. In some themes, that description is used as a tool-tip! This is something to consider when redesigning a blog–I’ll have to look for this feature!
Hijacking some hashtags from Twitter also works!
In this blog post (also from WordPress) Krista Stevens advises using some of the popular hashtags from Twitter in WordPress. This is especially true of photographs, such as the #nofilter tag. Think of some of the widely used, relevant hashtags from Twitter that may resonate with your readers. If you use irrelevant tags, you’ll lose followers as people learn (quickly). We want readers who hit the FOLLOW button and the LIKE button–and plan your hijacks accordingly! (This is such a cool idea!)
A personal note on my change of direction and redesign
I’ll be reshuffling my tags and categories as part of the new blog design. I’m also reshuffling my life. My son, John, is leaving home. Sadness and joy! My last chick out of the nest! He’s completed his educational goals and is going out for his dream. For the mom, of course, this is bittersweet. For all of my readers dealing with big life changes, be it work, motherhood, marriage, divorce, widowhood and disaster, well, there will be more reflections on these things — and how they relate to the other changes in our writing, our visions, and our life (and blog) directions. Here’s to my son and to a bright future for all of us.
Fair wind and following seas to my beloved John. ~ Lola.