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Understanding Tags

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Tags are text labels that add bits of information to a post. But unlike categories, a post can (and should) have multiple tags. For that reason, the process of applying tags is less strict than the process of putting your post in the right category.

Tags are often more specific than categories. For example, if you write a review of a movie, you might use Movie Reviews as your category and the movie and director’s name as tags.

Follow these guidelines when you use tags:

Don’t over-tag. Instead, choose the best five to 10 tags for your content. If you use WordPress.com and you create a post with 15 tags or more, it’s much less likely to appear in the WordPress.com tag cloud , which means new visitors are less likely to stumble across your blog.

Keep your tags short and precise. Pick “Grateful Dead” over “Grateful Dead Concerts.”

Reuse your tags on different posts. Once you pick a good tag, put it to work wherever it applies. After all, tags are designed to help people find related posts. And never create a similarly named tag for the same topic. For example, if you decide to add the tag “New York Condos,” and then you use the tags “NY Condos” and “Condo Market,” you’ve created three completely separate tags that won’t share the same posts.

Consider using popular tags. If you’re on WordPress.com, check out popularly used tags and consider using them in your posts, when they apply. If you’re trying to attract search engine traffic, you might consider using hot search keywords for your tags.

Don’t duplicate your category with a tag of the same name. That’s because WordPress treats categories and tags in a similar way, as bits of information that describe a post. Duplicating a category with a tag is just a waste of a tag.

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Tagging Posts

Adding a tag to a post is even easier than assigning it to a category. When you create a post (in the Add New Post page) or edit a post (in the Edit Post page), look for the Tags box, which appears just under the Categories box.

The Tags box gives you three ways to add tags:

• Type a tag into the text box, and then click the Add button. Repeat.

• Type all your tags into the text box at once. Make sure you place a comma between each tag, as shown in Figure below.

• Click the “Choose from the most used tags” link and pick from the tags you used for other posts.

When you publish a post, the byline will list the post’s category and all its tags (Figure below). You can follow these links to browse similarly tagged posts. Many blogs also use a tag cloud, a cluster of tag links, sized in proportion to how often you use them (in other words, in proportion to how many posts feature that tag). The default WordPress site layout doesn’t use a tag cloud, but you can add one easily using the Tag Cloud widget.

As with categories, tags have their own management page, which you can see by choosing Posts→Tags. There you can add tags, remove tags, and edit the tag slugs, which appear in the web addresses when you use pretty permalinks

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