Using WordPress Tags Effectively to Improve the User Experience

Posted on Apr 26 2014 by Rob C. in Blog 

WordPress is wonderful in its ability to provide a large amount of options for website creators. The creators behind WordPress have made it simple for users to create new posts and add pages to their WordPress website; though, having too many options can be detrimental for some users. One example of this is the use of tags. They are very easy to add to any post. When used properly, tags can make it simple for users to find what they are looking for. The problem occurs when the creator of a WordPress website does not understand how to use tags in their posts. Some may create dozens of new tags with ever post, while others may completely avoid using them. To make the most of tags, keep reading to find out how to effectively use tags to improve the user experience of your WordPress website.

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Understanding Tags

Before you start using tags on your WordPress website, you should understand what they are intended to represent. The easiest analogy is that tags are like the index in the back of a book. For example, when reading a text book, instructional book, or cook book, the back of the book will contain an index of keywords and the page numbers where you can find. Tags work in a similar manner. They allow users to easily find content based on a single word or phrase. This is different than categories, which are often broader. Think of categories as the table of contents in a book and the tags as the index.

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Using Tags

Now that you have a general idea of how tags are meant to be used, it is time to figure out how to actually use them on your WordPress website. All of the tags that you use should be one to three words in length. Avoid using tags if you only plan on using them once or twice across your website. You should also avoid creating a tag that will be used on almost every post. When a user clicks on a tag, they will see a blog roll of posts that use that tag, making it easy to find relevant content. You do not want a user to click on a tag and have a blog roll of every single post on your website.

It may take some time before you have a large amount of tags. This is fine, as it is better to start small and work your way up. Eventually, you will have a nice assortment of tags that users can use to navigate through your website. They can appear at the bottom of posts so that when a user finishes reading, they can read similar posts or they can also be placed in widgets along your sidebar.

If you follow these general rules, then you should have no problem maintaining a good structure of tags on your WordPress website. Remember, tags should be thought of as the index to your website and are designed to improve navigation for users.