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What Are Blog Tags? The All-Encompassing Guide You Always Wanted

Business blogging has become a valuable – nearly essential – asset to a successful marketing strategy in 2019.

When starting a business blog, it's important to strategize and consider everything that has to do with your blog, even the most overlooked things. 

Cue the blog tag.

More often than not, businesses overlook the use and importance of blog tags. They're often an afterthought for marketing teams. And when this bad habit of adding and creating tags goes unchecked, your content management system (CMS) becomes messy.

From a user experience standpoint, this makes sorting and navigating through blog topics a frustrating ordeal. And when you consider the SEO impact you can create with a strong blog tagging strategy, this afterthought should quickly become another priority in your content marketing strategy

In this post, we will:

  • Define what a blog tag is.
  • Explain the differences between a tag and a category.
  • Highlight how tags can improve your SEO efforts.
  • Touch on blog tags best practices.
  • Provide step-by-step instructions for adding tags in both HubSpot and WordPress.

Let's dive in.

What Are Blog Tags?

via GIPHY

Simply put, a blog tag is a word or phrase that describes a blog post. They are an easy way to attach “labels” to your content and link similar articles together, and are typically one to three words.

What's the Difference Between a Tag and a Category?

Understanding the difference between blog tags and blog categories can really trip people up. Don’t worry – it makes sense that these two terms often get mixed up.

A blog category is basically a topic that you cover in the blog. Categories are much more broad, as they can contain multiple smaller, more specific topics.

On the other end, tags can represent the different points that are touched on in a blog article. They encompass just one small idea of an overarching topic.

For example, the article “The Best Email Subject Lines For Sales (And 5 Tips For Writing Your Own” best fits into the Email Marketing category. Since the article’s main idea is about writing email subject lines, the article theme is email marketing.

However, you could easily use the tags “subject lines,” “email tips,” and “sales emails” because the article covers each of those smaller topics in a different section.

How Blog Tags Improve Your SEO

blog tags and seo

Blog tags create rankable opportunities for your website that are both searchable and indexable. It might sound confusing at first, but each tag you create also creates a unique website page for that tag, one that is fully dynamic and always updating with new content associated with that specific tag.

The kicker: You don’t even know you’re doing it!

Take an example from our inbound marketing blog. We have the tag “Topic Clusters,” which falls under our Marketing category. When you search the term “topic clusters” in Google, this website page will populate.

blog tags and SEO

Spot anything interesting?

The website page displayed is actually a unique URL that collects all our blogs containing the “Topic Clusters” tag and stores them in one place.

And, this website page is discoverable in a search engine results page (SERP), giving your company an invaluable opportunity to rank even higher. That’s the power of SEO.

Blog Tags Best Practices: Do's and Don'ts

Do: Keep Them Short and Concise.

As mentioned before, tags are often one to three words. You shouldn't create tags that are complete sentences.

Don't: Create Redundant Tags.

 blog-tags-tips

Even we fell victim to this big no-no at one point. Avoid having tags that are too similar or redundant. You don't need an "SEO" tag and a "Search Engine Optimization" tag. They're the same thing.

When deciding which of your redundant tags to remove, compare how they rank as keywords.

When comparing SEO and Search Engine Optimization in the Moz Keyword Explorer tool, we discovered SEO has a monthly volume of 118k to 300k, whereas Search Engine Optimization only gets 11.5k to 30.3k monthly searches.

See ya, Search Engine Optimization.

Do: Use Tags Consistently.

Make sure that if you create a tag for a specific topic, you continue to add that tag to blogs that also cover that topic.

This way, people who want more information about that topic can easily find what they need by heading to the archive page that tag creates (refer to my Topic Cluster example above.)

Don't: Create "Too Specific" Tags.

Avoid creating a super specific tag just for one article. Remember, tags are a way to group together similar articles and provide an "index" for your articles, and a tag that is too narrow probably won't be used more than once.

Don't: Over-Tag.

When you Google, "How many tags should a blog post have?," you won't get just one answer.

And, honestly, there isn't one right answer. It can really all depend on what your blog article is about and the key points being addressed.

But, there is such thing as over-tagging a blog. I mean, have you ever seen a blog with 30+ tags? How much free time did that copywriter have?

We suggest that you experiment with how many tags you add to an article – if we had to give you a definite answer, it would be one to three tags max.

Do keep in mind that each tag will generate a new, unique website page, like the Topic Cluster example above. But, if you continue to organize your tags and follow the above do's and don'ts, over-tagging shouldn't be an issue.

This is assuming that you're keeping your tags organized. For example, you can manage all your blog tags in a spreadsheet.

If you're properly tracking what tags you use and how you tag posts, you can avoid creating overly specific tags. With a tag organization system, you have a resource to refer to as you tag your posts, making it easy to group your content appropriately. 

How to Add Tags Within Your CMS

how to add blog tags in wordpress

Knowing how to properly create and add tags to your blogs will make your life a whole lot easier. But, each blogging platform sets this up a little different.

As two of the big CMSs out there, we've summarized how to add tags in HubSpot and in WordPress.

How to Add Tags in HubSpot

The tags section of your HubSpot blog dashboard allows you to properly manage all the tags you create for your blog posts.

Here, you can monitor what tags you’ve already created and see how many times a blog tag is used. This is also where you can create new tags to use in the future.

Adding new tags in your blog dashboard:

  1. Head to your blog dashboard.
  2. In the left sidebar menu, click “Tags.”
  3. Click “Add new tag” next to the search bar.

When adding a tag to a specific blog post:

  1. Click into a draft blog to edit.
  2. Go to the “Settings” tab.
  3. In the Tags section, start typing a blog tag you want to use.
    1. If the tag already exists, simply click on it to add the tag to your blog.
    2. If the tag doesn’t already exist, click “Add tag” to add the tag. Once you add a tag once, HubSpot will save it to your tags dashboard. 

 

How to Add Tags in WordPress

Just like HubSpot, your WordPress tags dashboard allows you to see all of the tags you've ever created for your blog content. It also lets you know how many times it's used. Unlike HubSpot, WordPress users have the ability to add a description to each tag.

Adding new tags in your blog dashboard:

  1. Head to your Wordpress blog, and add "/wp-admin" to redirect to your backend dashboard.
  2. Hover over "Posts" in the left sidebar menu, then click "Tags."
  3. Under the Add a New Tag section, write a name for your tag.
  4. Optional: add a description for your tag.

When adding a tag to a specific blog post:

  1. Click into a blog in draft.
  2. Click on "Tags" in the right sidebar menu.
  3. Start typing a blog tag you want to use.
    1. If the tag already exists, a drop-down menu will appear, so simply click on the tag you want to add.
    2. If the tag doesn’t already exist, type in the full tag, then click enter to create a new tag. 

No matter what CMS you're using, you need to get familiar with how to manage blog tags within your dashboard. Giving enough time and focus to tagging your content strategically can yield some great results over time

These blog tagging best practices help you create and maintain an awesome reader experience for your audience while setting you up for SEO wins along the way. 

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Baylor Cherry

Baylor Cherry

Baylor is a Marketing Specialist for Bluleadz. As a native Floridian, she enjoys soaking up the Florida sun, buying clothes she can’t afford, and dreaming about one day owning a dachshund.