Tagging – How to tag blog posts

I’ve recently imported my entire Tumblr (over 500 posts – who knew?) and my Blogger blog, The Movie Project, to WordPress, and now I’m going to be concentrating on applying titles, updating the categories and adding tags (or conversely adding categories) to all those posts.

Why bother?

Well, besides the fact that I want my blog to be organized – I imported everything so it would be all in one place. Well, almost everything – I haven’t imported my LiveJournal yet. But tagging is very important, because it’s the tags that allow others to find what you’ve posted by doing a search.

Tagging is tangentially related to database, which is my area, so I understand how it works.

The first rule Be Consistent!

When tagging posts, or assigning categories, be consistent. If you tag a post about the BBC TV Series Doctor Who, “Doctor Who”, don’t tag you’re next post about Doctor Who, “Dr. Who”, and a third post, “DW”. You want to pick a single tag for a topic you frequently post about, and use it. Which isn’t to say you can’t use multiple tags, but don’t constantly change the tag you use for the same topic. If possible, look to see how others tag your topic. For example, you can check for the related Twitter hashtag if it’s a hot topic and use that without the pound (#) sign and with any applicable spaces. You could also tag both with and without spaces (e.g. Doctor Who, DoctorWho). This will help direct traffic to your posts and blog because you are using a tag that is likely to be familiar to your audience. Think of your tags as keywords. If you were to look on Google for information on a topic, What phrases would you use?

Wrangle (Update) Tags

Don’t be afraid to go back and update (wrangle) your tags – modern blogging sites even have management sections that help you to do this. Update your tags to improve consistency.

Spelling counts

Spell your tags correctly, especially proper names. Use IMDB or Google to check spelling of proper names.

Watch Tag Length

Don’t use overly long tags – unless it’s necessary for the topic. For example, for my blog, The Movie Project, one tag I apply to each post is the title of the film. This can result in a long tag, but the film’s title is the most likely phrase that someone might use when looking for posts about the film.

Tag in Groups – for Consistency and Logic

Also try to think of tags in groups, this will also help you to use consistent tags. For example, if you review films, you might want to consistently create tags for:  the title, the director, the cast (individually), the year the film was made (or, as I did, go by decades), etc. For my imported posts, I’m tagging them with where they were imported from – such as, From Tumblr, or From Blogger. You can tag on type of post too:  Video, Picture, Reblog (or cross-post), Meme, etc.

Or think of groups as either this or that or one of a group of things. So you could use a category of Sports, then tags of Swimming, Baseball, Soccer, etc.

Having a system in place for tagging your posts will help the tags to be relevant, consistent, and logical.

Apply several multiple tags, rather than a single long one

Finally, apply multiple tags to a post that accurately reflect the post.