Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Use Labels (Tags) to Increase Blog Traffic

How to Use Labels (Tags)
to Increase Blog Traffic

Part 1 of the series
How to Keep Readers and Increase Pageviews

What You Will Learn

You've been following the series How to Attract Readers to Your Blog, but now that you have caught the eye of more readers, how do you keep them coming back to your blog again and again? How do you get them to read more than just the one page they landed on?

To answer THOSE questions, I've put together another series for you: How to Keep Readers and Increase Pageviews! Like the previous series (which is still ongoing--don't worry, I still have a ton more of tips and tricks to share), this will be a multi-part series broken down into bite sized chunks designed to reduce stress and overload and instead make improving your blog a quick and easy process!

Let's Do This!

Do labels/tags help increase SEO?

Nope, I'm sorry to say they don't seem to help with SEO. At least not if you're using Blogger. And at least as far as I understand it. This has to do with the way Blogger creates label URLs. Apparently the URL pattern is set up in a way that search engines tend to ignore.

So then why should I bother using labels/tags?

  • Labels/tags are a great navigation tool. They may not help ATTRACT readers, but they DO go a long way to helping KEEP readers digging through your site and increasing your pageviews.

  • Labels can help resurrect old posts that would otherwise be overlooked.

Picture it: You arrive at this beautiful blog and you read this absolutely fantastic post. What do you think? Probably something along the lines of: GIVE ME MORE PLEASE! Right? But how do you go about finding more of the same?


Picture it: You just wrote an absolutely awesome review of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Knight. I read your review and I adore it. I want more. So I click on your label "Julie Kagawa" so I can read every review you've ever written for her books. 

But wait! Maybe you did an interview with Julie Kagawa, and of course you included a label with her name on that interview post. I didn't even know you had done an interview and I never would have thought to look for one, but since you were such a smarty labeler, I'm now going to see and read your interview!

When making labels, keep in mind:
The goal to using labels is to make it easy for your readers to navigate your blog. With that goal in mind, ask yourself these questions when you create your labels:

Would someone use this as a search term?

i.e. If I read your book review of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Daughter, odds are high that I'll also be interested in reading your review of Julie Kagawa's The Iron King.  So,

Question: How would I go about looking for this review (besides your review index)? 
Answer: Probably either by the author's name (potential label) or the series name (potential label).

Do I have/will I have any other posts that fit in a similar category?

The more posts you have or will have that fit into a shared category, the more useful it is for you to create an overarching label. Keep reading for some suggestions.

What types of labels should I make?

Odds are if you're reading this page then you're a book blogger of some sort. If so, here are a few label categories you might want to consider:

Author's name
Series name
Challenges you may be reading the book for
Age range (if you review for more than one age group)
Type of post (book review, cover review, IMM, WoW, author interview, discussion, etc) 

You probably have a lot of posts that will fit into these categories and your readers will probably be most interested in browsing through your posts that fall into these categories.

There are three main ways to set up labels and there are pros and cons to both. In the next Tips and Tricks post, we'll look at all three methods and you can decide which works best for you!

The form is anonymous, so please don't feel shy at all! 

These tips and tricks posts are a (sort of) bi-monthly feature, so it may take a little time to answer your question, but I WILL answer it!

I'm certainly not an expert, but I'll try my hardest to explain what I do know and research what I don't know.

Click here to read previous Tips & Tricks Posts 


  1. That was helpful for this new blogger; thank you!

  2. So awesome! I've recently started doing labels. Your post makes me more motivated to focus on them.

  3. For some reason, labels are one of things that are overlooked by many. If I could add something it would be: don't your labels spoilery. I've seen book reviewers that basically tell the book's plot by the overuse of their labels. I like to think of my labels as describing the book in about 5 words or more.

  4. I love labels. I might even be guilty of overusing them. LOL

  5. You're so welcome everyone!

    Rummanah, Totally agree about the spoilers! I had a book's secret (the type of paranormal creature) completely spoiled for me because of a label. It was very disappointing :(

  6. I love labels and like Missie I may be guilty of overusing them at times. Blogger lets me know when I've run out of characters in which to fit my labels...this happens quite a lot!

  7. Sometimes I feel like I'm over tagging my posts, but I figure it's all relevant and if I were searching a blog I'd want to see it that way.

    I love labels, LOL! :D

  8. Huh. I never actually thought of labels that way. I rarely ever attach labels to my post because I didn't think they made a difference one way or another. But I'll start using them now! Thanks! :)

  9. I usually put a couple of labels, but I didn't consider taking the series' name into account. I'll be going through my posts now and seeing if I need to group books into series. Thanks, Small!

  10. Nice. I always benefit from reading these posts, I can't wait for next one, because that's where I really need some insight. I do use some tags. I think I could use them better though.

  11. Thanks for this post, Small! I've been wondering how useful my labels are, LOL. Will be looking forward to the next post on this topic!

  12. You're welcome everyone!

    Jen, you've given me an idea... :) I always wondered how many people use labels to search blogs. I mean, the option is out there, but I didn't know how many people took advantage of that option.

  13. Awesome info! and a great series on your blog! You have helped me learn a lot!! although I am still slowly learning <3

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  15. What you have shared is very valuable and helpful. All the information you have shared gives me more insights on this. Thank you for sharing. Keep it up! Would like to see more updates from you soon.

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