Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to Display Labels/Tags

How to Display Labels/Tags

Part 2 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.

Previous posts in the series:

How to Use Labels (Tags) to Increase Blog Traffic

Let's Do This!

How should you display your labels/tags?

There are three main methods for displaying labels:

Cloud: Your labels are organized in a big "cloud" of words, with the more frequently used labels displayed in larger fonts. Usually the labels are organized alphabetically, but they can also be displayed by frequency.

Pros: Very visual. Quickly gives a snapshot of the type of labels used on the blog and their frequency of use. Moderate to very easy to use if a reader is casually browsing your labels. You can limit the number of labels displayed to target particular pages.

Cons: Can become very large if you choose to display a lot of labels. Moderate to poor to use if a reader is looking for a specific navigation label.

My label cloud at Amazon

List: Your labels will be displayed in a list (usually alphabetical) down your sidebar. Sometimes there will be a number next to each label indicating the frequency of that particular label's use. Users can control which labels are displayed in the list.

Pros: Good for displaying infrequently used tags, resulting in possibly increased pageviews of pages that might otherwise be buried. Provides an index of all of your posts (if you include all labels). Can be organized to display your most popular posts or posts you would like to drive more traffic toward (I almost always check out these lists if they're short). Can be used as a Table of Contents.

Cons: Crazy long list! Personally, I don't like the way these label lists look when the blogger includes every label they've ever used and I tend to ignore them. To me, they appear cluttered and give me an information overload.

My fake label list (I don't actually have one on the blog)

Drop-down Menu:  This is what I use here at Small Review (check under "Table of Contents" on the left sidebar) and I have organized it to be more of a navigation tool than a label list. This format is often organized alphabetically, but can also be organized by frequency of use. The blogger can choose to display all labels, or only those they select.

Pros: Conserves space and reduces clutter. Can be organized (as I have done) to serve as a Table of Contents, which can be a useful navigation tool. This is also helpful for me on my own blog when I'm looking for a type of post or the frequency of particular types of posts.

Cons: Less "in your face" than other types of label displays, which could mean less frequent click-throughs.

Should you display ALL your labels/tags?

No, you should not. At least, that's my preference.

You don't want to overwhelm your readers with a gigantic list of every label you've ever used in life. So while you may create a million different labels, only display in your label list the labels/tags that you think would be most relevant for people trying to search through your blog.

Plus, what's the point of displaying all your labels? Most labels will only be used once or twice, especially on a book blog (author's names, for example).

But maybe you want people to be able to search for your posts by author! Well, I'm of the opinion that there are better ways to go about using those labels. For example,

This is a snapshot of my Review Index. See my poorly drawn "arrow" pointing at the link "River of Time series"? That link is a label link! If you click on it, you'll be taken to all of my posts that have been tagged with the label "River of Time series."

See the second arrow? It's pointing to an author's name, which is another label link. In my Review Index, every author's name is a label link, and if you click on it you'll be taken to all of my posts related to that author (reviews, Spotlight Lists, if I did an interview with that author, cover reviews, etc).

What format do you prefer to view labels? What pros and cons of the different methods have you found? Do you ever look through labels on blogs? What format are you more likely to browse through?

I am by no means an authority and these are just my personal opinions. There are no right or wrong ways to display your labels.

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

These tips and tricks posts are a 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. Aaaah! Genius tips again, Smalls. I usually have my author's name linked to the authors website or goodreads page. Do you think it's better to have them linked to related posts, even if there are only one or two?

  2. Genius idea! as far as using label links to link up to the author. I'm definitely going to try that, see how it looks. Thanks for the tip!

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  3. Hi!

    I am loving your blogging tips. They have helped my quite a lot during the last time. Especially the follower ones - now, I have just to wait and hope ... :)
    Thank you so much.

    Anne (from Living in a Fairy World

  4. I just wanted to say I've been following your advice quite a bit in the last few weeks and it's really helped me get more organised about my blog. Thanks for all the great tips and please, keep it up!

  5. WordPress has categories and tags rather than labels (though really, they are the same thing). For some reason, the only way they let you display tags is in a cloud. I keep my categories in a drop down menu because it is clean and uncluttered.

    I really like the idea of linking labels with with author or series on your review index. I'll have to think about that. :)

  6. Huzzah for you Small!! Great tips and tricks post as always. I hadn't really thought about Labels attracting likeminded readers but have always included them.

    Now I will try to be more specific about how I label just in case people want to check my old posts out!

  7. Interesting thoughts, Small. I only display labels that I use frequently such as reading level, genres (i.e. paranormal, romance, etc). I like your idea for combining the series into one link. I might have to try that one of these days.

    On a side note, your post on making blocks for quotes was brilliant and save me tons of time and frustration. THANK YOU!

  8. I've been trying to display my tags but they always make a clutter of it so I always end up taking it away, I'm going to try the drop-down menu, seems like it might work for me.

    Thanks for this" I <3 your tips and tricks

  9. Oh, hey, that's a seriously good idea. I've been meaning to get my labels under control, but I like how you've done it. I really suck at updating that particular page though. I really need to get on top of that!

  10. I love labels and display mine in an organized fashion.

    I think the reason I love them so much is because I use them when I visit other bloggers.

    It bugs me when I can't find their labels.

    Great post!

  11. I am a new blogger, and now have update a handsome posts on my blog.

    Just wondering if I can show a list of all the labels I have used on my each post, but thanks to this blog to let us aware that displaying all the labels may cause problems in future.

    Lol. actually even though I have not subscribed for Ad programs, but I am still in the problem of making some space on the right side of my blog.

    Any way to shrink and fit our desired tools into a blog?

  12. How do you display the labels in a drop-down menu? I tried to edit mine and it only lets you choose between list and cloud.

    Awesome Book Assessment

    1. Try selecting by list. That's how I have mine set up. I then only selected certain labels that I want to show up. Does that do what you want it to do?

    2. I have it set to list, and only certain labels are showing, but it's still not a drop-down menu like yours. But it's ok, I'm fine with it being a list

      Awesome Book Assessment


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