WordPress Tags – What You Are Doing Wrong & How to Fix it

When we talk about organizing a WordPress blog structure, Tags and categories plays major role. People who migrated from BlogSpot, they often get confused as BlogSpot only offers label. Today, I’m going to talk a little about WordPress tags, so that you can utilize it better and keep your blog structure clean.

Organize WordPress tags

What are WordPress tags?

Alright, let me start with hard way and understand tags and categories are entirely different thing. Like Categories, tags also helps in organizing your content. I always suggest to use only 1 category/post and use multiple tags/post. Though one of the most common mistake, people make is by using lots of un-necessary tags in a post.

Well, tags helps in finding more relevent content within your blog and it also help in reducing bounce rate. But, people have a habit of using 10-15 tags (Tag spamming), in a post and in longer run they end up over loading their WordPress database with tons of tags with just one post. My suggestion is to use tags which you can re-use in longer run. For example, I will put this post under category: WordPress and will add few tags like : WordPress tags, WordPress tutorials, WordPress optimization and so on. In simple, I will be reusing these tags in future posts and readers can click on tag name, which interest them to find more relevant content.

If you miantain a WordPress blog which has lots of tags and categories, you might be facing problem like I was facing:  Unorganized tags. Specially if you run a multi-author blog, you might end up with many tags with 0 posts or duplicate tags (Similar tags, mistyped tags). Though it might take some time to clean up your tags but if you maintain a weekly or monthly blog cleanup day like I do, you might like to take care of tags pages and keep them organized. Tags are very useful to sort out your articles and more over it’s very useful to show related content.

  • How to Noindex WordPress tags and categories

How to delete all tags in WordPress with 0 posts?

The first thing which we will be doing in order to clean up tags is remove all unused tags. Go to your WordPress admin dashboard and click on Post tags under Posts section. Click on-screen option on top right and change the number to any number greater than 100. This is to ensure you will delete all tags with 0 posts quickly.

Now click on Posts on the right hand column as shown in picture. Now you will have all tags sorted in order of no. of post associated with tags. Select all tags with 0 posts and click on delete.

wordpress-tags-editing delete-tags-posts

Here is a quick video done by me to understand the whole process of deleting WordPress tags with 0 posts.

How to clean up/Merge Similar WordPress Tags?

So by now, we have removed all unused WordPress tags. Now it’s time to merge tags with similar name or mistyped. For example, you might have a tag WordPress and at the same time,you might have a tag call WorPress. (Notice without d). Similarly if you have hundreds of tags, you might have many useless tags similarly or with plurals. Now we are going to use a WordPress plugin call Term management tools.<Link> Using this plugin you can merge two or more tags and categories.

Install and activate this plugin and go to post tags page. Find the similar tags and select them. From the drop down option, select merge and give a name to tags. Similarly you can also merge multiple WordPress categories into one.


Here is a video explaining how to merge multiple tags into one.

Though this whole process of cleaning up tags might take some time, but it’s very useful if you planning to keep your WordPress blog clean and optimized. If you like this post, don’t forget to subscribe to ShoutMeLoud newsletter and share this post on Facebook and Twitter.

Do let us know how do you manage WordPress tags and how do you keep it clean and optimized?

Don’t forget to take a backup of WordPress database before you perform any of the above task.

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.


COMMENTs ( 14 )

  1. Jojo Mathews @Around Social says

    Tha is really helpful… My blogs have become jungle of tags.. Now I can make them garden again.. Thanks a lot.. :)

  2. Elizbath says

    Nice tutorial thanks for sharing that..usually if you assign tags while writing post…then there will be no tag with zero post.

  3. shashank says

    I got to do this badly as few random tags have increased bounce traffic of mine. Could you tell me should tags be placed in sitemap maker?

  4. Miele Vacuums says

    Thanks for the education. My tags are in a mess at the moment but the video explains really well.
    Kind Regards AL……

  5. Vish says

    You should also write on “how to organize blogs with tags”, then your current blog “how to organize tags in wordpress” will be a good sequel.

  6. antodoms says

    Thanks for the post harsh… I was looking for similar post ,as I am planing to change my site to multi author blogging…. I guess this may help …. keep posting….U rock buddy…. :)

  7. Zohan says

    Hi Harsh, Nice and detailed tutorial. Also the video presentation is much better and it helps to understand things well! Keep posting this like tutorials, its tutorials that i like most from you. ;)

  8. Rahul Ghosh says

    Nice tutorial Hersh btw…… i heard that Twitter integration is hapenning for Gmail people’s widget…..if you want i will post the news in your people’s Widet post’s link. :)

  9. Amol M says

    Hey great stuff Harsh. The thing I like most about video tutorial that you explained it very clearly.

  10. Maninder @ HackTik.com says

    Merging tags and categories plugin is something which all bloggers will find most sought after plugin within few months of launching their blogs because however hard we try, all of us do end up having duplicate and mis-spelled, plurals tags and categories.

  11. hamarasathi says

    Nice article Harsh, I have many unused tags in my blog which are not Good for SEO, i will take help from your article to optimize my tag list.

  12. Love in India says

    I’m still far from optimizing at this level…looks like there’s a long way to go.. :D
    Multi-author blog…SOMEday…SOMEday.. ;)

  13. VISHAL says

    Great tutorial Harsh.. I was looking for the similar tutorial. It will really help to remove clutter…