WordPress Tags – What You Are Doing Wrong & How To Fix It

When we talk about organizing a WordPress blog structure, tags and categories play a major role.

People who’ve migrated from BlogSpot often get confused as BlogSpot only offers “labels”. Today, I’m going to talk a little about WordPress tags so that you can utilize them better and keep your blog structure clean.

Organize WordPress tags

What are WordPress tags?

Alright, let me start by saying that tags and categories are entirely different things.

But both categories and tags help in organizing your content.

I always suggest to use only 1 category/post but use multiple tags/post. Though one of the most common mistakes is that people use lots of unnecessary tags in a post.

Tags help in finding more relevant content within your blog, and also help in reducing the bounce rate. But people have a habit of using 10-15 tags (i.e. tag spamming) in a single post. In the long run, they end up over-loading their WordPress database with tons of tags for every post.

My suggestion is to use tags which you can re-use for the long run.

For example, I will put this post under the single category: WordPress.

I will add a few tags: WordPress tags, WordPress tutorials, WordPress optimization, and so on.

I will be re-using these tags in future posts and readers can click on a tag name which interests them to find more relevant content.

If you maintain a WordPress blog which has lots of tags and categories, you might be facing a problem like the one I was facing:

Unorganized tags.

In particular, if you run a multi-author blog, you might end up with many tags with 0 posts or duplicate tags (similar tags, mistyped tags, etc.). 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 want to take care of these tags and keep them organized.

Tags are very useful to sort out your articles, and they’re very useful to display related content.

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 removing all unused tags.

Go to your WordPress admin dashboard and click on “Post Tags” under the “Posts” section. Click the on-screen option on the top right and change the number to any number greater than 100. This will ensure you delete all tags with 0 posts quickly.

Now click on “Posts” in the right-hand column as shown in the picture. Now you will have all tags sorted in order of the number of posts associated with that tag. Select all tags with 0 posts and click on “Delete”.

wordpress-tags-editing delete-tags-posts

I made this video to show you the whole process of deleting WordPress tags with 0 posts. Watch it here:

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 names or ones that have been mistyped.

For example, you might have the tag “WordPress” and a tag called “WorPress” (notice the missing ‘d’).

Similarly, if you have hundreds of tags, you might have many useless tags that are very similar, or singular ones and plural ones.

Now we are going to use a WordPress plugin called Term Management Tools. Using this plugin, you can merge two or more tags and categories.

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

merge-tags

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

Though this whole process of cleaning up tags might take some time, it’s very useful if you’re planning to keep your WordPress blog clean and optimized.

Important: Don’t forget to take a backup of your WordPress database before you perform any of the above tasks!

Do let us know: How do you manage WordPress tags and how do you keep them clean and optimized?

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

17 thoughts on “WordPress Tags – What You Are Doing Wrong & How To Fix It”

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

    Thanks

  2. 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.

  3. Maninder @ HackTik.com

    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.

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

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. 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. 😉

  7. 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…. 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. Miele Vacuums

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

  10. 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?

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

  12. Jojo Mathews @Around Social

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

  13. Hi Harsh,

    Will the tag affects SEO? for example if i remove all the tags in the post which index in google at page1, will that affect the ranking as well as SEO?

  14. thanks, sir I was just looking for this kind of post and you solved my problem and now i can clean up my site by removing unused tags

  15. Thank you, finally a post about tags that is really useful! I never thought about a possibility to merge them!
    I use the Tag Groups plugin for many years and it helps me organize tags under groups so that it’s not one big mix of things that are actually very different. You can then filter your tags by group and so on.

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