Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. If an Lola’s Ramblings post is about a non-book topic it gets the non-book content posts tag. This feature was previously knows as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.
This post is inspired by my recent elimination of a lot tags and this post on Nosegraze. I am using self hosted wordpress for my site and wordpress gives you the option to organize your posts using categories and tags. Without ever really looking into this stuff I started using categories and tags when I started wordpress. The only thing I understood was that categories were broader then tags and having too many categories could be a bad thing and make your site slower.
How did I use categories and tags?
My strategy for categories was always pretty nice. I basically make categories for the the type of post and genre, so roughly we have Review, Release Day, Blog Tour, Cover Reveal, Lola’s Ramblings and then the memes/challenges I participate in like Sunday Post, Waiting on Wednesday (in which I don’t participate anymore), Coyer, Read Play Blog and My To-Be Read list. Then there are the main genres I read like Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopia and a few lesser used ones. They can even be combined so fantasy + romance for Paranormal Romance, so I didn’t have to make a seperate category for that. For some reason I always thought this was neat! I think those categories were even imported from blogger and I always thought I did nice job with these. Some categories might not be used too often and there are a few about which I wonder whether to keep or delete them like Mystery, Suspense and Erotica as they don’t see much use.
While I guess I always was on the right track when it concerns categories I made a big mess out of my tags and I mean a really big mess. Before I changed things I had about 400 different tags, yeah uhm that really helps keep things organized and group posts together. I had this belief that tags help your SEO, you know how well your site does it with search engines. And I thought tags where like keywords and when someone searches for one of those keywords they had a higher chance of finding my post if that post had that keyword. So I had tags for everything from specific subgenres, tags with the same name as categories, age categories, author names, series, book titles and even character names *cringes*. I also had tags for different spellings or a tag names like non-book-content and non-book-content post, while I even have a category for that. And things like YA and Young Adult and then have different posts tagged with each, depends on which tag I decided to use at that moment. Or dreams, dreaming and nightmares all of which only belonged to only one post. I even had some typo tags, I came across one called Steempunk…..
I had multiple tags for my sunday post, which I always tagged with weekly, book haul, Caffeinated Book reviewer and recap. So basically all those tags gives you the exact same list, which doesn’t help at all. So basically I made a tag for everything to make sure my posts would be more easy to find. Which was all based on a wrong idea. btw that picture is of when I only had 100 tags left and am still wondering whether to delete some more.
What made me think about this and change things was this post on the blog Nosegraze and soon after that got into an issue with my hosting provider about having too high cpu and physical memory usage. So I started cleaning things-up, the categories and tags are only a small portion of what I changed, but as this post is about categories and tags I only focus on that. I only deleted a few categories, but I got my tags down from 400 to around 100. Now I have to admit that I have no idea if removing tags actually helps my site to get faster, but it’s always nice to clean things up once in a while. And it gave me inspiration for this post ;).
How I am going to use categories and tags now?
I decided to remove all the tags for book titles and most for authors. To be honest most often I am not going to blog about the same book more then once and I had been so inconsistent with tags that some posts about a book did have the tag and others not, rendering them practically useless. So I decided just to remove them all. And then there’s always the search function, that actually works pretty well. I actually use the search function myself when I am looking for a specific post or a specific book or author I blogged about.
I also had some tags that were the same as categories, well as I have categories to group those, I didn’t need the tags anymore. My tags now focus on subgenres, age categories, series name, Book tour organizers, I still have too mnay tags and am wondering if I should delete any more. I mean does it really help if I have a tag, but only one post has that tag? Then that tag doesn’t really group anything, so what’s the point? I am still not 100% sure where I will end up with my tags, but I think I came a long way from tagging every keyword in my posts. I am still struggling with soem tags and how handy they are, for exmaple a tag called recap is it necesseary when only the Sunday Post ever get’s those tags? Maybe I should introduce a monthly tag for my monthly memes, but then again you can also just clicks on the category for that. I think it’s difficult to determine which tags are necessary and which not, so I am definitely not there yet, but I leats I amde some progress.
So my question to you is: