wordpress tags, who knew?

When I first started my art journey was right around the time when websites and online commerce was becoming a thing. I had an artist website, a blog, and sold work online even before etsy was created. This was back in 2001. People were even still a bit wary of using PayPal back then! For several years I felt ahead of the curve in terms of the art and online convergence. But then I became a mother and while I still did all those things, I fell behind. My goal became more about getting into brick and mortar places through galleries than working the online route. I still did it, but mainly I was trying to paint and get enough sleep, while raising my young children.

Since then websites have changed, blogs have changed, social media platforms have taken over the online world and I find myself asking my kids often- which remote do I use to get to Sling? What the heck is Tubi? I feel like I’ve become my mom when it comes to technology now. The other night I was facetiming with her and her tv volume was so loud, like deafening loud. And I was like- Mom, what is going on, can you turn down the volume?! And she answered exasperated- “I don’t know how to turn down the volume! I keep pressing the button but it won’t go down. I give up!” I’m not at that level yet, although my kids think I am. Sigh.

Anyway, all this to say is while I’ve been online for 20 years now with my art, there are things I’m still learning. Like wordpress tags. Back in the day, I used to do all the tags on my posts because that was good for search engines. But then it seemed like it didn’t matter because people were gaming the system and the bots pretty much just looked at them as spam techniques. I was listening to this podcast the other day and she talked about alt-tags for photos and the importance of tagging your blog posts for the search engines, not just for Google, but also for Pinterest. So I asked my husband, my personal webmaster, about the tagging and if they were still relevant and does it actually help still? He said yes, but to be smart about it. And he also told me to think about my wordpress site as a database. Because I’ve had my site and blog since 2005, that my site has lots and lots of data. (I actually started my blog in 2001, but switched over later to wordpress and lost some of that earlier history, which he warned me about back then, but I did it anyway. It was a good thing in the end). And that since my website/blog is a database then I can use it as a tool. I had never really thought about it that way. All these years, I thought about my website and blog as a portfolio site and necessary, but not as a tool that I can do things with.

screenshot of wordpress tag search
partial screenshot of my posts using the tag art_show in the url

He passed this tip on to me last night and said he was surprised I didn’t know it already. If you have a wordpress site, you can type in tag/one of your tags into your url and then hit enter and then all the posts that have that tag will be pulled up. Here’s an example of when I did tag/collage: www.guerzonmills.com/tag/collage

screen shot of using a wordpress tag query
partial screenshot of my posts with that I had tagged with “collage”

Here’s one of tag/tree

screen shot of using a wordpress tag query
partial screenshot of tag/tree

When I did the tag/trees -plural. Only one post pulled up. So that is something to keep in mind.

So why is this helpful when obviously on the back end when I’m in my dashboard, I could just as easily pull up these tags and view in the dashboard? Because if a potential collector contacted me and said, oh, I’m really interested in one of your tree paintings and learning more about it- I could tell them to do type in tag/tree in the url and they could peruse my site that way.

Maybe everyone know this and it’s like, uh, duh. But I thought I’d pass this along. It makes sense that you can do this. I just always did it on the backend! Being a visual person, I love this. Now I’m thinking, I better go back through my posts and tag them appropriately and with this in mind, because honestly I got lazy these past few years and stopped because I thought it didn’t really matter because a lot of bad apples (spammers) ruined it for everyone else. But I’ll get back on the tagging wagon to help with organizing my posts and also for those search engines. We are at the mercy of those algorithms after all.

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