Former SEO Manager for ELLE.com Shares Biggest Rookie Blogger Mistake

biggest problem rookie mistake

A crucial strategy for any fashion blogger looking to go pro is increasing how many people come visit your blog each month. Impressive stats appeal to advertisers. They also give you major negotiating power when it comes to brand partnerships, landing that book deal, agent or job offer that will catapult you to become the fashion media powerhouse that is your destiny.

An integral part of bringing in new and repeat visitors month-over-month is through a mix of content capitalizes that on what people are searching for right now, and content people always want to read. The best way to ensure that readers visit your “6 Ways to Style a Summer Scarf” post, and not someone else's, is if that post shows up first in Search.

Still, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) often gets put on the back burner in favor of writing, posing and connecting with other bloggers. So, I turned to my old pal Erika Miller (who  just happens to be teaching a Skillshare class just for fashion blogggers about SEO). Erika is a Senior SEO Analyst for Adobe and before that she was the Senior SEO Manager for sites like Elle.com and ElleDecor.com. She knows a thing or two about the space. So I asked her:

What is the biggest rookie mistake fashion bloggers often make when it comes to SEO?

Here's what she said:

“Tagging. Many fashion bloggers think it's a good idea to add tags to their content, but they often are using way too many tags. The reason to limit your tags is because each tag gets it's own URL, and if you have only used that tag a handful of times, that URL appears to Google as though that isn't the site to go to for that topic. Also, when there are too many similar tags applied to one piece of content, the tag pages can appear as duplicates, which can negatively impacts your site.

Finally, it's not in a bloggers' best interest to have an overwhelming amount of tags on topics that are not regularly covered. For example, if you write about Kim Kardashian’s new hairstyle (say ombre with bangs), and you only cover Kim Kardashian once every 3 months, you should not tag the article “Kim Kardashian.” Instead you should tag it something you write about often, and that people are still searching for, like  “ombre hairstyles.”

Bloggers should develop a list of no more than 25 tags that are relevant to their niche and use those repeatedly.

Helpful, no? Watch this video from Erika to figure out the the best keywords for each season and review the SEO course on IFB to learn more about how to make SEO your BFF. And. if you want to learn from the very best, take advantage of Erika's class. She has heaps to share and is more than generous with her time and talent.

What questions do you have about SEO?

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59 Responses

  1. The Science of Happy

    Wow, this is eye opening. I always assumed tagging was really important!


  2. sahra

    What Scienece of Happy said; this is eye opening and totally makes sense. BOOM mind BLOWN

    Thanks so much for posting and sharing this!

    XO Sahra

  3. Simon

    This is a great tip for any bloggers not familiar SEO should definitely follow. Working in seo we usually just have all tag pages deindexed by google, to avoid any chances of duplicate results or the tag urls/pages taking preference over the actual posts (which gets more messy the more tags you have). So if you don’t keep a short tag list like suggested here or don’t want to clean up your giant pile of existing tags, i recommend removing your tag urls from google. if you use wordpress, seo plugins like Yoast (my favourite) it has an option to remove them from google. Then you can use tags purely for reader navigation and not for google. You can also try searching for you content in an private/incognito browser mode and see if your tag urls are beating the actual content or making a mess of your results

    And I’m sure she’s talking about the tags you see at the start or end of a post, like wordpress tags. and not meta-tags, which get confused with meta-descriptions. (incase some readers are wondering that).

    • Monique

      I second that- I’ve been using SEO by Yoast on wordpress, and for a newbie it’s very user friendly.

  4. andreea

    I recently found out how important SEO is and I am trying to change a few things on my blog so that I get the best out of this. I only recently started tagging and this article helps me better understand the process. Thanks.

  5. Kendall with Sex and the Suburb

    Although I’m not a strictly a fashion blogger but more of a lifestyle blogger I think it would be difficult to narrow my list of tags down to 25 since we cover a range of topics on our blog. That being said there are some great pieces of information to take away from this regardless of the niche you’re in. Thanks IFB for the fantastic info as always!

  6. Amanda

    Great advice! SEO is extremely important for those just starting out in the blogging world, like myself!

  7. Juliana

    I definitely agree with the tagging bit. I’ve seen a few blogs that attach a lot of tags to their posts and some that have less than five attached to each post and I didn’t know which was better. So now it’s good to know what’s good to do and what isn’t.

    – Juliana

  8. jinelle

    Just edited down my tags and changed some headlines. Thank you so much for sharing this information. Much appreciated.


  9. Shenaye Thomas

    Very insightful! I usually try to use tags but never really understood the best way to use them

  10. Barbara

    I’m afraid i’m a real rookie at SEO. can anyone shed a light on the difference betw tags and adding search descriptions? wld help…

    • Erika Miller

      Barbara tags are the tags you add to an individual blog post, which are seen on the article story page (as links to new URLS–> this is where we worry), where as descriptions are added to the blog pots as META data (not showing on the page when user is reading story)

      Tweet me with more questions @ELMConsulting

  11. Elizabeth

    Thanks for posting this. I knew to not over-tag, but didn’t know about keeping your tags at 25. Good info!

  12. Odette

    This is really helpful as I always thought, the more tags the better. Will definitely be using this practice from now on!

  13. Noemi

    This is a ver very useful post, thanks! I see posts by other bloggers which have many tags (even 20-25!) and I used to think that I should increase mine. Now I know it’s not the case…

  14. Nathalie F.

    I had a manageable list of tags going on a few months ago… But I’ve noticed that it’s exploded recently! I have to do some house cleaning around that little issue. Thanks for reminding me, and for the awesome tips! 🙂

  15. Hayley (Fashion And Me)

    Such a simple but effective rule to follow. Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for this!

  16. Balsam

    Such a great tip! I have been using small number of tags ever since I launched www.albalsamlife.com, and it really works!!

    I would suggest everybody does the same 🙂

    lots of love,
    Balsam – www.albalsamlife.com

  17. hrisanthis

    WOW so helpful thanks for learning you can never know enough when it comes to the internet.


  18. Eilidh MacRae

    Really helpful blog. SEO is so tricky to get right as it’s mostly guess work. Blogs like this really help!

  19. Serena

    Thank you for sharing such amazing advice. Only wish I could have gone to the talk. Can you tell your friend to come to London and share her wisdom.

  20. Anna Kinga Kiraly

    Very helpful article. I know SEO and tagging is important, but I didn’t know it’ll be a problem if someone use too much tags. Now I go to reduce the number of my tags, I’ll remove the useless ones. 🙂

  21. Trisha of @patriciastreete

    This is a good point. My blogging mentor pointed this out to me about 6 months ago. I went through and cleaned up the posts. I also went through and redid my categories. It took a long time to retag old post, but it helped organize my content. My blog is only a year old, I am still shaping it’s identity.

  22. Anastazja Oppenheim

    Seriously? Is overtagging THE BIGGEST mistake? Worse than having a terrible blog, updated every 3 weeks, with spelling mistakes, poor grammar, hideous design and last month’s news? Worse than writing in pink comic sans over a rainbow background?

    • Ashley "Ashe" Robison

      I think you’re reading a bit much into it. It’s an SEO post, and from the perspective of an SEO manager. It’s the biggest SEO mistake a new blogger can make.

  23. Miss Uschi

    Also thought it’s a good way to gain more followers for your blog… Will reconsider my tagging. 😉 Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  24. Hallie @ corals + cognacs

    How should Categories and Tags function separately? I keep my Categories high-level (Outfits, Events, Lifestyle, etc) and use my “tags” to include all the brands that I’m wearing/feature in my post… Do you have a POV or suggested best practice for this?

    Thanks for another helpful SEO read, IFB. 🙂

  25. Steffi Romero

    Really? I thought it will generate more traffic if you put many tags to a post but oh well, that’s a SEO expert’s advise so I might as well do that. Thank you!

  26. Monique

    Thanks for this! I’m new to the world of SEO and hadn’t done too much tagging because I didn’t know quite how they are used by search engines. Thanks for clearing things up!

  27. RunwayMonk

    I better edit all my tags. Ti=urns out I have been doing it all wrong till now. Thanks for the tip.

  28. Gemma

    I always thought that the more tags you had the more chance you had of someone finding your blog post….


  29. Nasreen

    This post is REally helpful. Before, I used to add loads of tags, trying to cover every basis but it really is useless and when users see that on your site, it looks very desperate!

  30. Raven Rosie

    I’m definitely sharing this with my blogging organization! Thank you!

  31. Jennifer

    So helpful! I’ve never even considered that too many tags meant a negative impact on my blog. Thank you for the article!

    Jennifer x


  32. chris

    This makes complete sense now, my first few posts had way too many tags! Now I am only going to tag when relevant!

  33. Ashlie Small

    This is so good to know. Thanks for the useful article, so kind of Erika to share her wisdom with us!

  34. Theris Wardrobe

    It really changes a lot in my blogging life !! Thank you!


  35. Melanie

    I have very few tags on my blog and instead rely on keywords placed within my text to get traffic from search engines. For example, when I’m wearing something, I tag it by its exact name so that I can get hits from people searching for it. Instead of ‘American Apparel Crop Top,’ I use, ‘American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Crop Tee’ or whatever its called. I always check the exact product name before posting.

    For anyone with a Lynda.com subscription, they have wonderful tutorials on SEO!

  36. Natalie Salinas

    I knew it!
    I was a tagging obsession at the beginning but now I have a small list of tags.
    Great article!

  37. Arpit Agarwal

    Yes tagging is really a major aspect in terms of SEO. It tells that what exactly your post all about.

    Very nice post by the website owner. I am looking for more post further.


  38. kimmie

    And to think, I thought I needed MORE tags! Going to create a list of tags and stick with it!

  39. Fullestop Reviews

    Very insightful! I some of persons usually try to use tags but never really understood the best way to use them.

  40. Each Weblink

    Hello….I would like to say that this blog post will really going to help all of us a lot. I would keep visiting this site for more such informational posts. Thank you.

  41. jamespit

    thanks to know me about the real meaning of tagging.i always use but i don’t what is the real meaning behind it.

  42. nancy

    yeah its true.. nice article for seo beginners. I am also new to SEO. But i have read an article on this matter, here it really helps me.

    • nancy

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  43. David

    Very helpful article. Thanks. I was reading this also regarding regarding blogging mistakes:

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  45. Tracy Kaler

    I had no idea. Thank you for sharing this info. I am going to work on cleaning up my tags!

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  48. Akalya

    Awesome interview of Elle! Worth spending time on reading this article.