Should you use Hashtags in your #Blog Content Title?

Blank sheet Hashtag by rawpixel with embed by Yourschantz CC0 Public Domain

Hash­tags help peo­ple find infor­ma­tion on spe­cif­ic top­ics on Social Media. They are wide­ly used on Twit­ter, with mod­er­a­tion on Face­book, and on oth­er social media sites. Think about any sub­ject and there is prob­a­bly a hash­tag (or six) for it. There are also some very stu­pid tags, which should most­ly be avoided. 

      Most peo­ple are famil­iar with those that are impor­tant in their life, because they have seen them so many times before.

Using Hashtags

Hashtags by Ariapsa CC0 Public Domain from PixabayThere are tons of hash­tags out there. You, cre­ate, or use, them for any top­ic at any time. But, when using them it is best to use exist­ing, pop­u­lar tags, the ones peo­ple search for every day — even if they are not an exact match. Those pop­u­lar tags bring vis­i­tors to your site.
      It is wrong to pub­lish a post talk­ing about the tal­ents of a young col­lege foot­ball play­er and use the tag #super­bowl. #Orange­bowl is clos­er, but again ques­tion­able. #Sport­ing­tal­ent or #sport­stal­ent are bet­ter. They work best as sub­ject keys and your post must fit the gen­er­al theme.
      Pub­lish­ing a recipe for Monk­fish Ragout in Ver­mouth you may find sev­er­al pos­si­ble tags. These include #fish, and #recipe at a min­i­mum. If your post is for first time buy­ers then the tag #firsthome may be appro­pri­ate. You may also find some com­bined tags like #firsthome­first­meal also right in cer­tain circumstances.

The Right Tag?

Pick­ing the right tag is vital. There is a tag #writ­ing, but the more pop­u­lar tag is the action tag #amwrit­ing. But remem­ber the #amwrit­ing tag real­ly applies to peo­ple who are writ­ing about the process, or skill, of writ­ing. If your post is about plumb­ing, elec­tri­cal wiring, or anoth­er sub­ject then that tag is not applicable.
      Your blog post was pro­duced by the act of writ­ing. But, that is not what it is about. You wrote it, but that is not appro­pri­ate to the read­er nor to the tags you use for pub­lic­i­ty. You could tell peo­ple “#amwrit­ing my next blog post, will tell you more soon”. This may be of inter­est to oth­er writ­ers you con­nect with. They could wish you well.


Google and HashtagsRecent­ly Google has updat­ed their search engine code to ampli­fy the vis­i­bil­i­ty of hash­tags in organ­ic search results. Because of the Google Plus social net­work they have realised the val­ue and demand for use of the sym­bolSearch Google using a hash­tag and it will often find recent pop­u­lar posts on social sites as well as relat­ed websites.
      That said, Google changes every few months how they han­dle social media posts with­in search results. The chal­lenge here is shear vol­ume of activ­i­ty that the search engine must sort through. If you want to search for some­thing pub­lished on a social site their own search will prob­a­bly pro­vide bet­ter results. The Twit­ter and Face­book search engines are very good at iden­ti­fy­ing top­ics pub­lished on their sites. On Twit­ter sim­ply click on the tag to find relat­ed mate­r­i­al. These search­es are very effec­tive at find­ing recent posts relat­ed to hash­tags. I use these search­es fre­quent­ly when look­ing for material.

Latest Trend

Accord­ing to Red Crow Mar­ket­ing “#Hash­tags now go beyond being used only for dis­cov­er­ing the lat­est trend­ing top­ics. They can now add val­ue to your #SEO… and, by using them prop­er­ly on social media, you can dri­ve long-term, steady refer­ral traf­fic back to your site.”
      When peo­ple search for a pop­u­lar sub­ject they will also see results for the most rel­e­vant hash­tags along­side oth­er search results. Many peo­ple are now start­ing their search­es by enter­ing a hashtag.

The Power of Twitter Search

Twitter BirdDid you know the world’s sec­ond most pop­u­lar search engine is Twit­ter? Of course what you will find on Twitter’s search result are a list of Tweets, those lead to web pages. The major­i­ty of the web pages found on Twit­ter search­es are blog pages, so it is a great way to bring prospec­tive read­ers to your site, pro­vid­ed you are tunes into the right hashtag.
      But they are not lim­it­ed to Twit­ter. All the pri­ma­ry social sites recog­nise hash­tags in their search­es. On social media using hash­tags helps increase traf­fic and sub­scribers. There can be lit­tle doubt about that.

Headlines and Post Titles?

The case for includ­ing them seems to be that with the var­i­ous auto-pub­li­cise facil­i­ties that exist today. Not sim­ply Word­Press, Blog­ger, or who­ev­er your provider is, but oth­er tools that oper­ate from your RSS feed. IFTTT is one exam­ple where the pub­li­ca­tion of your blog post can gen­er­ate one or many actions. There are many others.
      By putting the hash­tag in the title of the blog post, usage will not be forgotten.

Pro Usage…

“You put appro­pri­ate hash­tags into your title, hey presto! There they are in the ready gen­er­at­ed tweet, so any­body look­ing at the hash­tagged sub­jects you’ve cho­sen will see the tweet, and hope­ful­ly come to take a look at your blog post.” ~ Deb­o­rah Jay on The Write Stuff.
      The case for using hash­tags in your post title is found­ed in the poten­tial expo­sure through social media search­es. It is auto­mat­i­cal­ly includ­ed in the social post. The peo­ple see­ing the post is not lim­it­ed to those fol­low­ing you, but includes any­one search­ing the sub­ject through their social chan­nels. By includ­ing the hash­tag in your blog posts title short­cuts the process, there is no search­ing for room to use the tag.
      Hash­tags in a post title allow users to get a quick overview of what your post is all about. They know what they are look­ing for. Be spe­cif­ic the ones you use

Against Usage…

Using Hash­tags indi­cates that you focus sole­ly on social media as your pub­lic­i­ty chan­nel. In the­o­ry that is true, but Google is pay­ing atten­tion nowadays.
      Hash­tags are ugly. They glare at you as if some­thing is wrong. They stand-out shout­ing their ugli­ness! Arguably, they STOP the user from read­ing eas­i­ly. Espe­cial­ly true when a large num­ber are used in a post or man­u­fac­tured tags are used.
      There is a ten­den­cy to over use them. The writer thinks one will not be enough. The rule is “one or two only”. Don’t use hash­tags that peo­ple will not under­stand at first glance. just because it is obvi­ous to you doesn’t make it obvi­ous to everyone.
      Don’t use Hash­tags on every­thing. Once you get used to using them peo­ple look for ways to auto­mate their usage.


Nike SwooshThe one you use must be rel­e­vant, but unbrand­ed, hash­tags. Com­pa­nies have been quick to under­stand the brand­ing poten­tial that hash­tags have. There are so many exam­ples of their use. They use tools today to analyse hash­tag trends and under­stand which one offer them great­est advantage.
      For exam­ple, #just­doit, is clear­ly asso­ci­at­ed with sports­wear man­u­fac­tur­er Nike. The sen­ti­ment is an ami­ca­ble one, and may peo­ple have been encour­aged to get on and do some­thing in their life. How­ev­er that hash­tag is clear­ly brand relat­ed and should be avoid­ed for that reason.
      Cor­po­ra­tions are always look­ing at new ways to pro­mote their brands. Blog­gers also need to look at new ways to show­case their work. There will be some­where near 500 mil­lion pages of blog con­tent pub­lished today, but yours needs to stand out. Blog­gers need to under­stand brand­ing and use of Hash­tags can help in doing that.

Only if it Fits…

Hash­tags serve to make your con­tent dis­cov­er­able to a wide audi­ence. The truth is, not every­thing you pro­duce is going to fit into that cat­e­go­ry.” Warns Evan LeP­age, on the Hoot­Suite Blog. Even if your blog is about fish­ing that tag is not appro­pri­ate for every post you write. If you are talk­ing about fish stocks in a par­tic­u­lar riv­er then local hash­tags may be more appropriate.
      Stop, think. Remem­ber, I just said hash­tags are ugly. They can give an impres­sion that you are a tech­no-freak. The type of per­son who is dri­ven by gad­gets. That may not be the impres­sion you wish to give.

A Fad or Forever?

Does it work or is it just anoth­er fad? This is a valid ques­tion. We all know that fads tend to fade fast!
      It is not pos­si­ble to say that hash­tags are here for­ev­er. For­ev­er is a long time. They will how­ev­er be a part of our life for the dis­cernible future. TV news broad­casts have used them when report­ing sto­ries. They are like­ly to be used until anoth­er, bet­ter, con­cept comes along to replace them.
      There is no doubt hash­tags work. They pro­vide expo­sure on social media, they also pro­vide expo­sure on search engines. They are not a fad. But I do cau­tion against overuse.

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If you like this post then make a dona­tion to the upkeep of Gob­blede­Goox . #Fol­low Peter on Twit­ter. What are your thoughts on using Hash­tags? Some­thing to con­tribute? Please leave a com­ment. The images here were either cre­at­ed or owned by Peter Giblett or have been sourced from a pub­lic domain loca­tion, such as Pixabay.
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