How to use the WordPress More Tag and what are its benefits?
Have you ever glanced through all those icons and buttons above the text box where you write your awesome blog posts and articles? Ever wonder what they all do? Feel a little intimated to give them a click? Well, let me tell you about one of my favorite little icons up there called the More Tag.
This button looks like a page with about the top third of it cut off and someone slide a dotted line between the pieces. This is the More Tag and should become a very good friend of yours. Why? Because of its benefits for search engine optimization, blog organization, and overall giving your visitors a better experiences.
Using the More Tag in WordPress
The More Tag lets you choose where to limit the text that is displayed on the home page and post feed pages such as Search, Archive, Category Pages and so on. Everyone’s method of using the More Tag may be different but I will tell you how I use it.
Once I have written and proofread (the best I can) my blog post, I decide how much text I want to display on the homepage. Typically, I want to offer enough information to interest the reader but I still want to encourage them to read the rest of the article by clicking on the ‘Continue Reading’ link to display the entire blog post and comments.
More Tag Benefits and Reasons To Use
This tag has many great benefits and my favorite is that it reduces the amount of text that is displayed on the homepage at one time. With less text, it becomes visually attractive and encourages your visitors to scroll farther down your homepage scanning your latest blog posts looking for one the sparks their interest. The last thing you want to do is drive your visitors away because they have become lost in so much text.
More Tag will improve with your search engine optimization (SEO). This benefit alone is more than worth a valid reason to use this feature. This is something I could talk all day about so I decided to write a short summary list of reason WHY to use the More Tag.
- Prevent Duplicate Content: Search Engines like Google don’t particularly like duplicate information within the same blog. If you have 10 full blog posts listed on your homepage then each of those posts have their own page, it will appear to have several duplicate pages. If you have 10 excerpts lined down your page, Google will not confuse two pages for having the same content.
- No Long Homepage: A homepage with 10 full blog posts can really produce a lot of text on a single page which is something search engines do not like. For a blog post with a single topic wouldn’t be problem but squeezing 10 long posts is total over kill.
- Help Google: This is a similar issue to duplicate content. Google will crawl your blog and index your posts into there virtual world of searching awesomeness. It’s your goal to make that as easy as possible by clearly defining which pages you want indexed for which keywords and phrases. If your homepage has all of the same content and keywords as your post pages, you may miss out on the opportunity to have more pages indexed by Google. Since your homepage changes with each new post, you do not want your homepage indexed for a specific keyword in a post that will eventually be moved off your homepage and placed into your archive.
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WordPress Excerpt Plugins
There are WordPress plugins that can generate excerpts for your posts automatically. There are also some themes that support excerpts by default. However, I strongly suggest manually using the More Tag you specifically choose exactly where to limit your excerpt rather than picking a character limit that will never seem to be just right for your readers.