First, download the Strictly Auto Tags plugin.
You can do a lot to get started with the free plugin on WordPress. But, if you really want to manage your tags better, and maintain them, the paid plugin gives extra features and options. Please donate, even if you use the free plugin. Plugin developers need love (and coffee) too.
Second, read this guide to using the plugin from Rob, the creator of the plugin (and a list of others which you can find on his site, Strictly Software).
There are 2 main uses for it.
1. With Auto Discovery ON. This is where it is ideal for news sites as it will find new people, names, companies, institutions etc without using lookup lists. So if I got famous over night and an article was imported about me I would be found without some other sites list being updated e.g 3rd party API’s (as the other tagging plugins use APIS to send data over and get tag suggestions back and would have to wait for my name to be added to the list).
So for discovering new names e.g two or more capitalised words like Robert Reid or acronyms like CIA. Then the auto discovery is good for finding NEW possibilities for words to be used as tags.
2. You can always use it with Auto Discovery OFF. If you have a massive tag list you have built up already and just want to re-tag posts then that’s great. It will just use your existing tags as options.
Obviously you can use it with both options on and see if it finds any new tags worth using. That is your choice.
Always use the example in the readme.txt as a test to ensure it works.
Always read the debugging steps in the readme.txt file to see if it is a bug or you not setting something up or expecting it to do something it isn’t set up to do.
Also if you write your own material I would always save as a draft first, see which tags it has put in, then remove those I don’t want, add those I do before publishing etc. The quality of the tags will always depend on what material you are writing about, stored existing tags that are in that article, and any new words the plugin can find.
I used Strictly Auto Tags, the free version, to re-tag my blog after removing every tag about 2 years ago. I had gotten frustrated with the clutter of tags which repeated each other in slightly different ways and it was a big mess when I wanted to tag a post and had too many options or nothing at all. Anyway, Strictly Auto Tags is great.
How I used the plugin on my own blog
Start by using Discovery to re-tag (especially if you are starting from scratch as I did). Then, go through and edit, revise, add, etc, the tag words which the plugin discovered and added for you. There will be a lot of them but I found none were too extreme or completely off the mark. Most I did delete or revise (making phrases one word or changing a word down to the singular rather than the plural). I kind of enjoyed working on all those tag words. I had forgotten so much about my own site and things I wrote about in the past. I made notes for future blog posts based on the tags discovered by Strictly Auto Tags.
Keep your tags working and sorted out by using the auto tags without Discovery on. Once your tags are set the plugin will tag your new posts with the existing tags. As Rob wrote, save your post to draft first and check which tags will be added. This is when you can edit them if you don’t want a tag or want to add a new tag.
Purchasing the full version for more features and to see what else I can do with my tags now that they are working so well again
Tagging was such a chore for me before that I am going to get the paid version of Rob’s Strictly Auto Tags plugin so I can run it with all the extra features and avoid the tagging problems which caused me to get rid of them all before. I did find tags to be a good thing and I do see that they add to traffic and the chance for my blog posts to be found. So, doing away with tags was a good experiment, but I’m bringing them back now. Very glad to have found a plugin to do a lot of the work for me. Sure, I could have ignored all the past posts and just started tagging from here, but that would bug me. I am a bit all or nothing in that way.