If you're writing on something like Wattpad or Radish Fiction, you'll see various ways to search for stories.
One of the most popular ways, outside of going straight into a specific category, is searching for books through tags.
Tags are another way for readers to discover books, and if you utilize them correctly, it's an easy way to gain new reads and followers.
Before you publish a new book, if I'm not mistaken, Wattpad makes you add at least one tag before you're allowed to publish it. I don't think you can publish a book without adding at least one tag, but I may be wrong, don't quote me.
Anyway, in doing that, they also suggest you have at least five tags to your story so that it can garner exposure. I'm not sure what the max number is for how many tags you can have (20, I think), but I know that tagging your story with tags that actually related to the content inside your book is another important step for getting yourself noticed/getting reads and eventually followers.
Take one of my books, for example:
My Sexy One Shots series is a collection of short steamy stories that are pretty much about everything. I write LGBTQ+ characters (hence boyxboy, gay, bisexual, lesbian tags), I write about different types of kink (hence the kink, BDSM tag) and various other things which relate to my one-shots stories.
The main point that you need to know/use/remember when it comes to tags is that you need to only use the tags for which are appropriate for your story.
If you have a cliche ceo/secretary book, having tags like 'vampire, fantasy, poetry' is obviously going to be useless. It's also annoying for the readers as well because who the hell wants to read about a cliche ceo novel when they were trying to look for a good poetry book?
Using the right tags helps to bring in readers who are looking for your stories, or stories similar to yours.
If you're using tags that have nothing to do with what your book is about, you're pretty much bringing in the wrong crowd, and at the end of the day, your book probably won't get read all the way through.
Plus, if you're using the wrong tags or are using popular tags just to get clout and sneakily bring in new reads, it ultimately is still going to fail in the end because you're missing out on all the views that you could be getting if you were actually using the right tags that related to your story.
SO TAG IT RIGHT!
If you're going to be one of those people who hop on tags that are popular (thinking it'll get you quick reads) but the tags don't relate to your book (ex. using tags like annatodd, harrystyles) know that you're just wasting everyone's time lol
Yeah, you might have gotten the chance to have your book listed alongside books that have a lot of views, but if your story isn't about what the person was looking for (ex. harrystyles) once they figure that out, they're not gonna read your book. So why even bother using tags that don't relate to your story?
I know recently Wattpad has upgraded how tags work, so now instead of your book ranking in a certain category, for example, your romance novel which is under the genre romance, if you happened to get a lot of consistent reads going on, your book may rank in the top 100 of that specific genre.
Now, Wattpad has changed things around.
Instead of ranking in one category, with the help of tags you now have the chance to rank in the various tags you use; for example, you use tags like billionaire ceo erotica and others on your romance novel, you still get consistent enough reads to rank, but instead of ranking in that specific genre of romance, you now rank in the various tags.
So, this means your book may be listed number 10 in the billionaire tag out of the millions of other books under the tag, or you might be listed 223 in ceo out of the other x amount listed in that tag. And so on and so forth.
I've seen the response to this new change in tags and a lot of people don't really like how the tagging system is now. It does have its benefits by getting your book more exposure, but I also can see the downside where people can abuse it and it also makes searching for books a little more difficult because if you're looking for a vampire fic in the vampire tag, there can now be tons of books that aren't related to vampires but are just using that tag to get new reads and blah blah. So yeah. It's a good change but its also a mess at the same time, low-key.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Figure out what your story is about and what will be going on in the story (love, romance, action, betrayal) and use the opportunity of tags to your advantage because even in 2019, people still search for stories via tags on Wattpad, so you do have a chance of being noticed.
side note: when it comes to using tags, make things singular (vampire) not plural (vampires) and don't add hashtags or commas to a word