Wait! Don't push that publish button without tagging! Properly manicuring and setting up your blog posts can help you win the race to the top of the Google search list. I know what you're thinking: tags, categories, social bookmarks... it's all a blur and can be confusing to figure out what should be a category and what should be a tag but hopefully this post will help.
Think of your entire blog like a book. How is a reader going to be able to find the information they need? How can they search for a blog in your archives if they are looking for specific information? If you organize your blog like a book, your categories would be its table of contents, and your tags would be the index.
Categories are used as a structural way of organizing your blog -- they reflect the content and the topic. For example, this post would fall under our blogging category because it is specifically about one aspect of blogging. So if users wanted to know more about blogging in general, they could check the posts under the blogging category and find many different posts that will help!
Tags, on the other hand, are a non-structured way of organizing your blog. They should be labeled in a non-linear, conversational way. The best way to describe it would be to tag as if you were recapping a conversation. Someone asks... "How was your lunch with so and so? What did you talk about?" Well, we talked about this, this and this. All those topics of conversation should be tags on your blog entry.
You should also tag any proper nouns you used in your blog. For example if you mention the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in a blog, or the fact that it is World Health Day, or even if you went to Cool Beans Coffee Shop... those should all be listed as tags.
Tagging is how Google finds blogs, posts and news that are pertinent to a specific search term. It searches the web looking for the information you have typed in; tags are like a red alert -a little flag that says, "Here I am! Ooh! Ooh! Pick me!"
That being said, the closer your tags are to popular Google search terms, the easier it will be for Google to find your blog. You will make an even bigger Google impact if you link certain search terms to other pages on your site.
Tagging is important, but don't go crazy! Google will penalize you for using too many tags, or tags that are not applicable to your content just to gain better SEO. How? By ranking you lower in their search rankings. So tag, but don't over-tag.
Still not sure on what to tag? Try using Google Insights to find the best search terms. Google Insights compares the popularity of certain search terms to others so that you can choose the best, most popular ones. For example, if you're writing a blog about cardiovascular disease, Google Insights can tell you whether more people search "heart disease" or "cardiovascular disease" - or even that most people search "heart attack."
Here is a best practices short list:
- Make tags short and simple.
- Use lower case.
- Be consistent throughout your blogs.
- Use nouns.
- Don't not use abbreviations unless they are a branded term.
- Tag proper nouns.
- Tag concepts like time management.
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