How tagging content can make your blog/website better

Attaching tags to each content asset, article or post does very little for the SEO (search engine optimization) of any singular article on a B2B blog or website. Used properly, however, content tagging makes your blog or website much better.

When implemented as a tertiary level navigation alternative, content tags can generate high-relevance, well-optimized landing pages of aggregated content.  Tags in most content management systems (CMS) are also a great way to manage content syndication.

The SEO Value of Tags

Content Tagging ExampleThe SEO value of tags (as well as categories) is not in the association of keywords with a particular article or content asset (as many believe), but instead in the aggregated content that appears on the tag/category page that most CMS platforms generate automatically.

If you have lots of relevant content in the headers and article excerpts, the tag/category page will sometimes rank better against certain keyword phrases than any one article that’s listed on that page.  That, of course, depends quite a bit on how well those titles and excerpts are written to align with natural search query language of your prospects.

Using Tags to Manage Content Syndication

The other use of tags is to generate RSS feeds of subsets of your content to be merchandized and syndicated elsewhere.  We have clients who use tags to publish customized content RSS feeds for each of their major syndication partners, allowing them quite a bit of control over what content gets pushed out to each syndicating site’s incoming content feed.

Using Tags as a Navigation Interface

From a user navigation perspective, tags are usually the third or fourth option for a user to find content they’re looking for (after categories, search boxes, and ‘related’ links).  So in most cases, you’re probably not going to see a significant improvement in usability or user engagement by investing heavily in tagging strategy and implementation.

With that said, making your tagging better often boils down to treating them as tertiary categories that aren’t explicitly included in your top level categories, but are still higher order needs/pains of your target audience.  It’s not really about buzzy keywords or phrases you want to rank for, but about needs/pains your target is trying to find useful information about.  So using their own natural language is better, and using more descriptive phrases (3-5 words instead of 1-2) is usually better too.

How do you use tags on your blog or website? Are you measuring their impact on usability or SEO? What do you see?

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