In the search for extra terrestrial life, NASA uses a “follow the water” strategy while in creating a sound search result on the Internet, Google uses a “follow the links” strategy. When links from one page link-through to a separate page with related content, Google notes that as being a plus for visitors who are searching with keywords related to that content. The big win is when your anchor text (the clickable words of the link) indicates its relevance by including a keyword.
Tags aren’t just for counting animals
So consider the humble WordPress tag; it’s not anywhere near as high and mighty as a category…and try as you might you’ll never attach one to an elephant’s ear. Clients are always asking us, “Tags? What are they good for?” The obvious answer is that they’re good for helping visitors find related content. When you create a tag for a post, or add an existing tag to a post, you create a link that appears at the bottom of the post—a link that returns a dynamic page of all posts that share that specific link.
SEO magic with tags
So what would happen if you combine all this knowledge and use your related keywords as part of the tag? It turns out, you get a bit of search-engine alchemy or Google gold as we like to say. Let’s look at an example tag from a fictitious website that we’ll call sirchmama.com. Oddly enough, sirchmama.com’s content is all about lemmings. If you want to know about lemmings, you go to sirchmama.com. (Aside: sirchmama.com would have done far better had they first come to AIM for help in creating their brand…but I digress.) So say you have several posts concerning the hotly debated topic of the migratory habits of lemmings. If we’ve done our homework, we’ll discover that the top search keyword related to this topic is neither “cliff-diving” nor “suicide hotline” but, in fact, “lemming migration”.
Now lemming ears are quite tiny, of course, and you wouldn’t want to tag them per se to study lemming migration. But on a WordPress blog such as sirchmama.com, you can easily add the tag “lemming migration” to each of the posts that deal with this dramatic topic. Doing so will provide visitors with in-depth knowledge of why lemmings migrate to the sea (hint: it has something to do with Superman) and it provides Google (and those other search engines who’s names escape me at the moment) with the perfect reason to direct lemming enthusiasts to sirchmama.com.
I hope you were taking notes, but if not, please feel free to leave a comment to let us know how you feel about tags, or for that matter, about lemmings.