What are tags?
Tags are a way of categorizing. They’re used for blogs, pictures, social bookmarking, articles, and more. Instead of the traditional categories, tags allow you to create categories “on the fly”. They’re then grouped together in a tag cloud, with the most popular tags in a larger font.
Using tags for the most exposure.
Tags give you a lot of freedom and they’re easy to use. Choosing the right tags can sometimes be a little more difficult. If somebody is looking for specific information on, say, blogging tips, they might look under the tag, “blog”. But you tagged your blog, “blogging tips” and your blog won’t be found.
A good strategy when it comes to tagging is to first see what tags people are currently using to help choose the ones to place.
Let’s say I want to find some tags for my blog about blogging tips. I can check out a tag cloud on sites like www.technorati.com or www.bloggerparty.com and see that “blog” is getting a lot of tags and use that. I can also use “blogging,” and “weblog,” since they’ve already been tagged, too, but try to avoid using the same words. Tagging one thing as “blog,” “blogs,” and “weblog” is too much. Pick one and stick with it.
I can start some of my own, though, and include “blogging tips” there.
Keeping it simple is important.
Using your own tags to categorize your blog entries.
You can also use tags as a way to categorize your blog entries, though. Let’s say you write primarily about 3 different subjects: movies, books, and personal thoughts. Instead of using categories, use specific tags for each subject. Most blogging platforms will then allow you to view blog entries by tags, thus giving them their own category.
More tagging tips.
Using simple, one to two word tags are best. If you create a complicated tag, it’s less likely to be found.
When tagging a person’s name, a title, or a TV show, though, use the full name or most popular name. “American Idol” and “Orson Scott Card” are good examples of this.
Be consistent. For the same type of topics, use the same tags rather than changing them around. If you use “blog,” dont switch it to “weblog”.