The Web and Net Approach to Tags

Brad Nix posed this question in a comment on the post about Post Tags as Signal Flares.

“I would like to see a post about the best practices for tagging articles in a real estate blog. Is it best to tag with geographic locations, pick your 10 best keywords and make those your tags or go free form and make it up per post? Would love to read your thoughts and maybe some examples as to what you think works best.”

My Response:

Brad, I use a Web or Net approach. Not as in the internet or world wide web, but as a spider or a fisherman. I’ve covered most of this scattered all around the Lab. I’ll pull it together and create a post tomorrow or the next day. Here is a teaser for you. I do all of the ones you mentioned as a complete strategy for tagging my RE blogs.

It turned out to be the next week.

Some of this has already been covered in the post mentioned at the top and in the post on setting up the All-in-One-SEO plugin.   But I’ll go over each area briefly to tie them all together here in a quick easy read on using tags in an RE blog.

Geographic tags

Not the same as goe tags, Geographic tags are street addresses, where they exist.   In some parts of the country there is an address for almost every place.   Here in the desert Southwest there is a lot of land without an address that goes beyond “desert”.

There are two reasons why I use geographic tags.

First, My blog feeds are picked up by Outside.in.   They like post where there is a physical address to identify the post content with a location.   Your posts will be indexed and added to an outside in map very quickly if you have a physical address tag associated with the post.

Second, as your blog matures and you keep adding more and more content, you will find your site become an “authority” site for your local area.   The smaller the area the quicker you can build authority.   I’m now at the point 2 1/2 years into blogging where I can rank for almost any location I write a post about.

The same is true for National events which are held locally.   I’ve written about the Accenture Match Play every year it has been in Tucson.   It is here this week and posts I’ve written for each year’s event rank in Google and show up on page 1 for various search terms.   You will be amazed at what you will eventually rank for as you continue to add new content to your blog.   It is a very good idea to add those tags in the very beginning.   In a couple of years you will be very pleased with the ranking you get for search terms associated with those early posts and taking the time to add Geographic and physical address tags.

These tags can be either title tags or post tags.   For the physical addresses those are post tags, for Event names those are title tags.   If there is more than one event in a post each becomes an h3 header tag.

Pick Your 10 Best Keywords

Not necessarily 10 but the best keywords for your site and business are what I turn into my categories.   They are also in my meta tag keyword description set up in the All-In-One SEO plugin.   By putting those best keywords there you get them on the homepage and each post is assigned to at least one of those keywords as a category under which the post is filed.

There are two pieces to this:

  1. Custom Permalink structure /%category%/%postname%/
  2. Best Keywords as Categories

Those two work together to provide a keyword rich placement for your posts.

Free Form Tags

These are the 2 to 4 post tags which are most descriptive of the individual post and those which create the widest part of your web and net approach to tags.   They are tags using a keyword phrase in the post, either the title, h3 header, or important phrase.   This is where the long-tail and quick finds come into play for your blog.   Not specifically targeted but working in general to gather traffic from searches.

A good plugin tool for this is the Get Tag Suggestions plugin

The best example I can give you of how all this works together is the Tucson Real Estate blog.

Combining these types of tags along with your Meta tags, Title tags, Categories as Keywords, Permalink Structure and Post tags gives you a targeted approach and a net approach.   Two quick examples:

  1. The difference between a rifle (Meta tags, Categories as keywords, Permalink Structure, Title tags) and a shotgun (Post tags, h3 header tags)
  2. The difference between fishing with a net and fishing with a rod and real to target a specific kind of fish you are after.   (First time home buyers, Investors, Relocation, Listing clients, Buyers, etc.)

Since this post has already groown to almost 800 words, there is one more post I’ll write to put all of this information in a single place for an easy reference.   A Quick Reference Guide to Tags.

Comments

  1. Exactly the kind of response I expected from the Lab Rat! Great details of the value of tags and the different strategies for getting them into your blog properly. Thanks Dave

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