tagsTagging is the human practice of labelling or associating a word with something else in order to describe it.

On the Internet, you can find a lot of examples of tagging. Blog post can have some tags (also called labels if you are using blogger.com) associated with it (see below you’ll see the tags for this post), with Gmail you can tag your emails, on YouTube.com videos can have tags, on flickr.com pictures can be tagged, on Amazon.com books are tagged (e.g. adventure novel, self-help), on Twitter hashtag is a form of tagging, and the social bookmarking website Delicious.com provided a way for its users to add tags to their bookmarks (as a way to help find them later).

On the Internet, tagging is done with the purpose of helping people find your web content more easily. Tags help the search engines and the social bookmarking sites to know what your content is about. If you are not tagging your web contents (blog post, images, or videos) you are not helping people to find them. In this sense tagging your web contents is essential for web traffic generation and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

However, tagging has to be done in a clever and systematic way.

Tags can be compared to roads, highways or super highways. That is, all tags are not equal. You need to find out which tags are appropriate for your content. Appropriate tags are those that accurately describe your content, and most importantly, they are tags that are popular. Popular means there is an extensive usage of these tags. Popular means those tags yare being used by a lot of people and there are more people searching for web contents having those tags. Clever tagging and social bookmarking is like to putting your real-estate on a busy road.

So how do you choose the appropriate tags for your web content?

I would call that tag research, which is similar to keyword research.

Here is how you would do tag research in 4 steps:

  1. Take a notepad, and then go to Technorati and browse the list of most popular blog tags, noting tags that are relevant to your website.
  2. Go to Delicious.com with the above list make a search on those tags and look on the right and find the related tags, make note of them.
  3. Then go to other related blogs and find out which tags they are using.
  4. When you have a list of of 20 to 30 relevant tags, go back to your website and start to tag to your blog post or include those tags in your next post.

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