Did you know that you can miss opportunities to grow your art business by not having (and using) a clear strategy for you blog categories and tags?
Using strategic, well thought out categories and tags on your blog will go a long way towards helping the search engines find you and your content, and they will help viewers (like gallery owners, collectors, etc.) get to your blog and find what they need once they get there.
Here are some tips to get you started. If you need help, of course, just ask:
What's the Diff Between Categories and Tags?
Think of your blog as if it were a book. The categories are your table of contents, and the tags are your index.
The table of contents covers the main sections and topics of your blog. The index is much more extensive and includes a lot more specific information. I'll use a food blog as an example. I don't want to use an art blog as an example because I don't want you to just use what I suggest, I want you to think about what works for YOUR blog. It will be different for everyone.
Categories (like a table of contents) are broader, like entrees, desserts, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, cooking techniques, definitions, resources for cooking. Categories are the main topics you address on your blog. Include all your your main topics, and try to be concise and keep the total number as low as possible, so it doesn't get unwieldy.
Tags (like an index) are more specific, like chicken, brownies, scrambled eggs, potatoes, granola bars. Tags are specific and address items you discuss in your blog posts. Use one or two words only for each tag. They should reflect the keywords or points of your article. Use as many tags as make sense, although less is more when possible.
Tips for SEO for Blogs
Search engines love blogs. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) just means setting up your blog (and website) to make it easier for the search engines to find and list you.
The suggestions here are general, and I know I'll hear from readers about all the online tools to research what words people use in their searches. They are not included here, but use them if you have the expertise and time. Again, first I want you to think about your art and decide on what terms best describe you and your art. It's not about what's popular, it's about what works for YOU.
- Choose words that are the terms people might use when searching for you and your art. If someone were looking for your art, what words describe it best? Imagine a collector, a gallery owner, and anyone else who might buy your art. What are they looking for?
- Do not duplicate tags and categories. This applies to synonyms also (Google understands similar phrases and will consider them duplicate content - bad). This is essential.
- Be consistent so tags and categories don't get out of control. A well-organized blog actually adds to the usability of your blog/website and makes it easier for your visitors to quickly find what they're looking for. Don't forget to train anyone you have helping you to use them the same way you do.
- Minimize "link bleeding." Each page starts with what's called "100% of link value." That value is divided up between the links on the page. Minimize links to worthless pages like your Contact page and About page. The best links are links to relevant content.
- Use widgets judiciously, they can dilute link values. (Widgets are those small software applications with limited functionality that, for example, show your recent Twitter and Facebook posts.)
- The category and tag links listed at the top or bottom of the post will help increase relevancy of the post (better ranking). If you are doing well, you will see your category and tag pages/posts doing better than other pages on the site.
- Pages that change content often (like a blog) are good. They provoke the search engines to crawl them more often.
- Apply your tags and categories in every blog post. It's a good thing.
If you are setting up a new blog, write out your categories and tags before you start posting, and decide on how you will use them consistently.
If you have a blog and want to update your categories and tags, study your categories and tags and see if they meet the above criteria. Rework if necessary, especially eliminating duplicates. Update your old posts or just use the new strategy moving forward.
Need some help? Sign up for a $75 one-hour brainstorming session, so we can go through your blog and strategize your categories and tags.
Related article on opportunities:
A.C.T. Featured Artists: How Professional Artists Create Opportunities