Tag Clouds became very popular back in 2004. They were an innovative way to not only create links within your website to help your SEO, but also allow your readers to find the content they were looking for, quickly.
While not as many people are using them today, they are still definitely a beneficial web addition.
Keeping It Basic
When a Tag Cloud is introduced to a website or blog, it creates a whole new visual experience for your readers, creating interest (as long as it’s done properly).
There have been many websites over the years that actually help you create your own unique clouds that come in all shapes, sizes and colors giving you free roam and creative control.
Some of the Problems
While Tag Clouds can work nicely when a small number of keywords are being used, once you begin increasing the number of tags, things can become a bit complicated.
You really need to figure out which areas of your website you truly want to focus on. A Tag Cloud does not necessarily ‘know’ what pages you want to promote the most.
All the Cloud does is pick up on words that have been used the most or the least and then either makes them larger/bolder or smaller/thinner.
Do Tag Clouds Help Your Site?
This is a very good question. It depends on your website preferences. One thing to keep in mind is that more linking does not always necessarily mean better.
Like we mentioned above; it’s important to figure out which tags you really want users to pick up on.
Many people decide to simply categorize their websites instead of using Tag Clouds, as this not only can look much more organized but allows you to pinpoint the areas of your site that you want to promote the most.
Having a bunch of links all over the place can really throw your readers off; not giving them a good feel for what it is your site is all about and causing them to feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to go first.
Simplifying Your Tag Cloud
If you do decide to give a Tag Cloud a try, do your best to not overdo it. Be careful in selecting the words that are going to be displayed.
The smaller the Tag Cloud the better, because you’ll really be able to emphasize the sections of your site that you want people to visit most.
The last thing you want to do is be viewed as someone who is keyword stuffing, because that’s the impression Tag Clouds can give.
Another thing to keep in mind is you do not want to have tags repeating within your Cloud. A lot of the time people will have similar words within their Cloud and while this may seem helpful; it’s actually quite confusing.
Imagine if two of your tags were ‘cat’ and ‘cats’. Let’s say the word ‘cat’ was used more often on your page than the word ‘cats’. This means, on your Tag Cloud, the word ‘cat’ would be much darker and larger than the word ‘cats’.
When people view your Cloud at a glance, this is going to look like a jumble of repetition. Keep the words that are most important to your website and your SEO.
About the Author
This guest post was written by Nick. He rarely uses tag clouds on websites but his work with his web design ct company often brings him design projects where tag clouds can add to the overall usability of the website.