How To Pick Your Primary Tags

Originally posted on SquidU Forum as The Importance of Primary Tags.
This post was published on April 21st, 2008 and updated on July 23rd, 2009.

The Primary Tag is the first tag you are asked to define when creating your new lens, and it is an often misunderstood and poorly utilised by many Lensmasters. Admittedly, it doesn’t seem do a whole lot, but there are some important points you should know.

Over half of the lenses on Squidoo have poorly chosen Primary Tags!

It is important for Lensmasters to choose good keywords for their Primary Tag, as it can have a significant effect on the ranking of the lens. Every appearance of the Primary Tag on your lens adds weight to that key phrase on your lens, as well as creating a relevant link from the tag page.

More importantly (and relatively recently), the tag page gives priority to lenses that use that tag as their Primary Tag, listing them before all of the other lenses. This means that for one well chosen tag, your lens will get the prime spot on the tag page.

There is also the lens directory here at SquidUtils, which automatically collates lenses by Primary Tag. Only those tags that have 3 or more good lenses under them will be featured, so there’s another reason to pick yours carefully.

Here are some tips to help you pick the right keywords:

1. Your Primary Tag wants to be the most important key phrase that you can think of. For example, if your lens is about a person or a product, stick to just their name.

2. Keep your tag to just 2 or 3 words, where possible. One word is not always specific enough (unless the subject is a strong brand like Pepsi), and more than 3 words can sometimes be too specific. Of course, it does depend on your subject matter.

3. Don’t simply repeat your Lens title again (even though this is the default when building a lens). Your title should include as many keywords as you can sensibly fit (no keyword stuffing!), while your Primary Tag is about your key phrase.

4. Format your Primary Tag nicely – keep it Capitalised, spelt correctly (!) and don’t include any special characters or quotes (“). Use spaces between words, and not dashes or underscores.

5. Pick a Primary Tag which is popular, i.e. people will be likely to be searching for it and other lenses are might also have the same Primary Tag (but not too popular).

If you have Firefox then the Lens Workshop Addon will highlight the tags in the workshop based on their popularity. Avoid any tags that are highlighted in red, as no other lenses use them.

6. Group related lenses under the same Primary Tag – this creates strong links between them, and helps them all to rank well for the target key phrase.

Here are some (random) examples of good Primary Tags:

» Harry Potter
» Xbox 360
» Dog Training
» Digital Photography

Bad examples:

» The Whole Lens Title Again
Kee Frase Speled Wong
» “Phrase in Quotes”

Once you’ve got your Primary Tag picked out, you will then need to think of some good keywords for the other, ordinary tags. Start with the Primary Tag, and then think of variations from there. The regular tags can be shorter or longer, but you should keep them as relevant to the lens content as possible. Single word tags tend to have poor relevance, but good PageRank. Avoid tags that are runtogetherwords, unless they are commonly used, e.g. videogames.

Happy tagging…

Related posts:

  1. Making the Most of Squidoo Tags
  2. Relevance is Key!
  3. SquidUtils Directory – Showcasing YOUR Lenses
  4. 4 Out Of 5 Lenses Have Poor Health!
  5. Improved Tag Pages at Squidoo