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This site is currently under construction. We are, however, pleased to say that the SMU 102 Digital Copywriting Unit is now open. We've also added Marketing Principles and an Intro to Public Relations. Our Content Marketing Unit is currently in development.

SMU 105 - Session 2: Content keywords, tagging and meta data - what they are and why they're important

World showing words relating to keywords

Purpose/Aim of this session

Keywords, tags, meta data...think of these as signposts to finding your content. You've spent time and effort creating quality, compelling and intriguing content. It's no use, however, if you don't make it as easy to find online as possible - easily discoverable, in other words. 

In this session you will be exploring what keywords and meta tags are - and why they are important in the realm of content marketing. You will also learn why we use them in content marketing. Lastly, you will understand that while keywords and tags share similarities...they are two different things.

Learning Aims for this session:

  • You will develop an understanding of the similarities and differences between keywords, metatags and taxonomies
  • You will develop an understanding of how audience/user-focused keywords, metatags and taxonomies underpin content marketing strategy
  • You will learn the basis for developing meaningful and relevant content keywords, metatags and taxonomies

Learning Outcomes for this session:

At the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of keywords, metatags and taxonomies in relation to content and content marketing
  • Explain the difference between content keywords, metatags and taxonomies - including their different uses and applications
  • Demonstrate a professional approach to researching and planing keywords and metatags
  • Outline an effective approach to embedding the use of audience/user-focused keywords, metatags and taxonomies in developing content

How this Session Works:

  1. Read through the "Session Overview" that accompanies this session. This provides an overall context for the session
  2. Work your way through the items on the "Keywords" section that accompanies this session
  3. Work your way through the items in the "Keywords Research Tools" section that accompanies this session
  4. Work your way through the items in the "Metadata & Metatags" section that accompanies this session
  5. Work your way through the items in the "Creating A Taxonomy" section that accompanies this session
  6. Listen to the lecture materials in the "Lecture" section
  7. Work your way through the scenarios in the "Scenario" section.  Scenarios are practical activities to develop your critical thinking and apply your knowledge to a specific component of CM
  8. Work your way through the template in the "Template" section.  The template will support you as you take the first steps in developing your own content
  9. You can browse through some carefully selected material in the "Reading Room" tab.

SMU 105 Session 2 Study Activities

  • Session Overview
  • Keywords
  • Keyword Research Tools
  • Metadata & Metatags
  • Creating A Taxonomy
  • Lecture
  • Scenarios
  • Template
  • Reading Room

building blocks spelling the word 'word'

We're going to be covering the subject of keywords and meta tags quite a bit from this point onwards in the course. In that spirit, this session is an introductory one. We will be diving much deeper into this subject in the social media, blogging, website building and pay-per-click study units.

At this point in this session, think of keywords and meta tags (also known just as 'tags') as descriptions. They describe our content, no matter what form that content takes. Some of these descriptions are very short - one or two words (e.g. 'Reality TV"). Other times, they are a couple of words, what we refer to as Longtail Keywords (e.g. 'Graphic Designer in Boston'). Again, whether long or short, keywords and tags are typically used to describe and classify content.

Teaching this is difficult due to the constantly evolving practice in keywords and met tags. The way we use them is constantly evolving. Once upon a time, they were important for search engines gauging the relevance of websites. Due to mis-use and staggering abuses, this is no longer the case.

However, we can still use the best of best practice when it comes to keywords and meta tags to improve the chances of our content being discovered online.

A short, troubled history of keywords & meta tags

Meta data and keywords. Some of you may already be familiar with these terms. Much has been written about them and why they are used. The vast majority of articles and blog posts written about these two terms are around the subject of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – improving the discoverability of content and websites online.

If we had our way, Meta Data and Keywords would file for a divorce from SEO.  SEO is kind of like a partner who is a control freak, or a micro manager, or a bully. You know, the kind of partner who tells you what to wear or what to say or what you can eat or how to act. To approach these two terms using the SEO lens limits their true power. It limits the possibilities of what can be achieved through using them. And it limits how we use them and the reasons why we use them.

The real aim of this session is to give you a foundation for developing a keyword and meta tag process that is timeless. By timeless, we mean that your content will continue to get a thumbs up from any search engine regardless of how often or how drastically search engines change their search function algorithms in the future.

If you're familiar with either of these terms, we ask that you forget everything you know or have been told about them.

Let’s start from scratch.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret. We’ve been covering SEO from day one of this course. We haven’t used that phrase specifically, however, we have slowly been building up to it. If you've used what we’ve taught you already, you have been producing SEO-friendly content. Strong clear headlines, strong sub-headings, the reverse-pyramid style of writing, captions, clearly articulated value propositions, clearly stated benefits, addressing your audience’s pain point(s), subject-appropriate images and videos, using your audience’s language  – all of these things improve the discoverability of your brand online. They all improve a brand’s SEO.
Keywords and meta tags are just another level of this process. It really is that simple.

Keywords and meta tags have a fundamentally more important role than achieving great SEO. We use them to categorize existing content – as well as content that we plan to produce or need to produce in the future. This act of categorization is traditionally referred to as taxonomy. And this is what forms the basis of this session. In other words, taxonomy is the process of organizing your content – both current and  future.

Think of it like this. We have a brand library. That library is filled with content:   Blogs,  eNewsletters, Infographics, Podcasts, Print magazines,  Videos, Images, Audio/Music, Web content, Webinars, White Papers, etc. Just like a public library organizes a vast repository of books and information into sections like Romance Fiction, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction, Historical Non-Fiction, Self Help, etc….we need to organize our content into categories and sub-categories that makes sense for our brand messages and the content  that supports those messages.

Using Aardvark Records as an example, our main category sections were: Internal Stakeholders, External Stakeholders (including Investor Relations, B2B Partners & Marketing), News, Industry, Music and Audience Experience (B2C) to name a few.

Taking the category of Music, there were the following sub-categories: Rock, Pop, Electronica. Each sub-category had its own sub-categories based on the genre of music (for example, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Prog Rock, etc).

Each category and sub-category was its own keyword. Each had its own content publishing calendar. This allowed us to organize a staggering library of content that increased weekly.

This taxonomy also allowed my marketing team to:

  • Spot gaps in the overall content library that needed filling (for instance, if there there was a 6 week period where no Aardvark Pop music content had been scheduled for publishing, the Pop music team would assess if there was a 'natural' opportunity to create relevant content in this category for this keyword. Don't force it, however. We don't produce content just to use keywords. You should never produce content if it isn't relevant to your audience's needs. Just note the gap and think of up-coming or future opportunities that would allow you to naturally produce content.)
  • Ensure that we weren’t over-publishing content overall (across all of the categories)
  • Ensure that we weren’t  producing too much content in any one category; in essence, over-filling the shelves in any one particular part of the library
  • Have a seamless roll-out of quality, planned content, across all of the keyword categories in our library
  • Thoroughly plan all of the resources that would be required to produce new content
  • Anticipate the online conversations that would stem from publishing content – and plan for the resources to sustain those conversations online
  • Allowed us to monitor and measure the performance of each content category against other categories of content
  • Enabled the company to better understand what it was publishing online,  why it was publishing and the audience need/requirement that piece of content fulfilled
  • Let everyone on the team see what content was being produced in each category, when it was being produced, why it was being produced and who was responsible for it.
  • Let everyone on the team know where that content was going to be published
  • Enabled each member of the team to see which categories (keywords & tags) were going to be active - and when and where they were going to be active

Keywords and meta tags are about the 'How' and 'Why' of our content: why we’re producing and publishing it in the first place, and how it’s useful and relevant to our audience. Get the How and Why right and SEO will naturally follow.

This approached improved our content marketing process. It improved the quality of the content Aardvark published and shared. It improved the various audience tribes’ engagement with our content and our conversations with these tribes. Which led to great SEO and, in turn, answering our calls-to-action.

Keywords and meta tags serve a larger purpose than SEO. They serve a fundamentally better purpose than subservience to the whims and passing fancies of SEO.  In and of themselves, tags and keywords underpin a strategic approach to organizing your content and your content marketing practices.

Now that we've put keywords and meta tags into a Social Media U approach and content, let's spend some time taking a closer look at keywords...

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OK. We've placed keywords into a SMU-specific context. We've also put them into an industry best practice context. So now let's delve more deeply into what they are and how they work.

What are keywords?

Keywords are descriptive words or phrases that people type into a search engine to find information. When we create brand messages for online audiences, we must use the relevant and appropriate phrases and words our audiences use in their information searches to improve our chances of them finding our brand messages.

In this context, the context of our using keywords, keywords are actually part of the content we're producing. This could mean words and phrases we use in our copy. or blog post titles. Or the titles and written descriptions about content (e.g. video content).

We will deal with keywords for social media in the Social Media study unit. The Blogging study unit will tackle this subject from a blogging-centric viewpoint. The Pay Per Click and Website study units will, again, tackle this subject from their respective viewpoints. The how and why of why we use tags and keywords will be the same for all of these study units. However, the manner in which we use them for each content platform does differ slightly. By this, we mean where you key them in. And how they are used in the various platforms we will be covering in the other study units.

For now, at this point, we want you to focus solely at looking at keywords (also referred to as tags) through the content marketing lens.

The video below is a good, general introduction to the subject. Pay particular attention to the example the speaker gives to his working practice with keywords and Flikr.

Keywords in Context

Let's take an introductory look at keywords we use in copy.This could be copy on your website, your blog, your eNewsletter, YouTube or Vimeo video descriptions and titles - any text-based brand message copy that you publish online. 

Here's an example of a keyword phrase being used in a piece of copy. The person who write this wants this piece of content to be found when someone types in the phrase 'search engine optimisation'. It's a good example and a bad example at the same time, which is why we're using it. It's a good example because you can easily see/visualize what we mean by a keyword being part of actual content. It's a good example of bad keyword practice because it's very bad practice to over-use keywords in copy. It's an excellent example of over-kill.

The keywords we use have to fit the context, nature and subject of the content that we produce. We never use them to trick an audience into engaging with our content. We don't deceive. And we don't mislead. Nothing will kill your online reputation than misleading an audience through deliberately. misleading or poorly thought-through keywords. In other words, never be unethical when it comes to keywords. 

When we use keywords, we want to be 'on the same page' as our audience with regards to how we use them in our content - and when describing our content (using them in titles, or tweets or video description boxes.

We have to be singing from the same hymn sheet. This establishes that our content is relevant to an audience's needs/requirements - and is a fundamental building block of trust with our brand.

Boiled right down to its very essence, this is what a keyword is.

We see tags in blogs:

We also see them in Youtube:

Introduction to Keyword Best Practice

Our advice for the number of keywords you should use is this: 8 keywords. Of the 8 keywords used, 4 should be specific (brand name, product make and/or model name, people's names, long tail keywords, etc - as specific as you can make them) and 4 generic keywords.

And now on to some industry best practice when it comes to keywords.The video below also covers some of the most common misconceptions about keyword use. Don't worry about the last few minutes, which are quite technical and specifically related to blog and website content. We'll be covering this in the relevant study units.

Now, to give you an example from SMU's own practice.

Bearing in mind that SMU is still being built, we haven't officially launched it yet. However, the learning content that SMU's has published is very easy to find online. In others words, it ranks quite well. Our use of keywords has had a large part to play in these results.

Let's take a look at our video results on YouTube. If you type in the very generic term "Digital Copywriting", this is what you'll see:

Screen grab of SMU's Digital Copywriting search results on YouTube

 You will see two of our digital copywriting videos, and our entire digital copywriting YouTube channel, appear amongst the top search results for the keyword phrase 'digital copywriting'. We've ignored the first two videos that appear in the results as these appear because they paid to do so. It's worth noting that many social media companies offer what's called 'paid placement'. This allows content to jump to the front of the queue. The results you see on screen are the videos that appear for this keyword term for natural (ie. unpaid) results.

So, out of a possible 5,750 other competing videos also competing for your attention for this term, some of our videos appear in the 3rd, 4th and 5th spots. Most of the top natural results spots for this search phrase. In terms of understanding our audience, choosing the right keywords, and making the videos relevant and appropriate to our audience and the keywords - we scored quite highly.

That's the power of approaching keywords when you use them to describe the 'How' and 'Why' of your content.

Types of Keywords

In the video below, Derral Eves explains the four different kinds of tags, how to properly create tags, and how YouTube uses tags to rank videos online. You can transfer this approach to basically any content publishing service you care to use.

The above is a whistle-stop tour of keywords. We've provided additional information resources below. We strongly encourage you to read the documents and watch the videos. These will give you the foundation you'll need to understand the concepts of Metadata, Metatags and Taxonomy, which is the next theme you'll be exploring before watching the lecture video for this session.

Keyword Research Tools

Like anything, keywords that are meaningful to us and our audience require research. You will find some free online keyword research tools and resources in the Keyword Research Tools tab.

Additional keyword resources:

  1. Why You Should Tag Your Content, Innovation Lab SPI Global.
  2. 5 Basic Tips for Video Optimization, TopRank Online Marketing.
  3. Shorr, B. 2012. The Essential Guide to Meta Descriptions that Will Get You Found Online, Content Marketing Institute.

Now, let's take a look at metadata.

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Thinking about keywords that are meaningful for ourselves is relatively easy. We are in control of the who, what, where, why and when of our own content. Creating keywords and keyword categories to group our content, from our own viewpoint, is the easy part.

Creating keywords that are meaningful for our audience is less straightforward. Sure, we may think that we know what keyword phrases our audience is typing into their favourite browser. You know, they keyword phrases we hope they will magically find our content through using.

But how can we be sure that we are on the same page as our audience?

Below are free online resources you can use for research. Using them will inform you whether or not the keyword phrase you think is relevant to your audience truly is. They will suggest better alternatives if the keyword or keyword phrase you have in mind isn't very good.

To the degree that time and your skills allow, you should consider the following questions and factors that affect content marketing for every piece of online content you create, publish and distribute.

The Content Marketing Institute has created a short checklist that you can reference when thinking through keyword possibilities for your website, blog or social media sharing content. You will find it below:

Content keyword checklist

So on to the free tools. In no particular order:


Very simple, straight forward and easy to use. Just type in a keyword or keyword phrase:

screengrab of Wordtracker, the keyword research tool

Social Mention

Find out what keywords, phrases and topics are popular on social media sites in real time.Screen grab for Social Mention - the social media keyword tracker

Google Trends

With all the wealth of information it's stored over the decades, it shouldn't come as any surprise that Google has a an entire suite of keyword research tools. Google Trends is one of these tools.

The interface is pretty intuitive. The service comes with plenty of filters for you to use to fine-tune your research: country filters, industry filters a year-filter. It even has a section covering YouTube.

screengrab of Google Trends landing page


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Are keywords, metadata and metatags the same thing?

Understanding the difference between keywords and metatags can be a bit confusing. The following is a simplification that describes the difference between the two. However, it is an effective way of teaching this rather abstract concept.

Keywords provide information about content to people.

Metatags provide information about content to search engines, web browsers and electronic devices (mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers, tablets, etc).

Put another way, we use keywords to describe the who, what, why, where and when of our content to other human beings. We use metatags to describe the who, what, why, where and when of our content machines and programmes .

So why are metadata & metatags so important?

If we were teaching the science of the Internet, we would delve far more deeply into the distinctions between keywords and metatags. However, it isn’t, so we will leave you with this working distinction between the two.
We do offer this one crucial caveat: while keywords can – and are – accessible and read by search engine robots/spiders…we provide them for other people. The fact they can be accessed and read by search engines is a kind of bonus. Making keywords accurate, meaningful and relevant to people also makes them meaningful and relevant to search engines.

You may or may not realize this already, but you’re face with metatags every day. These are in the form of blog post titles and headlines. When you read the description of a video in YouTube, Vimeo, etc – those descriptions contain metatags. It’s what ‘s referred to as metadata – data about data or information about information.

It is imperative that you fill in every available field when you upload and publish your content online. Every online publishing platform - every blog, video and image provider - will have fields that ask you the who, what, why, where and when about your content. Theese fields include the title, a description, when the content was created and even where the content was created (in most cases).

It's for this reason that strong 'says what's in the tin' titles or names for your content are so important. You should be applying the rules of Sugarman at this point in the course. Keep this in mind when you view the examples we give below.

It's also for this reason that coming up with your definitive list of keywords, as covered in the previous tab, is so important. If you have a handle at producing strong, emotional audience-focused titles/headlines and have audience-focused keywords that groups your are already well on your way to producing quality, relevant metadata and metatags.

Two working examples of metadata & metatags

Let’s take a look at an example:

SMU Digital Copywriting lecture video screengrab

The image above is how you see one of our videos on YouTube. It gives you all of the information about the video that we think is appropriate, relevant and meaningful to our audience. The title says what’s in the tin. The description gives a concise overview about the content of the video. Reading the title and the description, you should get a sense that some of our keywords for this video (judging by the title and description) would be: copywriting, digital copywriting, free course, free copywriting course, etc.

Is there a relationship between keywords and metatags?

Yes. In short, that relationship is this: meaningful, accurate and relevant metatags include keywords. In other words, keywords form part of the metadata, including metatags.

Here’s an example, using the same video page used in the first image. YouTube has taken the information we’ve provided (title, description, keywords, etc) and turned it into data that’s meaningful for  a search engine robot/spider.  In other words, this is how a search engine robot/spider sees the same page..and the information a robot accesses:

How a search engine robot sees our Digital Copywriting lecture video on YouTube

We’ve highlighted some of the metadata with red boxes. YouTube created the metadata from the information we provided. Again, this metadata was produced by YouTube for search engines and electronic devices based on the information we provided about the video.

We’ve highlighted some of our keywords we entered on YouTube with green boxes.

Look at the line numbers to the left. Notice Line 34? YouTube has turned our keywords (the ones we provided for our audience) into metadata, including metatags. The keywords we provided for the video are now part of the metadata YouTube is providing to search engines.

Now look at Lines 44 and 47. YouTube has created new metadata from the information that we’ve provided.  We’ve highlighted the keywords shown in these lines in purple to make an important distinction from the keywords we highlighted with green boxes. The distinction is this: YouTube is taking information we have provided and is using that information to throughout this page.

The benefits of quality, relevant, audience-focused content keywords

The examples we've covered are why using accurate, meaningful and relevant keywords for content is important. The information we provide online about our content is important for our audience to determine the relevancy of our content for their needs. However, the same keywords are also used by the Internet platforms we publish our content on to tell search engines and electronic devices about the who, what, where, why and when about our content.

If you use quality keywords for your audience they will do equally well with search engines. It really is as simple as that. Put another way, writing audience-relevant keywords results in search-engine relevant metatags.

The second image illustrates why this video appears as one of the top 4 videos on YouTube when someone searches on the term "digital copywriting".  YouTube is convinced (as it should be) that this video is relevant to the search term “digital copywriting”. It’s also convinced about the quality of the actual content (the video).  Since YouTube is convinced about the relevancy and quality of this video for the phrase "digital copywriting" – Google, Bing and Yahoo are equally convinced. It makes this video very easy to find – or discover – online.

The takeaway from all of this?

Good content + quality, relevant, accurate and meaningful keywords = improved discoverability online.

Boiled down, it makes the chances of your brand message, in the form of content, more likely to be seen by the people you want to see it.

We used video content for our example. We could have taken any content format as an example: an image, a document, eBook or an audio file.

The example below shows how keywords are used in the metadata on Scribd (a platform for publishing and embedding documents on websites). Again, carefully thought-through information for people has been turned into data that’s meaningful to search engines and electronic devices by Scribd.

Screen grab showing the metadata and metatags for an SMU document on Scribd

Just like the video example, we've highlighted some of the keywords we typed into the document information fields in Scribd. All of the text we keyed in are within the large red box. All of the rest is additional metadata and metatags Scribd has created based on the information we provided.

The above is a whistle-stop tour of metatags. We've provided additional information resources below. We strongly encourage you to read the documents and watch the videos. These will give you the foundation you'll need to understand the concept of Taxonomy, which is the last theme you'll be exploring before watching the lecture video for this session.

Additional metadata & metatag resources:

  1. Lippa, L. 2014. Is Your Content Strategy Guided by Audience Intent (or Just Keywords)?, MOZ.
  2. Benson, C. 2012. An Intro to Metadata, Brain Traffic.
  3. How to use Meta Descriptions, Keywords, and Tags on your Blog, Hubspot, 2011.
  4. Shorr, B. 2012. The Essential Guide to Meta Descriptions that Will Get You Found Online, Content Marketing Institute.
  5. Odden, L. 5 Ways to Show Digital Assets a Little Respect, TopRank Marketing Online.

Now let's take a look at Creating a Taxonomy

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A taxonomy is another approach to creating categories that describes your content.

Let's look at this way:

Keywords are categories describing content in a meaningful way for your audience – for other people, in other words.

Metatags are categories describing content in a meaningful way for search engine robots/spiders and electronic devices.

A taxonomy is a sytem of categories describing content in a meaningful way for you, your team and others within your organization.

taxonomy best practice designThere will be an overlap for all three kinds of categorization systems. However – and this is imperative – we need to understand the different, distinct purpose of each categorization approach

Let’s use  the phrase "how to videos" as an example. This phrase could easily be used as a keyword, as a metatag and as a taxonomy category. 

An audience member will see the phrase "how to video" and understand that it is educational content. Your audience can comprehend what it is and assess whether it’s relevant to their needs.

A search engine spider/robot will see the metatag "how to videos’" and understand that:  1) it’s a video (i.e. the kind of physical content that it is); 2) it’s relevance (based on the text surrounding it, how you described it and the additional information you’ve provided about it (the metadata, in other words); 3) its quality; and 4) whether it’s more or less relevant to its subject when compared to similar videos also vying for a user’s attention and trust  (basically what’s described as ‘ranking’).

A person in your organization will see the category "how to video" and understand that all of the videos in this category will be educational videos. Additional taxonomy keyword categories applied to a specific video could also tell them who created that video, any copywright restrictions applied to the video, when it was created, where it was created, why it was created, information about the intended audience (demographic) – and more.

The above example shows how the same keyword phrase is interpreted and used in 3 very different ways based on whether it is a keyword, a metatag or a taxonomy category.

Think of taxonomy as a general purpose ways of organising stuff.

Just like you file paperwork or files on your computer.  A common mistake that many marketers make is thinking taxonomy isn’t important. Or that it isn’t important when there’s very little content to start with. Taxonomy planning is as important as knowing your business strategy. Actually, well-developed and thoroughly understood business strategy will inform the taxonomy structure you create. Like every aspect we have covered in this course to-date, business strategy determines every aspect of what we do within integrated marketing.

Part of planning a taxonomy is future proofing. It’s not just about the content we have today. We need to create a taxonomy structure that easily incorporates content we may be producing tomorrow, next week, a year from now – and even a few years from now.

The base unit in the taxonomies is a 'term'. Think of a 'term' as a single category label. What that category label means or how the terms get used isn't really defined by the taxonomy itself - it is up to you to decide how they get used and what each term means.

A 'vocabulary' is a collection of related 'terms'. There can be relationships defined between terms. Taking the image below as an example(click on it to make it larger), there is a relationship between the terms 'blogs', 'microsites', 'short-form video' and all of the terms under the heading 'Thematic Content'. But don't worry too much about that yet. At first just think of vocabularies as simple collections of terms.

An image illustarting a retail taxonomy

The example above categorises these retail marketing functions  along the lines of 'Display & in-Store Marketing', 'Deals','Relationship Marketing' etc. . These three examples are independent concepts and each marketing activity could be categorised along those lines. Each of the three would become taxonomy 'vocabularies' and the actual categories beneath each heading would be 'terms'.

You can then start creating hierarchies of terms within a vocabulary to allow you to create parent and child type terms. For example, let's use the ‘Blog’ category. We could have ‘Blog’ as the parent term and ‘B2B and ‘B2C’ as the child terms. In this example, ‘B2B and ‘B2C’ would be sub-categories – children – to the parent term ‘Blog’.

For now, we recommend starting with a simple taxonomy - e.g. one or two vocabularies each with a flat list of terms in them (no hierarchies yet). Then work your way up from there as your needs grow and you understand them better.

Let’s take a deeper look at taxonomies

  1. The article below focuses on how a taxonomy should reflect an organization’s purpose or industry, the functions and responsibilities of the persons or groups who need to access the content, and the purposes/reasons for accessing the content.

    Lehman, J. 2003. Taxonomies for Practical Information Management, NIE Enterprise Search, Issue 1 – 25 April 2003.
  2. The article below covers the core set of today’s business taxonomy design best practices. While the article specifically focuses on documents, the best practice it illustrates is transferable to all types of content.

    Taxonomy Design Best Practices, Enterprise Knowledge. 2014
  3. Building on the knowledge you’ve gained through the resources above, the following article addresses creating user-focused taxonomies.

    The taxonomy chapter below goes more deeply into the subject. At this stage of the course, this is as deep as we’re going to go into the subject. We’ll be picking this theme up once more in Level 2, with a focus on taxonomy and marketing management.

    Hedden, H. 2010. The Accident Taxonomist, Chapter 1: What are Taxonomies?Information Today, Inc. pp 1 – 37.
  4. The last article below will walk you through creating taxonomies that are relevant to your team & organisation.

    Creating User Centred Taxonomies, User Pathways. 2008.
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In the video below, acclaimed speaker and author, Ruven Gotz, discusses the fundamentals of taxonomy and metadata. He covers best practices for designing and implementing taxonomy and metadata. While he specifically discusses these concepts in relation to software called SharePoint..what he discusses is easily transferable to any taxonomy system you choose to adopt (Excel, Word Document, computer filing system, etc).

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You will be using Google's free AdWords Planner to complete this session.

Google's AdWord Planner Keyword Tool screengrab

If you haven't done so already, you will need to sign up to access Google's AdWord Planner tool. It's free to sign up.

In the first instance, read through all of the information Google has provided for this research tool. You will see a link to the actual tool on the landing page you will access via the link below. Once you have accessed the tool, research viable and effective keywords for your brand, noting how popular they are, assess comparable keyword terms, etc. Critically assess why each keyword you choose, as a result of your research, will work for your content.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner:

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Content planner template image

The template for this session comes via HubSpot. Use it to plan your content, including the keywords and metadata that you will use for each piece of content. The template is in the form of an MS Excel spreadsheet.

While the template focuses on the benefits of SEO (search engine optimization), we're going to ask that you ignore that aspect of the template. SEO, in this light, is very 'old school'. As we've said time and time again, if you create meaningful, quality content, use the correct keywords & metadata, and follow the rules of Sugarman and all of the other rules we've outlined so far...your content will be discoverable (which is the whole point of SEO).

Putting its SEO focus to one side, this is still a brilliant template to use to begin planning your content. It forces you to think about the kinds of content that you either have - or will produce - and why you will use each piece of content.

It prompts you to think about where you will use content - and why you will use that content. And in what part of the customer journey you will use it.

And it prompts you to add information like keywords and metadata.

It also has excellent instructions and guidance information.

Content Planning & Keyword Planner Template

Click the link below to access the planning template:,d.aWw

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The Reading Room for this session provides carefully selected resources for you to further explore content marketing concepts, elements, issues and practice.

Erskine, R. W. 2012. Demystifying taxonomies. Understanding taxonomies and their use in content management, Whitepaper, EMC.

Sandhu, A. K. 2013. Meta Data and Meta Tags, University of Texas.

solomozone, Five Marketing Tips For Keyword Targeting on Twitter.

Strategic Content, How Taxonomy Is Used.

Voskull, J. 2012. The Taxonomy Revolution, Part I: Knowledge Models, Taxonic B.V.

Voskull, J. 2012. The Taxonomy Revolution, Part II: Findability, Taxonic B.V.

Walter, A. 2008. Building Findable Websites, Chapter 14: Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid, New Readers. pp 101-106.

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