AskPat 458 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and thank you so much for joining me in Episode 458 of AskPat. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week, and we have a great question today from Darin.
Before we get to that, I would like to thank today's sponsor, which is Lynda.com. That's L-Y-N-D-A dot com, the number one learning online platform, with over 3,000 on demand video courses that can help you strengthen your business, your technology and your creative skills. For a free ten-day trial, complete access to all of their courses, head over to Lynda.com/askpat, that's L-Y-N-D-A.com/askpat. You can watch and learn from top experts, you can stream thousands of video courses on demand, you can learn at your own pace you can browse through the transcripts, you can notes as you're going along with them. You can download tutorials on the go, there's so many great things about Lynda that make it so easy for you to learn these things that can help you improve your entrepreneurship, your skills that your nine to five, everything. So again that's Lynda.com/askpat.
All right, here's today's question from Darin.
Darin: Hi, Pat. Darin here from midwest Missouri, and I have a question about key words and tags in a WordPress blog. What is the difference between keywords and tags, and are both used in SEL? A little background: for the past eight months, I have chronicled my efforts to launch a manufacturing business on my blog, Mystartupchallenge.com. My blog has about 45 posts so far, and each post is between 500 and 1,000 words. So there's a lot of content in which I'm open and honest and I share what is working, what is not working, to launch this new business. But so far, it seems that most of the visitors are bots, and 100 of the comments are from bots, which I do moderate and delete. I'm using a WordPress theme called Renden Pro that I purchased from Think of Themes. This theme has an SEO section for each and every blog post that I write. And in the SEO section it asks for page side description and keywords, but in another section of the WordPress blog it asks for tags. What is the difference between these keywords and tags in a WordPress blog? Thanks for all your advice. I enjoy listening to your weekly Smart Passive Income podcasts, your daily AskPat podcasts, and your One-Day BB podcast with Chris Tucker. Thanks, and have a good one.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Darin. What's up? Thank you so much for the question. First of all, I want to tackle these spam bot comments, because really quickly, you can totally wipe out those comments by downloading a WordPress plugin. You said you were using a WordPress theme, so you're on WordPress, which is great. Use this plugin to completely annihilate those bot comments: it's called GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin. So just type in “GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin” and you'll find the link to it. You can go and get access to this for free through your WordPress plugin directory, through the back end of your WordPress site, to make it easy to install and then activate. Again, what this does is it allows you to essentially put a tick box or radio button on your comments, so that when a person wants to leave a comment they have to click this check mark and if they don't do that, the comment doesn't go through. And all these bots, they don't have the ability to do that, so it's a really quick and easy way that's not too much trouble for people who are actually leaving comments. So, that'll just completely annihilate that. So, again, that's GrowMap Anti-Spambot plugin, or “GASP,” as it's commonly known, GASP, which is interesting.
Now, the other part of your question is, what is the difference between keywords and tags in a WordPress blog, specifically to SEO or search engine optimization? Well, the interesting thing about keywords is that Google doesn't actually read the keywords you put in the metadata, or the behind-the-scenes information for a particular blog post. They don't read that. They used to, but it's been a long, long time since they have, because people were putting in keywords that weren't related to their particular posts, and as a result they were actually ranking for keywords that those posts weren't about. Now today, Google is all about serving the best results for people, and they've learned that keywords are easy for people to tweak and not have—be related, so they don't even look at those.
With that being said, from my understanding, Bing and Yahoo, they still look at the keywords for parts of their algorithm to understand whether or not a post is related to something. And so I would still recommend adding keywords, and keywords can be anything that comes to mind that is important, that you feel somebody that is searching for content that you have, would type in to then find it. You could use keyword research tools to discover what those keywords could and should be, but again, Google doesn't actually look at those. I think keywords are more important to include in your title and also in the description. But the keywords in the keywords fields on the back end of your WordPress site when you are actually creating a post aren't as important. But you can still include those things quickly for Bing and Yahoo.
Now, tags are a way for you to help categorize what's going on in your site. It's a way for people to discover content that can potentially be related to other pieces of content. Now, tags and categories are somewhat similar, but in WordPress, it's much easier to create category pages, and have people discover things through different categories. Categories is like a level one hierarchy: you might have five different categories in your particular blog post, but then potentially hundreds of tags. And tags, again, are sort of a secondary or even tertiary level of categorizing or understanding what a particular post is about. So, it's just a way for you to help posts be able to relate to each other. There are ways to share content on your website or have people find content through different mechanisms on your site that utilize those tags. But categories and differentiating different pieces of content in different categories on your site is going to be more important than those tags too. Tags do play a minor role, from my understanding. Again, I'm not an SEO expert; there's a lot of great people out there who could probably comment on this better than I can, so if you want to help Darin out and help out in terms of keywords and tags, please validate that Google does not read keywords anymore, and also what are your thoughts on tags, use the #Askpat455 hashtag so we can help Darin out. Again that's #Askpat455 on Twitter. We can all discuss that there, but from my understanding, the tags aren't or don't play as much of a role either, for the same reason that the keywords don't. It’s more of a thing to help your audience discover related content on your website more than it is for search engines.
So again, the big idea here is just write for your audience, not for search engines, structure your site in a way and have it be easily navigatable or navigable, I don't know what the right word is there, to be able to search through and find pieces of content that may relate to each other or are found to helpful when they're on one particular page, to then find another. So that's what it really comes down to, and it's very simple when you think about it. So, we don't have to get so complicated with all the ins and outs of an SEO. When it comes down to it, you write for the humans that are going to be visiting your site, and those search engines and everything else will follow. There are just some basic rules related to keywords that you should follow, which are to have keywords in the title, and the description in the metadata of your particular post. And throughout the post in a very natural way, and that's it.
So, Darin, thank you so much for calling in. I appreciate your question, and as a result we're going to send you an AskPat T-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For everybody else out there who has a question you would like to ask, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page. Just hit that big fat record button and ask away. And you know I have a number of questions that come in every day, so I can't get to all of them, but if you do get your question featured here on the show, I will send you an AskPat T-shirt.
So, thank you again so much for your time, and I highly recommend you go to Smartpassiveincome.com and check out what's going on this month. This month is “e-mail marketing month” on the SPA blog, and there's a lot of great content on there to help you maximize your effort with your e-mail marketing. And you can also check out a free guide that's going to help you with your e-mail content: just head on over to EmailtheSmartWay.com. You can check out what that's all about too. So, thank you again. That's EmailtheSmartWay.com.
To finish off, here's a quote from Steve Garfield. He said, “You've probably got a device on you that you can shoot decent video, so what's stopping you, capture and share some moments.” Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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