Some of my colleagues, including Larry, like to describe the current Web as “emotive.” Their point being that the Web is now driven by visual content, interactivity and emotional messages. It’s an interesting view, and we are certainly headed in a direction where visual branding (i.e. online video, images) will be paramount. However, the Web is driven by Google, and although Google is the keeper of both visual and contextual brand reputation, text currently wins out. That’s why SEO is increasingly important and some feel Google results are your homepage. However, as tag clouds proved years ago, text can be visual too.
In the PR industry, we are always trying to keep our clients “on message.” Not only with interviews but with press releases and content (i.e. white-papers, blogs, Websites, online videos, etc). The key to optimizing press releases for SEO is that messages (i.e. keywords) are used upfront, in the place of marketing jargon, and repeated throughout. The same rules apply when looking at the keywords and tags you are utilizing within Websites, Web content and blogs. While some have said tag clouds are dead (we don’t use on our blog), I still think they can be utilized on the back-end to give a visual representation of keyword use and frequency.
Although the growing amount of digital networks and outlets provide corporations new channels to get their message across, they also increase the chances that you’ll cloud your key messages. Yes it’s imperative for companies to create new dialogue and content through blogs and Twitter, but they should also weigh if they’re hitting the right keywords and “conversing topics” within these channels. One easy way to check, and visualize, is through cloud-based meta-searches.
With the introduction of Cloud.Li, a cloud-based Twitter search engine, marketers and publishers, can visualize if their twitter handle is staying on message (i.e. keywords) with their blog, or even their corporate Website.
For a trial, I ran a keyword of our blog’s handle on Twitter – RaceTalk:
and our Website:
When taking a look at the easy-to-read, visual, findings, you can eliminate some of the non-relevant key words.
- “Post” is popular on Twitter because it automatically updates our handle with “new post(s)” from our blog.
- Although we have nothing to do with racing, the term “RaceTalk,” still gets paired with the #nascar tag on Twitter.
- You can’t “retweet” outside of Twitter.
- “Health,” outside of Steve Jobs’ health, isn’t something we really cover within RaceTalk or through our Twitter handle, as Diagnosis PR handles that channel.
But let’s look at some of the meaningful takeaways:
- “Social” is a keyword we are hitting across our channels, and maybe we need to consider using it more across our Website.
- While “Twitter” and “Facebook” are keywords on our Twitter handle and our blog, they don’t rank high on our Website – and perhaps rightfully so. But should they be mentioned in name, as new digital communities? Something to consider.
- Racepoint isn’t a major keyword on our blog or through our Twitter handle. Yes, we’ve made an effort to stay away from marketing ourselves on both outlets, but perhaps we should incorporate additional Racepoint-branded case studies.
- PR and communications are not showing up as often as they should be as keywords (i.e. “conversing topics”) generated through our Twitter handle. We should look towards increasing our dialogue around these topics on Twitter, as we do around media and social media conversations.
Anyways, I think you get the point. It can be a useful exercise and something that corporations and brands should look into.
While the results of tag clouds aren’t always scientific they do produce a visual result (for a soon to be visual world), which can assist in illustrating (either internally or for a client) which keywords and conversing topics you are hitting across your channels and which keywords are being lost in the shuffle.