Even if you’ve never heard the term tag cloud, you’ve likely seen them in your online travels: clusters of keywords relevant to a site’s content, rendered in varying font sizes and shades, and often found on the left or right navigation bars. “Flikr, the photo sharing site, was the first high-profile website to use tag clouds,” writes Barry Harrigan in a post at Accelerating IT Sales, “while the origins of tag clouds can be traced back to Douglas Coupland’s 1995 Microserfs.”

You can check out Harrigan’s original post to see examples of the tag clouds he generated at websites like these:

TagCrowd. “After a little tweaking on my part to remove some irrelevant words such as … ‘permalink,'” he notes, “[I] was rewarded with [a] nifty visualization of the content on this site.”

Tag Cloud Generator. “[I]t was easy to use,” says Harrigan, “didn’t require that I register, and created a visually appealing cloud tag.”

MakeCloud. This service displays fewer tags than Tag Cloud, he says, but all accurately reflect his blog’s content.

“Tag clouds are an interesting way to quickly scan a site to figure out if its content is relevant to [a customer’s] needs,” writes Harrigan. “[They] can use tag clouds to search for topical information without having to come up with specific search terms on [their] own.”

The Point: Find that silver lining. Try forming a tag cloud to boost user interest—and clicks—at your site.

Cheers, Skip

Source: Accelerating IT Sales.

Skip Sommer