Choose the right keywords for your social network

Coming up with a great set of keywords lies at the heart of making your social network discoverable. If your keywords are specific and uniquely related to your social network, it’ll be easier for people to find your social network via search engines and even via searching on Ning.com.

Think of it as a competition. Do you really want to go up against all the websites tagged with “music”? Most likely, you’ll want to carve out a smaller space — say for example, “Underground hip-hop“. A few well-targeted words will serve your social network much better than many generic ones, and will ultimately allow you to fill a niche need with your social network.

keywords

To add keywords to your social network, go to the Manage tab and click on the “Network Information” link. In the “Keyword” field, type in up to 10 words, and separate each keyword with commas or spaces. You can always change your keywords as your social network evolves.

If your keyword is multiple words, make sure to put it in quotation marks so it registers as one keyword. For example, “outdoor music” will be counted as one keyword.

For advanced tools, you can work with Google Analytics or the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to see the search queries and keywords that are driving visitors to your social network. You can use this data to tag your social network with even smarter keywords.

About the Author:

Nick Barr – who has written posts on Ning's Official Blog on Social Networking Sites.


  • beachlocal

    Great idea. Related question, can you see what folks are searching for on your Ning site in order to add those words to your keywords? Will Google Analytics show the ‘site searches’ so that more insight can be gathered?

  • Mackenzie

    Hi there!

    That’s a great idea, and unfortunately there’s no way to do it right now with Google Analytics. However we are looking into how we can provide this type of information to Ning Network Creators in the future.

    Thanks!
    Mackenzie

  • Jens Mügge

    Hi Nick and hi Mackenzie, I can type up to 10 words but if I use e.g. “Underground hip-hop“ or in my case “overtone singing” – people are searching this item via Google & Co – I have only 8 other words free. I think so that the limit for 10 words are new? Is it possible that Ning allows ten keywords instead of 10 words, that I can type again all word combinations which people are used to find my network on Ning? Thanks, Jens

  • http://www.ning.com Nick

    Hi Jens!

    That’s right — the limit is 10 words, rather than 10 keywords. One of the key reasons we put this limit in place is that the number of keywords actually affects how quickly your social network loads. To keep things as speedy as possible, we’ve capped it at 10 words.

    Capping it at 10 keywords actually wouldn’t help, since you can place any number of words inside your quotation marks.

    Thanks!
    Nick

  • Jens Mügge

    Hi Nick,

    I don’t understand why capping this functionality at 10 keywords actually wouldn’t help. I think it would help If I could place 10 keywords (so more than 10 words) but you know maybe better than me how to keep things as speedy as possible. What I don’t understand is that things were also speedy before this change.

    Thanks,
    Jens

  • http://www.ning.com Nick

    Hi Jens,

    I think the key thing to keep in mind is we’re talking about fractions of a second. But small improvements like this add up, and ultimately do noticeably speed up the load time of your social network.

    We’ll definitely continue to monitor performance, and if it makes sense to experiment with different limits on keywords, we’ll do so.

    Thanks
    Nick

  • Dan Cushing

    Nick,

    I have the keywords on my network as you describe, yet if I try to “find” my network on Ning using any of those keywords it never appears.

    Why do you think that is?