Mastering Tagging in AEM: A (simple and hands-on) Workshop Approach

Martin Altmann

Tag cloud in futuristic cyberpunk landscape Stable Diffusion: "Tag cloud merged in futuristic landscape"

I just had a call with a client about tagging in AEM (Hi Melanie 😁) and she asked me for some best practices and how she can find the right tagging taxonomy.

Are you struggling to find the right taxonomy for tagging your assets in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)? In this blog post, we'll cover the best practices for using tags in AEM to optimize your content strategy and improve the discoverability, searchability, and accessibility of your assets. We'll also introduce a simple workshop approach for organizing and tagging assets in AEM, which involves inviting team members from different departments to collaborate and create a hierarchy of tags. With our detailed instructions and tips, you'll be able to validate your hierarchy/taxonomy and ensure that your tagging efforts are on track. Let's get started!

Tag it like Beckham

Clients always ask me how they should organize their tags. Sadly, the correct answer is
β€œit depends heavily on your users and your business. In some cases, it might be handy that the website structure organizes your taxonomy. Sometimes its driven by product or market.”
This answer is not helping most of the time.

To help them out of their misery i found a very simple but effective way. It is not the holy grail but definitly a starting point.
(The same method is working with clients who struggle to find the correct folder hierarchy)

  1. Set up a workshop to help your team organize and tag your digital assets in AEM. Take at least 4 hours!
  2. Invite 1-2 people from each department that work with digital assets to participate in the workshop. It's important that your company's asset users are represented in the workshop.
  3. Have each participant bring 5-10 assets, including images, videos, and documents.
  4. Below I have summarized a few tagging best practices. Before the actual task goes off, the team has to understand them. Create a powerpoint or similar and do a 30 min "tagging 101" lesson.
  5. Ask participants to add the assets to a virtual drawing board like Lucidchart or Miro. If an asset is not an image, create a placeholder for it. (See Screenshot)
  6. Have each participant tag their assets using sticky notes on the virtual drawing board. It's important to hold back 1-2 assets for later use.
  7. After everyone has tagged their assets, have each participant present their tags to the group for feedback and to add any missing tags. If the group is too large, split into smaller groups.
  8. After that, cluster the tags into a hierarchy (See Screenshot). Take a break first, as this can be a demanding task and may lead to intense discussions. Sales might see it completely different than marketing. Check the best practices below and make sure all tags match the criteria.
  9. Once the hierarchy is done, have each participant take the 1-2 assets they held back and try to sort them virtually onto the hierarchy. This will help validate the hierarchy/taxonomy.
  10. Based on the outcome, create your AEM taxonomy and have fun!

Virtual Tagging Workshop Step 5: Everyone should add their assets and tag them.

Picture showing a asset taxonomy Step 8: Cluster the tags into a hierarchy/taxonomy.

Tagging best practices

Use a consistent naming convention

Establish a clear and consistent naming convention for your tags to ensure that they are easily understood and organized.

For a website that sells outdoor equipment, the following naming convention might be used:

Using this naming convention, some tags might look like this:

Use meaningful and unique tags

Choose tags that are descriptive and relevant to the content being tagged. Avoid using ambiguous or generic tags.

Imagine you are creating a blog post about the benefits of using a standing desk at work. Some good tags for this post might include:

These tags are all descriptive and relevant to the content of the post. They also provide specific information about the topic of the post and make it easy for readers to find similar content.

Or Imagine you are creating a website for a museum that has exhibits on ancient civilizations and modern art. Some tags that might be used for these exhibits could include:

Using these unique tags makes it easy to differentiate between the two exhibits and ensures that users can easily find the specific content they are looking for.

On the other hand, using ambiguous or generic tags like "office", "work", "art" or "history" would not be as effective, as they do not provide much information about the specific topic of the post.

Use tags sparingly

Don't overuse tags. Only use as many tags as necessary to accurately describe the content.

Imagine you are creating a blog post about the top 10 best hikes in the Rocky Mountains. Some good tags for this post might include:

These tags provide enough information about the content of the post without being overly specific or overwhelming. This makes it easy for AEM editors to find the assets they need or they also make it easy for readers to find similar content on the website.

Further things to consider

If you need help, please reach out.

Photo created by stable diffusion 1.5