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Aalto.fi tutorial – content tagging

You might have noticed something called “metadata” when you create new pages. Depending on the page type, the metadata will differ slightly. But why is it important to fill out these fields?
Metadata is data about your page, such as tags, which helps page visitors to find your page in online searches. It’s also used at aalto.fi for automatically lifting up content such as news, events and articles based on different topics. Let’s find out more about how to use this feature!

Tagging your content

When creating any new page (except hub pages), content producers have the possibility of tagging their content. This will help the page reach its target audience when a visitor conducts a search on aalto.fi.

There are two tagging levels:

  • Primary tags are pre-determined by the Aalto University Communications Team and cover the main content themes, for example, Research & Art.
  • Secondary tags highlight the topics related to the content. They describe what’s unique with the content in more detail, e.g. 3D printing.

Use 2 to 3 primary and secondary tags, respectively. Fewer tags make your content hard to find and more tags make your content show up in too many searches and you risk losing your core audience.

Except for tagging, there are some other metadata fields to fill in when creating a page. Relates to tells the website system that your page is linked to other hubs or research groups. Some other fields differ slightly for different page types.

Screenshot of Drupal metadata for articles

Articles, services and research groups have a content home

Content home determines which hub the page belongs to and also defines its URL. For example, a subpage for a department should have the department name as content home so that users can find it.

News and events are filtered by category

News pages and Event pages differ from those mentioned above. They, too, relate to hubs and research groups. But instead of a content home, they are sorted by Category. It doesn’t affect the URL of the page but is used for filtering searches and for automatic liftups, just like Content home.

As an example, we look at the metadata of a news story about Jenni Haukio’s Independence Day gown, shown in the image below. It relates to 6 hubs and has 2 categories, 3 primary tags and 3 secondary tags. The hubs and research pages listed under Relates to ensure that this news story will show in their news feeds, if they have one.

Example of metadata for news page at aalto.fi
Metadata for a news page about sustainable fashion

Understanding the logic behind automatic liftups

When deciding which metadata to use for events, news and articles, remember that they will show in automatic liftups in other pages at aalto.fi. When you produce your content, the metadata fields are similar to basic data about a car, such as brand and colour. We can use this as an example for the logic behind automatic liftups.

If you want to buy a used car, you might have specific requirements, such as the year of manufacturing, brand and milage. The more search terms you input in the search field, the fewer cars will show up in the feed, but you will also get more accurate matches. Depending on how specific your needs are, you will input fewer or more search terms.

The same goes for an automatic liftup feed. If you are creating a general feed for a school’s main page, for example, you might leave fields blank to include all possible search terms. But if you want a more topic-specific feed, we should include at least one keyword from any metadata field at that page. The more fields we fill out with at least one keyword similar to that page, the narrower is our result. On the other hand, more keywords per field widens the result again. Make sure to check if you’re pleased with the type and amount of pages that shows once you have created the liftup.

To create a topic-specific liftup feed with news similar to the Jenni Haukio story, we can input the following keywords:

Explanation of logic behind an automatic news liftup at aalto.fi

Now the Jenni Haukio gown news story will appear in your automatic news liftup, because “Research & Art”, “Research”, “textiles” and both keywords in the Relates to-field matches the news story metadata.

If we would remove the category “Research & Art” and add one that doesn’t exist in the news story, it will not show anymore because our news story is not in the "University" category that is still there. On the other hand, if we don't remove the current category keyword, but just add more, our news page will show up and so will news from the new categories.

This means that adding more keywords in the category field will widen the number of pages showing through the liftup. If we also add primary tags, we narrow down the number of pages, because then they have to include one of the categories and one of the primary tags to show. You can test this out with your own keywords and see what happens!

Automatic liftups wizardry

Trying to create automatic newsfeeds or list your upcoming events? The second blog post in the series about liftup components presents automatic liftups.

Learn more about automatic liftups
Dipoli artworks
Art piece from exhibition Crystal Flowers in Halls of Mirrors in 2013, yellow threads stretched and "floating" between two points in an angle. Photo by Aalto University / Mikko Raskinen

Aalto.fi website

Here, you can find instructions on how to make the most out of aalto.fi to visualise your pages and make your content findable. This page is also for the latest Drupal news and events.

Computer code projected onto a wall and over a person's shirt who stands in front of the wall. Photo: Aalto University / Aki-Pekka Sinikoski

Make pages findable in searches with SEO

Boost your web pages with search engine optimisation (SEO). Read on!

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