If you are like me you struggle with your blog post titles. Often I write the first thing that comes to mind so I can move on to writing the actual post. Worrying about the title is one of the stumbling blocks that gets me out of my office and doing laundry, cleaning the underside of the fridge or any other busy work I can find to avoid having to come up with a search engine friendly post title.
I know I need to focus on the titles because making sure the title of my post has keywords in it that are search engine friendly can help me get more traffic to my website. Up to 80% more traffic if I do it properly.
Search engines try to think like humans. They rank titles based on what people are searching for. How do you search for articles? If you are like most people you write the question you want answered in the search form and hit ‘enter’. The articles that have most of the words you typed in the search form will rank highest. The fewer the words the lower the rank on the page.
Kathy from The Junk Drawer recently wrote a post on her blog that ranked on the first page of Google for common search terms. Her post, Dear Lady Who Fell into a Mall Fountain While Walking and Texting, Let Me Show You How It’s Done, included all the keywords about the lady who fell into the fountain. I asked Kathy to share with me what her traffic was like to which she responded:
1,055 people came in on that post from some other source for the two days when my traffic ran high. Split by day, that’s about 500 extra visits per day for that post. Of the 1,055 visits, 346 were from the Stumble it got. It’s hard to get the exact search total, but suffice to say, I sat there for two days watching all the Google hits for terms like “lady texting into fountain,” “dumbass lady who fell in fountain,” or “lady walking and texting fountain.”
Again, I feel it was because of the title and also that the terms were also all included in the lead paragraph.
Kathy makes an excellent point in that last sentence. She also included the keywords in the first 100 words, another thing the search engines like.
Some other key things to consider when writing your post titles.
Keep your titles to fewer than 66 characters
Most sites like Google will cut off your title after 66 characters while some others will let you go on for a little longer like 120, but that doesn’t leave any room on Twitter unless you shorten your URL and then people can’t see what the title is about.
Include How and Why in you post titles
Most people searching for articles about a topic use ‘how’ and ‘why’ when they search so why not include it in your title as well, it’s one more word that matches up so keep it in there. The question mark should also be included. Basically you want to get as close as you can to the most popular search terms.
Writing blog post titles can be daunting but with a little thought, research and understanding they don’t have to be and they can increase your blog traffic considerably.