Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why You Should Use Obvious Blog Post Titles for Search Optimization

... Because people rely on technology to find things for them on the internet, and tech doesn't "get" the cool, ironic, poetry-referencing title you used for your post.

I've been reading up on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and I still have much to learn, but seriously, I'm considering retitling my blog. (Well, not really, but you get the idea.) If this blog were titled "How to Become a Successful Writer" it would be misleading as hell, but it would get me lots of hits.

Of course, you want folks to linger on your web page too. So don't mislead them, tempting as it may be! You need to offer up the goods you promised in the title, not only because it's the right thing to do, but because you need to get them to click on something, to go to the next page of your blogpost.

Which is why I need to figure out how to make you click on a link to read the rest of this post.

I figured it out!  HA! 

In Blogger, you have to be in "Compose" mode (not "Edit HTML" mode), and there's an icon on the menu bar that looks like a page ripped in half.  Click and - voila!

But back to SEO.  Apparently, you have to be very literal in the title of your post, since Google's search engine gives your title a lot of weight.  It's very different titling things online versus print.  Online, people scan copy very quickly and decide in seconds whether it's worth their time to read a piece. If your title is obscure, and if the first paragraph of your piece is too "literary" or allusive, or not on point, you won't show up high on a search page, and that's where you want to be.  If you can make it to the top ten in a Google search, you're pretty golden and will get clicks o' plenty.

So save your cleverness and literary chops for the body of your post.

Does this mean I will abandon my own obscure titling practices?  I'm not sure.  I'm in a strange betwixt and between stage of my writing career right now.  I don't require a lot of attention online yet because I don't have a book to market.

But it'd be good practice to start thinking about these things now, so I'm ready if/when the time comes.

So please pardon the incredibly pedantic title of this post.  And beware - there's more where that came from.

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