As bloggers I am pretty sure that timel, up to date posts are what you prioritize. The common dictum in the blogosphere is that keeping your blog current with the latest posts and information is what makes a blog effective. I have to admit that this is true. A well written blog that is updated regularly will surely be noticed… at some point. But there really is more to blogs than just posts. For example, do you know that your blog post titles are equally important? I bet this has made you suddenly ponder your gung-ho attitude towards giving titles to your posts (the usual philosophy is “the wittier the title, the better).
As bloggers you should know that blog post titles should always be search engine friendly. Although this will surely put a damper on your creative juices and how craftily you compose titles, this is the reality if you really want to make a successful blog. But there could be a way to address the SEO aspect of your blog without necessarily killing creativity. The solution is to look at your two different targets in two different stages.
The first step is to address your readers
Your readers, whether they have subscribed to your RSS feed or actually visit your blog on a regular basis, will want their interests to be piqued. They want to read your post and also be titillated enough to want to share it with others. So when you’re composing your title do the following:
• Make it interesting. There are many methods that can be used to achieve this goal. You can post a question, put out a scoop or make an obtuse title that will compel readers to read the post to find out what it’s all about.
• Don’t make it too long. Short and sweet. That’s the usual saying you hear and in the SEO and internet world, this is virtually dogma. Be succinct in giving information in your title. A title that’s too long will only confuse your readers.
• Keep keyword scanners in mind. Don’t confuse this with the SEO optimization part (that’s the second step, remember?). What you need here is to look for words that will interest a majority of your readers. Use the more popular keywords in your blog post title and your post will have a bigger chance of getting noticed.
The whole idea of this first step is to catch the attention of the readers that will view your blog the moment you publish it. The title is basically for your “captive audience”. When the initial freshness of the post has passed it will be passed on to the archives and since getting your posts noticed in an archives section is quite slim this is where the search engines should come into play.
I’ll discuss then next step of improving your blog post titles next time.