3/2/11

10 Tips for Writing Blog Post Titles: Blawg Titles are Important for Both Google and Your Reader

When you are writing your blog post, it's tempting to let all those creative juices flow that must be contained when writing briefs, memos, motions, and the like. Emotional titles. Catchy titles. Puns. What to title your short blawg article - for all the world to see - can be very, very fun to ponder.

You are Writing for Two Readers: Human and Machine

However, you have to remember that you are writing for two readers: (1) the human (whether it is a client, colleague, a perspective client, or the public at large) and (2) the search engine robots or spiders that crawl the web looking for content.  If you don't satisfy the bots, then there's a strong likelihood that many of those humans will never find what you've written.  (For more on these bots, read my earlier post, "How Search Engines Work - Part 1".)

Incorporate Search Engine Optimization in Your Blog Post Titles

Your goal becomes writing a title that interests the human while simultaneously pleasing Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Here are a few tips to help you accomplish this:
  1. write the title last - after your post is in its final form;
  2. consider the theme of your post and determine the ONE word or phrase that describes what you've written;
  3. place that word or phrase at the beginning of your title;
  4. use vocabulary in your title that can be seen in your first paragraph (second, if you must);
  5. don't make your title too short, have a 5-7 word minimum; 
  6. don't make your title too long, keep it under 20 words (some will argue this is too long, but I have found success with a longer title, 20 word limit);
  7. avoid the "&" sign in your titles for coding reasons (see how the amp was automatically stuck in here by my blogging platform?);
  8. avoid all caps since many veteran social media readers interpret capitalization as YELLING AT THE READER;
  9. search Google and Yahoo for the topic of your blog post and see the top results - don't steal their work, but consider their titles and ponder what they've done that has put their post in the top positions; and
  10. don't italicize or bold-face your title. 
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