Not every post is meant to rank for a good keyword on Google.
As a matter of fact, not that many of them are.
For those special ones, you do in-depth keyword research, on-page optimization, and quality link building.
(By the way, you can learn about these steps and more in my free 7 Steps to Compete Search Engine Domination report).
Also, there will always be some posts that just happen to rank for a good keyword you never optimized them for.
That’s when you do a chicken dance and optimize them some more, plus throw in a few links to strengthen your ranking.
Read more on how to do that in this post:
But this post is not about Google rankings per se.
It’s all about titles and how to leverage them to put yourself in the best position possible with both your readers and the search engines.
Ode to Titles
There are many a post written about how to write a great title.
- How To Write Titles With Teeth
- 100 Greatest Headlines Ever Written
- 18 Resources to Help you Write Better Blog Titles
Yes, lots of good stuff…
Yet my question to the authors of all these great posts is always the same – what about the search engines? Don’t we need to throw them a bone as well?
The answer is usually – write for the readers, the search engines will come.
What a load of ….
And so this post is all about how to write titles with teeth (gotta love that title by JamesTheJust) that grab both the readers and the SEs.
Write Your Title for Readers
The initial new blog post promotion stage is crucial.
That’s when your post is shared the most via social networks and has the best chance to get into speedlinking posts (that’s when a blogger writes a blog post listing other bloggers’ articles they enjoyed the most throughout the week).
My step-by-step thought process (or is it thought-by-thought?):
1. Write a blog post.
2. Write a title to please the readers and grab their attention.
3. HOWEVER: if this is one of the posts you are hoping to rank for a good keyword (and from this point on I will assume that’s the kind of posts we are talking about here), make sure you use that keyword in the title, preferably in the beginning.
I know it might be awkward, but it’s very important. WHY?
Because in the very beginning stages of your blog post promotion, everyone who links to your post will link via the title, so your keyword will get in there as well.
4. CommentLuv consideration: one of the best link building/traffic generation you can do in the beginning is to leave comments on blog that use ComLuv plugin.
Note I said both link building (thus the importance of keyword) and traffic generation (thus attention grabber of a title).
5. DON’T optimize your title in your SEO plugin, like All-in-One SEO pack or whatever else you are using. Same goes for using premium themes like Thesis, which is what I use on this blog and which have built-in SEO capabilities.
Because when social plugins on your blog pull out information on the blog post for an RT or FB share, they pull it from your SEO plugin.
So if you wrote a great title for the readers, but optimized it for search engines in your SEO area, your social networks will get a keyword loaded title that will never bring any traffic – which, of course, defeats the purpose of social media traffic generation.
I don’t know about you, but I hate to RT “Your keyword | your blog title” – I actually won’t do it at all.
Skip that step FOR NOW, and the entire Twitterverse and Facebooksphere will be drawn to see what’s behind that great titles of yours.
Optimize content later…
6. Do all this for about 7 days.
Arbitrary number. I think that’s how long it takes for the post to go “stale” (might not even take that long).
People will stop actively reading it, commenting on it, and sharing it.
CommentLuv will push it all the way to the bottom by then and you’ll start using your newer posts to generate traffic to.
Write Your Title for Search Engines
1. NOW go back and optimize your title for search engines.
Quick tips: put your primary keywords in the beginning; use pipe “|” to separate keywords; keep it under 70 characters. Don’t use any filler words. Keep it simple.
2. Give it a few CommentLuv links with the new title, just for link building alone.
3. Did you read that post I mentioned above on how to improve your Google rankings? It talks about precisely about how to improve on your existing post to push it higher up the Google ladder.
Here’s the link one more time: Improve Your Google Ranking: From Lame To Fame in 4 Easy Steps
And there you have it.
Who said you can’t kill two birds with one stone?
Anticipating a question: aren’t you holding the post back as far as search engine rankings are concerned, if you don’t optimize it right off the bat?
In my opinion, no. You are still using your keywords, remember? Just not too prominently.
Plus, rapid rise in rankings doesn’t happen too often, and when it does, it’s usually temporary anyway.
So…. What’s your take on it? Comment to show me that you’re alive!
PS Update: The title of this post has been changes because of a review I did on Keyword Winner plugin. The previous title was “Title Pleaser: Kill Two Birds with One Stone”.
Why is this important? Well, in the beginning of the post I said that not every post is meant to rank for something. Now I take it back.
Take a look at this post to see why: (link to follow when the post is published 🙂 )