This week we're discussing managing content to attract search engine traffic. One of the most important things you can do to make your posts or articles search-engine friendly is to use your keywords in your post title.
In creative writing it is sometimes common to write a "catchy" title to pique the interest of your reader. Traditionally, in creative writing (especially in print media), your reader has usually already committed to reading your work, by purchasing the book or magazine that contains the article or chapter or story. The title is a way to organize content, and enhance the reader's experience.
Blogging is not creative writing, and most of your potential readers literally have MILLIONS of other options to read for FREE. Unless they are in your immediate circle of friends and family, it's likely they won't even know you exist if you use "creative" post titles that tell the reader nothing about the content of your post. So, how will your potential readers initially find you? Most will find you on the search engines or social networks, by searching for specific content. They will enter the keywords they are looking for, and choose the articles or post that appear most relevant to the topic they are researching.
For example, take the title of this post. I'm hoping to attract readers who want to know how to write good post titles to maximize SEO. My chances will be much better with a title like "Writing Post Titles to Attract Search Engine Traffic," than with something creative like "What's in a Name?" which tells search engine researcher nothing about what my post is about.
Finally, it is very important to get to the point, quickly. A good rule of thumb is to keep post titles to 65 characters or less, or at least include all of your keywords in those first 65 characters (the search engines only display one line of text in post titles).
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.