Vaspers the Grate has an interesting experiment going looking at the last 5 titles on a variety of his favorite blogs. Steven writes:
‘I’m of the opinion that the title of your post is the most important text of the post.
If the post title is not good, many potential readers and RSS subscribers may just skip it. The post title is also vital for search engine optimization, and for grabbing the attention of blog surfers.’
The list of blogs he examines is a good one in itself (there are some great blogs there (not just because ProBlogger.net appears either).
I agree with Steven that the title of your post is crucial in a successful blog on a number of fronts:
- SEO – search engines head straight to your title to determine what it is about and how to rank it.
- Search Engine referrals – your title is usually what is listed in Search engines and is an opportunity to hook people in.
- RSS referrals – people scan their News Aggregators looking for the posts that captivate and intrigue
- Loyal Readers – Even those that bookmark your site and log on regularly to look at what you’re writing scan your page. Titles are attention grabbers that can pause their scanning and make them actually read what you have to say.
I know a lot of bloggers try to get quirky, cryptic and creative with their titles – I personally have nothing against this – but over the past two years have decided that it’s probably not the best way of attracting readers considering the above four points.
Rather I tend to go for a descriptive post that tells the reader what the post is about. I also aim to put the keywords I think people will be searching for for such a post in the title and make it as sharp and to the point as possible.
Of course rules are made to be broken – and the intriguing cryptic title can work from time to time – however if you use them too much you might just find your readers get frustrated with you and stop dropping by to see what that latest post is all about.