What is the significance of a title? This is not a very obvious question and I am sure that for even the newest of the bloggers, the significance of a “Title” is a known thing.
But there are certain other aspects to this question. When I say, “Significance” it could mean,
- the way a title influences the post,
- the role that a title has to play in getting traffic,
- the appearance of an ideal title.
What is the influence of a title on the post? If the content in the post is of value why should somebody be bothered about the title. Good thought. But the fact is that if the title is not “catchy”, the blog post content is ignored. Yes, it is a fact.
The blogosphere is full of blogs on the same topic and the same niche. There are numerous directories and bookmarking sites that have tens of thousands of blogs on the same topic. When I feel like reading some good content, I go to one of these directories, choose a topic and browse through the various blogs posted there. What is the thumb rule to follow to select the posts of relevance and importance? I am short of time and when I browse through these directories, I spend barely a few seconds through scan through a blog to check if the content is relevant. When I have only a few seconds, the first thing to to attract me is the title of the blog post. If the “Title” is catchy and is relevant, then the blog content is relevant for me. Else I prefer to move on.
It is hence that the title plays a very important role in getting traffic to your blog. A good and significant title to your blog post could increase the flow of readers to your blog. When something is so significant that it gets you traffic, then a bit of research can come in handy.
Keyword research can help you formulate a good title for your blog. Don’t panic at the term “Keyword research”. You don’t need to research keywords for your title alone. The research that you did initially to get a handful of tags for your posts is enough. Pick the most relevant keyword from your blog post – preferably a long tail keyword with about 4-5 words in it. Frame a short sentence out of it and your “title” is ready.
If your are wondering about the relation between “keywords” and “titles of the blog post”, then we will have to discuss a blog design structure in detail to understand it. But in short, most of the blog designs use an “h1″ or, “h2″ tag for the blog title. In SEO, the relevance of a keyword in an h1 tag is very high and very important as well. When you create a title with your primary keyword, you are putting you keyword into the h1 tag and this in a way can be called as a small step towards getting your blogs rank higher in search engines.
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As I was Stumbling upon a few blogs of interest to me I came across some very good blogs, that were especially new. The content was exceptionally good and so was the style of writing. I enjoyed reading the blog entries. As I dissected through them to find things of interest to me, I found one startling thing. These blogs had no tags. That made “Tagging” an interesting post to write on.
Do you think, tagging a post is important?
A lot many bloggers are of the opinion that tagging is not very important and it can be done away with. There are many reasons why they feel so. Bloggers that belong to this group feel that the search engine algorithms are capable of reading keywords in a blog and they do not need a ‘tag’ to crawl through a blog post. How far this is true is something for them to prove because experience says otherwise.
A normal webpage has 3 very important meta tags, if they are Search Engine Optimized. These are the “Keywords”, “Description” and the “Title” tags. The keywords tags in a webpage is a collection of the most relevant keywords that are specific to the topic in the webpage. Search engine robots crawl the content in these webpages referencing the content to the keywords. Depending upon how the keywords are used in the webpage, the search engines then index them.
The earlier blogs never had a way of setting up the keywords, description and title tags. But with the variety of plugins offered by platforms like WordPress, now gives us the flexibility of doing this with your blogs and each individual blogposts as well.
Now you might be puzzled as to why do you need a “Tag”, when you can add “Keywords” meta tags to your blog posts. This is where most of the top bloggers win over the earlier-talked about anti-tag bloggers. Blogs are like webpages, hence keywords and descriptions and titles are important for them to rank in search engines. But the fact of the matter is that you get the most traffic to your blogs from Blog directories like Technorati, Blog Catalog etc. The “Tags” in your blog is the food for these directories. When your blog pings most of these directories, they crawl your blog post to check for relevant “tags” and your blog gets indexed and shown in the topics that are related to these “Tags”. Thus you blog gets targetted traffic and attention from people who are interested in the topics on which you write.
In addition to this, over the past few years, I have noticed that search engines have also started liking the “tags” in your posts. I tag my blogs after quite a bit of research and I found that I was able to rank well for such tags, in almost all search engines.
Tagging you blog post is very important. At the same time too many tags are harmful, because that could lead the search engines to think that you are stuffing you webpage with too many keywords. Hence it is very important to maintain a balance. The thumb rule says that about 2-3 relevant tags is what is required. Follow this rule and you would be loved by the search engines.
Happy tagging and blogging.
- “Tagged” by adulau under Creative Common License
- “Too many tags” by Sheldonshwartz under Creative Common License
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The first sip is always the difficult one. Similarly is the case with getting the first visitor to you blog. My first blog sat there for about 3 months before I could get my first visitor. I had no clue how to get one and I kept writing and writing. Then one day I realized that there was something that I was missing. i was not promoting my blog.
Blog promotion is a big thing today. There are people and consultants out there who do this for a charge. But I often wonder why you would want to hire a consultant or, a third party to promote you blog when it can be done by yourselves, without spending a dime.
With Web 2.0 being the show-stopper these days and networking being the mantra, what else would somebody need to promote their blog. Blog promotion is very easy, if you do it the right way and your first visitor would be at your blog within hours of the start.
It is said that the things that are the most simple are the ones that are most ignored. If you don’t believe in it, then you would start to by the end of this article. Below is 4 simple things that are often ignored, but which could prove to be the best way of promoting your blog:-
- Email signatures – If you have your blog at your own domain, then you would surely have an email address on the domain. Start using this email address instead of that free email ID that you use. Create a simple signature for yourself, with a simple punchline and a link to your website below your name. Use this signature in all your communications. You might assume that the people you are sending the email to would never visit your site. But the people who receive your emails as forwarded mails, or accidentally happen to read your mails would want to visit your site.
- Commenting – Surf the internet for blogs that are common to your topic. Leave your comments with a link to your blog (You could even use your signature). Just be careful that your comments are valuable. The objective here is not to get backlinks, but readers. If your comments are valuable enough, the reader of the comment might want to visit your blog.
- Social Networking – I hated social networking sites and had never had an account on any of them until I realized the fact that they can be very useful in promoting my blog. Create an account with all such networking sites that you know, primarily Facebook, Linkedin, Orkut, Twitter and Gather.
- Social bookmarking – Don’t confuse social bookmarking sites with networking sites. Bookmarking sites are Stumble Upon, Delicious, Digg etc. Create and account on these bookmarking sites and join communities that are created on a similar topic as that of your blogs.
- Squidoo – This is the best way to get a lot of traffic to your blogs. I have used Squidoo quite a lot for promoting my blogs and affiliate marketing as well. Create an account with Squidoo. Squidoo is a hub of one-pager websites that are easy to create. I will discuss about Squidoo in detail in one of my next posts because, frankly I don’t think it would be justified in wrapping up everything about Squidoo in one point.
While you do all this to promote your blog, just keep one thing in mind. “Content is the king”. If you are able to give a content of value to someone, your blog would be read. This content of value could be your email with your signature or, your comment on a fellow-bloggers’ blog with a link to your website. And most importantly bear in mind that valuable content can be found on the internet itself at places where normally people don’t tread.
(Photograph by karynsig used under Creative Common License)
Traffic exchanges can be a very good way of getting traffic to your blogs. Check this out here.