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How To Write a Good Blog Title for High Website Traffic

written by John Chow on August 2, 2009

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One of the biggest factors that affect your position in the Google search engine results page is your blog title. Because of this, you should do some research before deciding on the final title to go with. Here’s the process I use to write a good blog post title to get high website traffic. I’ll be using the post, How To Build Your Online Brand, as the case study.

Write Titles for Search Engine Users

The original title for Aditya’s guest post was Your Online Branding Efforts are Going to Waste. It sounded like a catchy title but after a bit of research, I rejected it and changed it to How To Build Your Online Brand. The reason for this is because people search for how to build an online brand far more than they search your online branding is going to waste. Mind you, I could probably rank first for that long tail because the volume is so low, but I rather be in the top 10 for a higher volume phase.

When coming up with a title for your blog post, try to imagine how someone doing a search will find your article. What do you think they would type into the search field? If you’re looking for information on online branding, would type how to build your online brand or your online branding is going to waste?

Find The Search Volume for The Keywords

The best way to find out what words to use in a title is to find the search volume for those words. This is where the Google AdWords Keyword Tool comes in handy. This tool gives you the estimate monthly search volume of any keyword you enter.

google-keyword

Looking at the results, we see that “online branding” is searched 8,100 times a month. However, “online brand” is searched 33,100 times a month. That clearly tells me that the title should contain the words online brand instead of online branding (if I had to choose).

You will be amazed at the difference in search volume just by changing one word. Another example. People search for online branding strategy twice as often as online branding strategies. From a Google traffic point of view, it’s best to use strategy instead of strategies in the title.

Tweak The Title with All In One SEO Pack

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How To Build Your Online Brand is the post title people see when they get to my blog. However, the title that Google displays to search engine users is How To Build Your Online Brand – Online Branding and Strategy. The Google title has a few extra keywords in it thanks to a WordPress plugin call All In One SEO Pack.

allin1

All In One SEO Pack allows me to tweak the post title independent of what is actually being displayed in the blog. It does this by separating the WordPress title tag from the title being displayed in the blog post. This way you can have a nice attention grabbing title for your blog readers and a long keyword rich title for Google.

The plugin also allows you to enter keywords used in the post. There’s no need to do much thinking here. Since I used the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to create the title, I also used it to create the list of keywords.

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The end result of all this is I am ranked number 3 for “how to build an online brand” and “how to build your online brand” and number 6 for “how to do online branding.” Had I not put online branding in the Google title, I might not have been in the top 10.

Most bloggers give a lot of thought into their blog post but don’t pay nearly as much attention to their title. The next time you write a new blog post, send some extra time on the title and Google will reward you.

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{ 93 comments }

Blogfornoob Dot Com August 2, 2009 at 7:45 pm

thanks for sharing… now i have an idea about branding…. thanks…

John Chow August 2, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I can tell that you didn’t read what this post was about. Comment first, read later? :)

Asswass August 3, 2009 at 7:21 am

You got him there John lol. Does the All in one SEO Pack plugin is more effective than the title and tags of the blog post? I’ve always wondered if it’s really necessary to fill out both titles and both tags.

Harsh Agrawal August 3, 2009 at 9:57 am

lolz

Gold Coins Blog August 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I think the title of his blog say’s it all, BlogForNoob.

Make money August 5, 2009 at 11:45 pm

You’re right, the excitement of being the first one to comment got him. :lol:

Lee Ka Hoong August 3, 2009 at 7:23 am

Guy, John is talking about how to write title for better SEO and get more search engine traffic. This post is not long and I took less than 3minutes to finish, so you should read before commenting too. :D

Regards,
Lee

Make money August 5, 2009 at 11:57 pm

The difference of time commented between him and the second commenter is 3 minutes. So, I don’t think he wanted to risk being the first commenter. :D

Amílcar August 2, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Great post. I think Google Insights complements the Adwords Keyword tool very nicely. The former gives you an overall vision of the searches, avoiding seasonal distortions for instance, and allowing you to see any tendencies as well.

Mike Wayne August 2, 2009 at 8:06 pm

EXCELLENT POST John!

I’ve never thought about the SEO implications of using Google’s Keyword tool to choose an article title. This post couldn’t have come at a better time, as i have been tweaking my blog lately to make it more SEO compliant.

Not only will I be renaming my older post titles, but i’ll use this strategy for all my future posts!

Thanks again for some valuable advice Dr J:)

Earningstep August 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm

absolutely great , get ranking 3 in only one day . but i don’t all blog will have the same result as your . not all blog as great as you have john and i am sure there will be a connection between link popularity with SERP and traffic

Earningstep August 2, 2009 at 8:37 pm

OMG , almost forgot . if i can ask you something which one is better between this two permalink structure:
1. categories / post title example : http://www.johnchow.com/categories/post title
2. post title : http://www.johnchwo.com/postitle

John Chow August 2, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I prefer to use just the post title and leave out the category.

Earningstep August 2, 2009 at 9:10 pm

is this will be any problem if i change the permalink now ( i have 200+ post now ) . i am too afraid will get 301 error by doing this.

Akmal Wardak August 2, 2009 at 9:18 pm

do not change your permalink structure. you will be 404′d.

(not 301, but thats what you meant) ;)

Earningstep August 2, 2009 at 9:42 pm

oh look like i was wrong but i heard about a wordpress plugin call ” redirection” can cure this problem . i wonder anyone of us tried this before

John Chow August 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Once you’ve decided on a structure, I would stick with it. You don’t want to mess up the URLs that has already been indexed.

Earningstep August 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm

thanks john . i think this is most important than all

Steve Katyal August 3, 2009 at 6:47 am

Jee… i was using joomla at first. Got indexed. Now i am using wordpress. Gotta get re-indexed.

Make money August 5, 2009 at 11:59 pm

I do the same. it makes the post title too long. Moreover, I also use SEO Slug. It’s very handy for making the title short.

Steven-Sanders August 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm

I actually skip adding tags to posts anymore and just add them to the All in one SEO plugin.

It’s way more effective!

Faisal Anwar - Faicash.com August 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

I’ve been using all in one Seo Pack but didn’t know you can add tags for individual post. Well now I’ll have to do more work and research on title before posting but., well it will be worth it.

Thanks for the share John. I love this post very much.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

Even you can add tags on single post without using such plugin. For every post there is an option in wordpress to add tags. Just use them.

Eric Tan August 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Thanks for the break down, branding is definitely easier said than done.

Kevin August 2, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Thanks John. Great info!

Ghostwriter August 2, 2009 at 11:03 pm

This is what I do as well when writing blog titles. I do the keyword research and place it in the title. But I also try to make the title become a question or a list.

eg. Make Money Online – 10 Easy Steps
Build Your Online Brand – Are You Making These Mistakes?

So as well as ranking the post for keywords, I also hope to make it interesting for others to social bookmark it.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

So you hit two birds with one stone. That is quite smart. I like it and people also come to read because of attractive title and they want to know what is in inside.

wo@soho August 2, 2009 at 11:22 pm

john’s tips is so great,
long tail keyword is valuable and higher conversion.

Free Arcade Games August 3, 2009 at 12:06 am

Sometimes if you write a good title to take advantage of Google, your title may end up being horrible…

-Mike

John Chow August 3, 2009 at 12:54 am

That’s why you use All In One SEO Pack. One title for your readers and one title for Google. :P

Me August 3, 2009 at 6:56 am

i think thats call cloaking

John Chow August 3, 2009 at 9:16 am

No, cloaking is when you show one thing to your readers and 301 the Googlebot somewhere else. Wordpress by defaults adds your blog name to the title tag. Your blog name however does not show up in the blog post title. This is the same thing, just with more control.

hospitalera August 3, 2009 at 12:37 am

Excellent tips on researching your blog titles and how to make “pretty urls”. I am using something similar on my blog, but will often add also a “catchy” subtitle, SY

Paul B August 3, 2009 at 2:08 am

John, how much natural Google traffic are you actually getting in a day? I was under the impression that it was actually quite low (certainly under 1500 uniques) or is this totally wrong?

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 3, 2009 at 11:20 am

I am sure gradually traffic from Google will keep increasing as new posts will be added everyday and crawled by google.

Paul B August 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm

John has years of posts that have always been crawled by Google, the penalty only stopped it showing in search results. Having the penalty removed is like having a switch flicked (that’s my experience anyway).

Looking forward to seeing how his organic traffic grows, or not.

Neil Marsh August 3, 2009 at 3:21 am

Hello,

I have always put a little thought into my titles, but not as much as maybe I should have.

Thanks for this post as I will from now on be alot more thoughtful in what goes in my titles.

Thanks again

Neil Marsh

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 3, 2009 at 11:36 am

Your title will help your content to reach at top spot in search engine results.

So if you did not give a thought to this than you should start giving it now.

Stocks on Wall Street August 3, 2009 at 3:53 am

Anyway to draw attraction is important, plus when you factor in that the name does have a huge importance in getting you indexed high.

Amey P August 3, 2009 at 4:12 am

Even I am planning to write something simillar on my blog, have few tips and tricks to share.
Would surely backlink this post than.

Thanks John for add-on ideas, that wordpress SEO tool is really impressive, I wonder even Blogger has such kind of tool.

Vasantan August 3, 2009 at 4:56 am

Today I learn something new. It gave me some initial boost to become professional blogger. Thanks for your posting

Sangita August 3, 2009 at 5:57 am

Hello John,
I am very new to blogging and your blog is the first blog i have read. Its great, i am in dreamland after seeing your earning. :)

Will i be able to make that much money ever?? How is the titles of my blog, if you can guide?

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

This is the result of labour, determination, patience and knowledge. If you have than you will get it as well.

Buy some professional theme for your blog to look it more attractive and professional.

Benjamin Cip August 3, 2009 at 6:09 am

Great post. I already knew about how to use All-in-one seo plugin, but didn’t know how to write a good blog title for high website traffic! I didn’t know about the adword keyword tool. I’ll be using it from now on. Thank you for sharing this John!

Dexter Panganiban August 3, 2009 at 6:27 am

Yup you are right that the Title counts however one should make sure that their post title have H1 tag. Because Google gives weight on your post title due to a reason that they have H1 tag.

Your post might not be true if the Blog name has H1 tag and your post Name has H2 tag.

Just my observation … I might be wrong.. so would you agree with me

Steve Katyal August 3, 2009 at 6:35 am

Thanks John. I love this post. I can use this and benefit from it.

fas August 3, 2009 at 6:37 am

I specially like the Google Adwords keyword tool, never though of taking keywords from there, nice idea evil John.

Amy Green - Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free August 3, 2009 at 6:46 am

I have been using SEO all in one but after playing around with the Google Keyword Tool I now understand how to use it more effectively. Wow. What a difference it makes, and your article is so simple to follow.

Thanks so much. :)

Debo Hobo August 3, 2009 at 6:54 am

Got it! I had All In One Seo previously; before my blog crashed, but I didn’t really understand how to use it. Thanks for the insight.

Also, on the topic of post titles, I was trying to be way to creative and clever. Now I know to use Adwords to really get the words users want to find.

Another great post John, Thanks :)

David Walker August 3, 2009 at 7:14 am

Hi John,

Some great tips here. I had not thought about using the Google Adwords tool to help me write my SEO blog titles but this will easily help me come up with great titles to rank better.

I agree with you that you should have two “titles” – one for your readers and one for the search engines so I will keep this in mind for future blog posts.

David

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 3, 2009 at 11:39 am

These are the basic tools which every webmaster should aware of. Another tool is keyword base tool in Google. Just search for it and you will get whole details.

Vic of BusinessAccent August 3, 2009 at 7:25 am

This is a precious share John. Thanks a lot. It’s always been my habit to brainstorm for my title post – as this is where Google reads (plus of course it’s text. Now that you are already back as Google’s friend, you can now have the power to rule the Google search pages by using your intelligence in SEO.

Lee Ka Hoong August 3, 2009 at 7:38 am

In fact I’m using All In One SEO Plugin for my blog too, but I never changed the title and made it a different between title for reader and another for search engine.
Also, I did keyword research everytime I planned to write a new post. Then I should try to do something different for my next post.

Regards,
Lee

dieorfly August 3, 2009 at 7:41 am

I agree that you have to do some research before you decide to write a title (I personally use Web CEO software) . But I think you have to take in consideration also the number of competitors for your chosen keyword phrase (title). If blogger have new blog it is really hard to gain top positions for competitive key phrases also he will chose the “right” title he may get no traffic because of competition. In this case I would rather try to find compromise. On one hand the amount of search per month on the other the number of competitors. Of course if you have well established blog the importance of competitors is decreasing.

revenue August 3, 2009 at 8:30 am

Yes i use SEO pack plugins too, it’s good plugins, good tips i think i’m gonna try it, i’m not aware that the title tags show in SE

Funny Chix August 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

I’m with you all the way. In Google’s Adsense Keyword Tool, It helps to sort the keywords in order by search volume. To do this, just click on the title “Local Search Volume: June”

Darwin's Finance August 3, 2009 at 10:03 am

So, I started using AllinOne SEO as soon as I made the switch from Blogger to WP and I think it’s been responsible for quite a bit of traffic, content aside. So, no complaints.
However, I went with a Thesis theme more recently and they have SEO fields built in. Since my old posts were using AllinOne, wondering if I should continue to fill in both sets of fields (a bit of a hassle), whether I should delete the AllinOne or just not use the Thesis fields for SEO (tags, etc).
I asked in the forum there and it wasn’t clear which the best path forward is.
Anyone here encounter the same situation? Curious about your approach and results.
Thanks

Ghostwriter August 3, 2009 at 10:09 am

The All In One SEO plugin should be an essential plugin for Wordpress now. Just like Askimet and the Hello World.

Michael Mindes August 3, 2009 at 10:48 am

Not to mention the large quantities of incoming links to the domain johnchow.com. For us mere mortals trying to scrach together some traffic, we would not be able to rank so high even with some title modification.

My suggestion for new bloggers is to drive traffic from forums related to your blog’s topic without being spammy.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 3, 2009 at 11:16 am

I also give a serious thought and always include my keywords in my title.

Is there any other tool except google adwords. If you have please let us know.

Lee Ka Hoong August 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I would like to know too, as many people told me that the result in Google Adwords Keyword Tool was not that accurate. Is there any free tools that we could use to check the keyword popularity?

Regards,
Lee

Shreejana Hickman August 3, 2009 at 11:36 am

I have All in One Seo Pack, but had no idea you can tweak the title post or add to it! That definitely gives you an opportunity to add more searched keywords on the title..I’m about to try this on today’s post:)

Gold Coins Blog August 3, 2009 at 1:20 pm

It will probably help that “Brand” post because you linked from this post. Internal linking is one of those ranking factors that numbers around 200 or so.

VeRonda August 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Man, this is a great reminder b/c I know for me, I go with what I think of first or what might be catchy or not too literal. But, it is important to focus on the blog’s traffic and what best practices should be in place for that to happen. Good stuff!!

Quick Health Tips August 3, 2009 at 4:13 pm

thanks for the tips John..i use both Google Adwords Keyword Tool and All in One SEO pack…with your post, it just clarifies my way of doing it is right…thanks !

Shirley August 3, 2009 at 8:13 pm

great tips; something i can use immediately.

I have a question. I see in your example screenshot of the All-in-one SEO plugin, in the title part, you put
“how to build your online brand…. | john chow dot com”

does that part “| John Chow dot com” has any impact or implication?

thanks /shirl

The Gooroo @ iBlogPlanet August 4, 2009 at 4:11 am

I use the Google Keyword Tool ALL the time for my niche sites, but I would have never thought of using it for writing my blog posts’ title. Couldn’t have posted this at a better time either! Just started my new blog :D

Ricky Peterson August 4, 2009 at 5:23 am

Thanks for the tips ,so in short the “title” says it all

Ghostwriter August 4, 2009 at 7:57 am

John can you also do a post on how to create a high traffic website like yours? I’m sure that will be v. popular

Rob August 4, 2009 at 9:29 am

A good title can also encourage more comments.

Forex Signals August 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm

With the conflicting data from the Adwords keyword tool and various other keyword tools like WordTracker how do you know which is more accurate?

Helen Hunt | Free Links August 5, 2009 at 3:34 am

Thanks again John for another of our great posts. It never stops to amaze me where your ideas come from :)

You simply rock!

One Life No Fear August 5, 2009 at 10:15 am

Thanks John. I have All in One SEO but really never pay too much atention to the title. I will now.. cheers.

Amy Green - Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free August 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm

John – I have been following your instructions on this, even having your screen shots open while filling out my SEO fields. I can’t get my posts to come up in Google. Is there something else I need to do or other factors that apply?

Push Button Lock August 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Amy, your blog posts don’t just “come up” in Google. You need to rank higher than everyone else for the search term you are targeting for you to find yourself in Google. To do that you have to do at least some basic SEO – i.e. link building.

Blogspot to Wordpress August 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm

This is the most common mistake or thing avoided by any Wordpress users, Simple Installing all in one SEO tool will not take care of everything,. One need to manually update and edit meta post title, description and keywords.

Make money August 5, 2009 at 11:47 pm

I agree with your overall process, but as far as SEO is concerned putting keywords within the META tag ha an importance of 0%, in fact it is even ignored by some search engines. But we (including me) always put it for our own sake. lol

Push Button Lock August 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Very nicely laid out tips John. I use the Google keyword tool all the time, but admittedly not when creating blog posts. Thanks!

Donna Miller | Wordpress Freelance Developer August 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Great tip about using All-In-One SEO to add a longer, keyword rich title for Google! I’ll start doing that from now on, thanks John!

Phillip Nguyen August 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm

thanks for this post mr. chow!

Sanjay August 9, 2009 at 12:01 am

I was doing in a same way for my blog post that has been explained in this article. But the seo plugin is a bonus for me and I will surely try it.

Mikes August 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm

With this tip (in which I am so thankful for), i am realizing that page rank now is no longer that necessary. what do you think?

hi2azy August 12, 2009 at 9:05 am

Really Nice tips to find keyword for blog post title, as its one of best technique for SEO.

BLOGERCISE August 14, 2009 at 2:53 am

Going for the highest searched term might work for those with high authority, but people starting out will also want to check out the competition. There is no point chasing a much search for term if you are going to end up on page 50 of Google!

By going for less popular terms you have more chance of gaining higher rankings.

Andrew Collinson August 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Make sure your keyword phrase is in the first sentence too,this also helps.

Habib August 20, 2009 at 4:18 am

Hi there
I have learnt a very important search engine optimization tips here, Thanks for your contribution.

Gazzali August 30, 2009 at 5:45 am

I would say a reasonable article. The all in one seo pack does not work for my wordpress – gives me fatal error.Any simialr package in wordpress plugins, John?

Make Money September 1, 2009 at 7:32 am

Keyword Research Tip: I recently got to number 1 ranking for a term that google said had 330,000 searches a month, but I was shocked when my site received a whopping 500 uniques a day. from it.

With a little deeper research I realised the broad match terms on the google keyword tool are pretty meaningless when your targeting specific keyword phrases. Instead use the drop down and set it to exact search. Then you will be able to properly target the right keywords.

theresabossan82 November 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm

This is cool, I am new to keyword research and never used it actually. I just think of a keyword then promote. In your post I learned a lot.

Michael Mindes August 3, 2009 at 10:50 am

You can use 301 redirects one a server running apache. Just modify your .htaccess file. It will be a lot of work up front, but at least you will not lose the value of your built up incoming links.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog August 3, 2009 at 11:24 am

If you are getting enough search engine traffic than you do not have to worry about. Just keep oit as it is.

But if you are not getting enough traffic than I think you should change it and see the impact of this.

Lee Ka Hoong August 3, 2009 at 5:49 pm

I’ve been using this plugin for months when I decided to change my URL before, I didn’t face any problem using it. Perhaps you can try this, it doesn’t take you too long to complete.

Regards,
Lee

Lee Ka Hoong August 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I’m curious why I can’t do it successfully, when I tried to modify the .htaccess file, my blog get error page. I’m asking another net friend and waiting for his tutorial based on my case.

Regards,
Lee