Website Traffic – Post Titles Based On Search Results

When I was taking my SEO and Internet Marketing class last month, one of the things that got re-enforced was the important of the title. Google places a lot of weight on the title and use it to help determine what your blog post is about. A good title could mean the difference between good search engine traffic and no search engine traffic. Here’s how I go about making the titles in my blog posts.

I’ll use the Getting Web Site Traffic the Old School Way post as an example. Why did Mitch use Getting Web Site Traffic the Old School Way instead of Getting Blog Traffic the Old Fashion Way? When deciding on a title, I always include the keywords I’m going after. In this case, it was web site traffic. Why wasn’t blog traffic used? Because it’s not searched as much. Using tools like Overture or WordTracker, I can see that the search volume for web site traffic is 94 times higher than blog traffic, and old school gets 16 times higher searches than old fashion.

The next time you write a blog post, check out the search volume for the keywords in your title and see if you can use higher searched keywords that can still get the same message across. This doesn’t mean you should always go with the higher searched keywords. The higher the search volume, the higher the competition for those keywords. Sometimes it’s better go after the keywords with lower search volume. You just have to make sure there’s enough volume to do it. According to Overture, blog traffic was searched only 264 times last month. That’s not enough volume.


37 thoughts on “Website Traffic – Post Titles Based On Search Results”

  1. Nice tips. I guess I start thinking out better titles for my new posts than the ones I currently have now. Sometimes, thinking of a good one is pretty hard!

    1. Me too, unless I’m doing a tip or a hack, the title is something silly…

      Another great tip John! Thanks!

    2. msdanielle says:

      sooooo important…. most of the time u can think of your #1 keyword and write the title around that. i usually just use inventory.overture.com to check the more common keywords.

  2. James says:

    A quick search at Nichebot or Wordtracker can really help figure out which keywords to use like you said.
    For a smaller blog(like mine) those lower competition keywords can really help.

  3. Smaller blogs should choose less competitive keywords no matter where if they wish to get 1st page in any SE..

    bigger blogs like this one can “go for the gold” and try to take up major keywords like “Making Money” and so..

    1. Marc says:

      I completely agree. Build a relevant base of solid relevant, less competitive keywords, and then build from there towards the bigger competition.

  4. Menguzar says:

    I had a strange experience with a blog I’m posting on.

    A search term kept appearing in the stats and it pointed to a totally unrelated post where, by mere chance the search term was mentioned.

    I decided to try something and made a post with the exact search term as the title, some information about the subject and put an adsense block in the post -the rest of the site don’t have ads.

    Since then, every day about 150 people come to the site, and on average 12 of them click on the ads. It doesn’t generate any money worth talking about but I just spent 5 minutes to post and it brings in 4-5$/mo every month. Not bad when you come to think of it 🙂

    I know it’s marginally related to the subject but I thought it might give an idea to someone 🙂

    1. That is a great tip too, I need to start monitoring Keywords….

    2. stubsy says:

      150 Visitors you must be pleased about that, is it a very common term used on a lot of other sites

  5. Xof says:

    Agreed but what about intriguing title with good keywords?!? 😉

    1. Marc says:

      That’s ideal, but not always achievable. In that case, you can follow John’s advice if you’re interested in search engine traffic.

  6. Matt Huggins says:

    Also important for this is to make sure the blog post name comes before the blog name itself in your title. For those that use WordPress, the default is to display “BlogTitle >> BlogPostTitle”. You can see how John switched it around in his blog’s config so that it displays “BlogPostTitle

    1. Matt Huggins says:

      Unfortunately my less than and greater than signs didn’t get displayed properly in the HTML. In any case, take note how John Chow’s title has the [Blog Post Title] first, then the [Blog Title]…not the other way around.

      1. Stephanie says:

        Is there a place in the Admin section to change that, or does it have to be done in the code? I’m very, very new to wordpress 😳

        1. Matt Huggins says:

          I believe it has to be changed in the code…at least, that’s how I did it.

          1. Marc says:

            In the code in the template. Don’t change the source code. I did that as a cheap way out and then when I update, lost my titles until I finally mustered up the effort to do it right.

          2. Stephanie says:

            Argh – I tried it on my own, and just ended up frustrated and confused. I really wish I could download how to do this right into my brain, Matrix style.

          3. Marc says:

            Try this:

            http://lastblogger.com/archives/369

            It’s not hard to do at all, just a simple template edit.

  7. Harry L says:

    I’ve learned a few things by checking my visitor stats to see where search engine visitors came from. I’ve been surprised to find certain titles that seem similar do much better with search engines than others.

  8. Mubin says:

    I cant believe so much work goes into one of your blog posts.

    1. This is where the “but gosh, I’ve been blogging three months now and nobody reads me” sort of comments come from. There is a significant amount of work involved in this business//career/racket _if_ you want to grow.

      The “trap” in blogging is that anyone can stick up a blog … for free if they want it that way and in five miniutes time (or less). But you than have nothing without out time and effort.

      John, Darren and a haost of other good folks do a lot of the heavy lifting for the rest ofus … thanks

      1. You beat me to it John – there is a lot of hard work in making your blog (or any business) a success!

  9. Jeff Kee says:

    This pretty much falls under my theory of using SEQR except mine goes further to tell people to write more about the “stumble” searches..

    http://blog.jeffkee.com/2007/02/08/search-engine-query-reciprocity-seqr-to-increase-blog-traffic/

    1. Marc says:

      Boo to random acronym generation!

      1. Matt Huggins says:

        Hehe, I was thinking it too, but didn’t write it. You read my mind though :mrgreen:

  10. Nathan Drach says:

    This can be ported to static sites also. Placing a good keyword selection in tags at the top and also within the title and filename will give you a good advantage at getting traffic.

  11. Rob O. says:

    I find it odd that for some months now the top dozen or so search strings for 2Dolphins.com include “pink dolphins.” Now granted, I do try include posts on dolphin-related topics since those are relevant to our site name (and near to my wife’s heart), but I’ve only blogged about the pink dolphins once.

    Likewise the keywords “joan jett” and “ipod tattoos” are consistently in our top few search strings but neither are topics that are frequently blogged about. In fact, I think I’ve only had a single post about each of those – and neither of those posts were very recent.

    I’m tempted to dream up another blog entry with the words “pink” and “dolphins” in the title just to see what would happen to my site hits and/or search string stats…

  12. Dave says:

    I have to reiterate the importance of smaller blogs going after the less competitive terms. Blogs without the authority or trust of a JohnChow.com won’t be able to get ranked for those premium terms, but can probably hit page 1 for the lesser stuff. Some traffic is better than none 🙂

  13. happysurfer says:

    Thanks for the reminder.

  14. thats reallly good information. thanks.

  15. Well of course that makes a lot of sense.

  16. Abdul Aziz says:

    I agree. My Google Pagerank shot up from 4 to 6 long time ago due to the fact that I write a very descriptive title for the content of my post.

    Another important thing is your post’s published URL= permalink. If it matches the title of the post, Google likes it better.

    For example, http://thinkabdul.com/2007/03/24/sample-post/ makes more sense and relevance than http://thinkabdul.com/?p=123 or http://thinkabdul.com/archives/123

    Hope everyone understood what I am trying to say.

  17. Title = search term is very basic and a KEY “must do” for all the outsourced bloggers I supply to webmasters the world over.

  18. Mark says:

    I’ve known about this for some time, having good titles with keywords in. Although, after reading you post about just how important it is, for any titles/blogs in the future i will definitely be using a one of your listed tools :cool:.

  19. Sometimes we assume that keyword interjection in the content is enough. Thanks for the tip, John — this is very helpful.

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