Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan, or The Power of Titles

Thank you, James Taranto for giving me the title for this post. I had started it without a title, knowing I needed something interesting and offbeat, but couldn’t quite come up with anything. Then later that day, Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan just leaped off the page :D

(Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan is one of the finalists for oddest book title of the year, not surprisingly.)

So what is the world does this have to do with blogging?

Glad you asked.

We all know (don’t we?) that Google and other search engines can bring traffic to our blogs. However, most people don’t realize that having good titles is more than half the battle, as Beth so eloquently stated yesterday. I encourage you to read her post for some great examples, and to read Kim’s as well where she blogs about ranking well for Dorothy Hamill.

What this means is that not only do you need to use good, keyword-rich titles, you also need to be conscious about blogging on topics that people are searching for if you want to actively attract people to your blog. (See my Paris Hilton example.) Use the keywords as close to the front of the title of your post as you can and use them several times within the post itself.

As Rand writes today, “Strength of the domain, Internal and external links to the page, and Keyword in the title tag” are “80-90%” of search engine optimization for your site. It really is that easy, and you’ve got pretty good control over most of those things.

So before you post that next post, think about how you might be able to tweak it to use words that more people are searching for. You may not find yourself ranking well today, but down the road you’ll find that you’ve built up a lot of equity that really starts to pay off.

In fact, if you’re already seeing some search engine traffic, you may want to go back and tweak old posts that might could be ranking several places better if you just changed the Title a little bit. Take a look at your traffic stats and see what keywords are sending you some traffic. Then see if you can change those posts to start getting a lot more.

(And yes, I hope to find myself ranking well for Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan very soon ;) )

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