Why post titles are critical

Internet Marketing Strategy | Importance of Well Designed Post Titles

This post is part of a series about the Internet marketing strategy I call Inbound Marketing, and is part of a sub-series on how to ensure every blog post is of high quality from an SEO perspective. To access either of the lead posts, please click one of the links in the prior sentence.

The specific focus of this post is to explain why post titles are important to SEO and to tell you how to design strong SEO friendly titles.

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Why are post titles critical for successful SEO?

I have two answers to this question:

  1. Because the search engine robots give them importance.
  2. Because a well designed title helps stimulate you as a writer into writing better more informative and more search friendly posts.

How do you design a strong search friendly title?

The golden rules are:

  • Use as much of the available title space of 70 characters as you can without going over.
  • Make minimal use of words people don’t search for (“a”, “the”, adjectives, adverbs, etc).
  • Avoid using any word more than once.
  • If you must have a separator within your title, use the “|” character.

The space allocated for a post title is 70 characters. You want to use as much of that as you reasonably can without going over.

Additionally you want to avoid re-using any word twice. The more different words you use the more different combinations of search queries your post title (and hence your post will match).

Per Matt Cutts (the Manager of the Web Spam team at Google), the Googlebot has been specifically coded to recognize the “|” character as a separator, so if you do need one, use that one.

The title of this post is:

Internet Marketing Strategy | Importance of Well Designed Post Titles

It is 69 characters long, every word is used only once, it contains only one filler word (of) and it does have a separator character, which is the one Matt Cutts said to use.

How do I easily know it’s 69 characters long?

I build my titles in an SEO plugin (in my case WordPress SEO by Yoast, but any will do) because it counts characters as I build the title. Once the title is built, I then copy it from the SEO Title field of the SEO plugin into the Title field of the post.

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