By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer
Optimizing your blog post headlines often seems like a mysterious, esoteric, black art. With data-rich online resources, optimizing blog post headlines can be simple, straightforward and actionable. Such resources, like Google, eliminate much of this mystery surrounding the issue.
We will walk you through the simple steps of optimizing your blog post headlines — from how to identify your keywords and deciding which keyword variations are best for you to riding a keyword trend.
Identify Key Words
Identifying the correct keywords for you blog post is crucial for enhancing your SEO efforts. Google Ad Words is an incredibly valuable tool to identify the optimal key words for your blog post headline. Google Ad Words finds related search queries and volume. If you click on the global search term category, you can see the top key word searches. For example, a quick search for “blog” will give you a short list with “blog fail,” “video blog” or “blog free.”
Use different variations on your keyword
As the shortlist of top keyword searches might yield tens of millions of queries, it’s important to focus your headline and select realistic keywords. In the search box, refine your topic (maybe type use “headline” and “optimize”) to determine key words that fit with your criteria. Unless you have a large site with high page rank, you’re not likely to make the first search page for keywords such as “SEO”. If your goal is to get on the first page, try some middle and long-term tail terms. For example, you can use search queries with a search volume between 30k-60k and might successfully land on make Google’s front page.
Catch a Rising Trend
Once you’ve determined the optimal key words, Google Trends might help you determine when to use them. Google Trends allows you to see the search volume of a given key word in timeline format. For instance, if you were to search “Obama,” you could see the search volume spiked around the 2008 presidential election in November, then spiked again during the inauguration.
To ensure you’re going to “ride the wave” of a certain key word, you can search for the last 30 days in the upper right hand corner of the webpage. You can also compare key words. Going along with the Obama example, if you insert other names such as Palin, McCain, Biden, you can compare each search term volume. The trick is to catch the key word on an incline.
By utilizing Google’s free, data-rich tools, any blogger can increase their chances for appearing on the front page of Google. Though there is no certainty and these steps are time-consuming, putting in the extra effort to find the optimal keywords is a gateway to more web traffic and greater digital exposure.