Creating Compelling (and Search-friendly) Post Titles
So now that you've got your content ideas and you're really starting to build those, let's talk about creating compelling and search friendly post titles. So, in a lot of ways, what you title your post matters as much or more than what's in the post, from a writing stand point, because most of us are probably going to write short posts because we're gonna focus on visuals, and so, it's what we're calling our posts that are going to help us get found. So, your post titles are obviously a major factor in getting found in search, right? There's a lot of little details, and again, I'm gonna be really clear here, I am not an SEO expert, but you don't have to be, right? We have to understand the basic principles and then we're not gonna get bogged down in the little details like Annette asked, "I heard that if you do this plus this is less SEO," or someone else asks like, "If you do this plus this, does it hurt your SEO?" And the answer is yes, maybe, but here's the other thing, no one reall...
y knows for sure unless you actually work at Google, and build the algorithm, which changes all the time. So, we're gonna focus on general best practices, and of course, post titles are also a major factor in getting found on Pinterest, particularly if you have rich pins set up on your blog, and we're gonna talk about rich pins more in a minute, but you can see right here that blog posts, well, let's see, a blog post that doesn't have rich pins looks like this, but a blog post that does have rich pins, pulls the title into Pinterest. So, here's our Matisse inspired hoop statement earrings. This is a day where I was a slacker about writing a good post title, but there it is (laughs). So you can see it gives more information that Pinterest is reading. So, those, that search element, so even though I'm not always the best Google SEO person, I'm always thinking about how those post titles are gonna look on Pinterest because they help me get found there, as well. The other thing that your post titles need to do is to encourage people to click through to your post, and this is both on search and social. So, it's not enough that your post shows up in Google, right? You need someone to decide that of all the Google results, even just on the first page there's a lot, you need someone to decide that your post is the one they wanna click on, that your post is the thing that they're looking for. Same thing on Pinterest. Pinterest is a little easier because you get the image too, so you have a second chance to convince them. That's why I really like to think about Pinterest, but the same thing goes, holds true for social, right? Someone shares your post on Facebook and someone else is gonna click through, there needs to be a compelling post title to get them to do. So, a strong post title, has both keywords and clickability. It's got your keywords in there, but it encourages someone to click, and again, we're not going to get into really deep into keyword research. So instead, what we're gonna think about is how our ideal customer might think about keywords because they're not actually thinking about keywords, they're thinking about their life, and so, we're gonna ask, what would my ideal customer type into Google or Pinterest, 'cause Pinterest is a search engine, to get her to this post? And that's what I want you to ask every time you title a post that's meant to attract your ideal customer. Now, a few things to keep in mind. First of all, people ask Google questions. We forget that, but when you don't know something, you're like, "What is blah, blah, blah? "Where does this happen?" People ask Google questions. So, a lot of times, it's really easy just to put your post title in the form of the question someone's going to ask, right, literally, What to Wear to a Summer Wedding. A lot of people Google that, and then, you can get even more in depth, right? What to Wear to a Casual Summer Wedding? What to Wear to an Evening Summer Wedding? What to Wear to a Formal Summer Wedding? Boom, that's like four more post ideas, and then, this second piece here, is actually what adds to our clickability, right? So, it's not just What to Wear to a Summer Wedding, here are 12 Outfit Ideas to Try. So, now they know that there's a little bit of content behind that. The other thing of course that people do is they Google descriptions of what they're trying to find. "I saw a picture of something" or "I have it in my head," right? Sometimes you like, think about what you wanna wear to an event. I'm just giving you guys a style example, but this happens in everything, right, you're like I have this idea that I'm looking for like the perfect black dress, with such and such neckline, I don't know if it exists, but it's in my head, so now I'm gonna Google it to try to find it. Like last year I had it in my head, I was like I need a lined military jacket for winter. Like, Google, I googled it, and I ended up buying one from Abercrombie & Fitch. I didn't even know that was still a thing. I felt like I was back in like 2001, but I knew what I wanted, and I googled it and there it was. So people google descriptions of what they're trying to find. Maybe somewhere on the internet, you thought you saw a pair of earrings that kind of looked like they were inspired by Matisse, right? Matisse statement earrings. So, as we're talking about this, I think one of the questions that comes up is should you actually spend time doing keyword research for every blog post? I'm gonna say no because that is one of those things that just sucks up all your time, and at the end of the day, not every post is gonna land as well as others, but the more posts you create, the more chances you have for those posts to do well, and the more chances you have to be found. So, I would rather you spend the time just thinking, "What is my ideal customer searching for? "What are they looking for? "What do I wanna show? "What words would get them to think, "to think about this image? "What are they, what would they put in "to find this image in Google?" And just spend that time generating content, and not obsessing over the keyword research. If you have like a whole team, then I'd be like, "Yeah send that team out and do keyword research," but if you can just think about your ideal customer, and what words they might be using, and just keep generating those blog posts, that's gonna serve you really well. The other thing to keep in mind is that not every post title needs to be full of keywords, but the ones that you're using to attract your ideal customer, better be. Right? So that means the more posts you're trying to create that attract your ideal customer, the more you at least need to think about using keywords. So, what you can see here, this is a post previewing upcoming products. It's called Coming Soon: The Modular Collection. No one is looking for The Modular Collection because I just named it that, right? But that's fine, this was just a place to send people to remind them that this is happening and encourage them to sign up for my mailing list, but these posts that are designed to try to attract my ideal customer, are all about the keywords, plus clickability, right? 8 Chic and Stylish Ways to Wear Black and White to Work, or What to Wear to a Casual Summer Conference. There's that question again, right? What do I wear to a casual summer conference? So, the other thing we wanna think about is what makes someone click through to a post. So there are lots of reasons, but a few of the big ones, we like lists. There's a reason that it's like eight ways, 12 ways, 27 whatevers, to whatever, right? Three things your ice cream preference says about you, we like lists. We use them because they work, but then, surprise, right? Things that are, that feel unexpected to us. So, right like, three surprising things your favorite ice cream says about you. Well, what does my favorite ice cream say about me? And why is it surprising? I know, like, we're all laughing, because we've all seen these posts a lot, but the reason we've seen these posts a lot is because they work, and we've all fallen victim to them, right? We've all clicked the posts. We were talking about this this morning as I was in makeup. We've all clicked the post and lost two hours of our lives on Buzzfeed, right? So, if it works for Buzzfeed, why not make it work for you? Suspense or curiosity, right? Like, what, we don't know, we wanna know what's happening. Like there's a, there's a mystery there, and then, quite frankly, genuinely helpful content. If we know it's gonna tell us the thing we wanna know, or it's gonna help us in some way, we're gonna click through. So, I actually did this. I pulled this information from my Pinterest analytics because I wanted to see what people were clicking, and what I'm actually interested in here is ... Clicks, so this number here, it doesn't say at the top, but this number here, is the number of clicks that something got in the last 30 days, and this is not, I scrolled part way down my feed, but then, this number here is actually the number of impressions that something had on Pinterest. So what I am actually looking for is things that got clicks with very few impressions, right? So, this post right here, this post got 16 clicks, but it was 15, almost 16,000 impressions, right? This post right below it got 15 clicks out of only 1800 impressions, that's a great click-through. Oh, look, 12 Outfits That Look Better With a Statement Necklace, right? So, we, versus the one above it, which is just a, this is actually a product page, so once again, proving that people like to click on blog posts more than they like to click on products for sale, right, so 12 Outfits That Look Better With a Statement Necklace. It's our list, it gives us a little bit of, like, curiosity. Wait, well, what outfits look better with a statement necklace? And it's also a little bit helpful, right? So, this right here is an example. I use these things a lot. 8 Simple and Chic Outfits to Wear to Work. I use these things a lot because they work. So, now you can see that's that post, in case you wanted to see what that looked like. So, the other thing is, you can also go back through and change old post titles to make them more search and click friendly. So, if you had a post that you were like, like my post that just said Confidence, right, I could go back and change that. Quotes About Confidences, something that's a little bit longer because, and the thing with keywords, that we haven't talked about, but we should talk about, is that it's really hard to win for keywords that are only one or two words long, right? It's much easier to win for phrases. So, if you can think about a phrase instead of one to two words, you're gonna have much more likelihood of being found because it's more specific, and that's true both on Pinterest and on Google. So, you can go back into your old post if you've been creating content for a while, and if you don't want it to get found, don't worry about it, but if you have content that you're like, "Well, I wrote this post "and it should be attracting my ideal customer, "but it's not," go back through and make some changes to your post titles, and see if you can get that content going again. The other question might be, should you start with the title or start with the post? Right, so should you write the post first, and then come up with a title? Or should you be coming up with titles, and then coming up with a post? And of course, I added this third option here because you guys probably know how I feel about it a lot of the time (laughs), which is the thing about starting with the image. So, if you have an image that you're starting with, and you ask that question, "What do I want to show?" Then you can come back in and ask, "What will my customer, "what will customer type into Google or Pinterest "to get them to this image?" So that, I think, is an easier way to start for those of us who are visual, right? Start with the image and then work backwards, "What would my ideal customer google to get them there?" But over time, as you do this, and you spend time looking at your blogging role models, you spend time generating content, it actually becomes easier to maybe think about starting with a title. "Oh, right, like summer's coming. "Wouldn't it be great if I did, like, "Outfits to Wear to a Summer Picnic?" So then, you can start to come up with these title ideas and then build your content around them. So, you can take either approach. I think, in the beginning it's often easier to start with the image, but either one works. So question about post titles and search?