(Source) While you should know it by now, the most successful post title describes the post content using keywords, search terms, and a little attention-getting techniques. As I edit my blog posts, the post title may change before I hit publish.
Leave it to Lorelle to come up with another good one on WordPress blogs. These three elements of good blog post titles are things I’ve been telling people since I started blogging. You’ve got to make sure you get the right title. A good title has these three elements in abundance:
- Describes what the blog post is about
- Uses your keyword
- Sparks an interest
If you don’t do No. 1 then when people read your post they’ll be disappointed. They likely won’t come back and read your blog again because they’ll think you don’t know how to write your blog post titles. Your keyword is very important as it positions your blog post page in the search engines – you do want traffic don’t you? Thirdly, if you don’t do No. 3 then no one will get past the blog post title and read the blog post. Even if you write the best blog post of your life, no one will read it.
The Blog Post Slug And Your Title
Lorrelle goes on to talk about the blog post slug. That’s the publishing world’s word for title. It’s an old newspaper term. I won’t go into the history of how the word came into use (Lorelle does that better than I ever could), but I will reiterate another point Lorelle makes quite well. After you hit Publish it is too late to change your slug.
The slug comes from your blog post title. It will be the title of your blog post with hyphens between each of the words. That is the part of the web page title that comes after the .com/ and it tells search engines and browsers that they are on a specific web page of a specific website. If you change your blog post title after you publish your blog post then the blog post title and the slug won’t match. That’s a problem and the only way to fix it is to go into your htaccess and set up a redirect from the old blog post page to the new one. If you are on a free blog, you are SOL because you likely won’t have access to your htaccess. If you own the domain name on which your blog sits it is a lot easier, but if you don’t know how to do it then you’ll have to hire someone to do it for you or risk messing it all up. That’s a big risk.
Therefore, the best solution is to just leave it alone. If you have a typo in your blog post title and you don’t notice it until after you publish it, ask yourself if that typo is really important. Sometimes you can get traffic for a misspelled word that you would never reach otherwise. For instance, if you misspell “happy” as “hapy” then you could get all the traffic from people who misspell that word in their search query. One blog post over the life of your blog isn’t going to matter with that one misspelled word; you could leave it without missing out on much at all. If you have a bad habit of misspelling words a lot then you should probably hire a ghostwriter or spell check your blog posts before you publish them. Your blogging will go a lot smoother.