Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogger Blog Post Title Optimization

I've blogged with Blogger for a few years now, and overall it's worked pretty smoothly, but the blog post title can be a bit awkward to work with.

You'll notice that if your post title is particularly long, the resulting URL will get truncated once the post is published to a maximum length of roughly 39 characters. Spaces will be replaced with dashes, stop words like "to", "and", "of" will be filtered, and punctuation will be omitted.

Principles of SEO demand that blog posts are crafted such that search engines will return links to them as relevant hits for a given search. In addition, it is helpful to make it so that the blog post title is similar to the actual URL of the post.

In a Blogger blog, you can optimize your blog post titles by first deciding on a title which is both meaningful and concise. The title should reflect the content of the post, to make it easier for search engines (particularly Google) to categorize what you're blogging about, and decide how high up in the search results to place it. 

For example, if the title of your post is "How To Make Lots Of Money By Blogging On Random Topics" (which is 54 characters without quotes), try to distill the essence of your post into a title which meets or is under the 39 character limit, perhaps "Make Money Blogging Random Topics" (33 characters) or "HowTo Make Money Blogging Randomly" (34 characters). 

Ideally, you want the post title to meet that character limit for Blogger post titles, but sometimes it's difficult, particularly with stop words and spaces eating of valuable post title real estate. 

To mitigate this, you can try the following steps:
  1. Create a blog post with as brief a title as possible.
  2. Publish the post with the brief title.
  3. Immediately after publishing, Edit your post and modify the title to your original, more verbose version.

After doing this, you'll discover that Blogger keeps the concise title's wording in the URL, but in the post itself it will have your verbose title. 

Again, it's probably best that the title be the same in both the URL and the actual post title, but if you just can't do your post justice by pruning it below 39 characters, you can at least ensure that the post URL meets that requirement and yet retains value from an SEO standpoint.

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