A few days ago I was moaning to a mate about the fact that despite thousands of inbound links and a page rank of 6 – ProBlogger.net is still yet to rank highly for many of it’s relevant search terms in Google – as a result I rarely get any traffic from Google on this blog. Even for a term like ‘Blog Tips’ (something I write about a lot) I only ranked around 60th on Google.
My friend asked a simple question that made me realize how blind a blogger can be when they stare at their own blog all day and lose objectivity. He asked:
‘What is in the title tags of your blog?’
As soon as he asked the question I knew how stupid I’d been. This is a question I often ask other bloggers but had not asked myself!
The title tags of my front page had been ‘ProBlogger: Helping Bloggers Earn Money’. A good descriptive term – but not including some of the key terms that I was wanting to get hits on – particularly ‘Blog Tips’.
NB: your ‘title tags‘ are what appears between <title> and </title> in your blog’s templates. This title comes up at the top of your browser when viewing a page and comes up in search engine results as the title of your post.
After banging myself on the head a few times for my stupidity I decided to do an experiment – I changed my title tags on my home page to ‘ProBlogger Blog Tips: Helping Bloggers Earn Money’. Just a tweak really – the inclusion of two words. I set this up and waited to see what would happen.
The graph above (provided by digital point’s keyword tracker) tells the story better than I can with words. My search ranking for Google on the term ‘Blog Tips’ went from 65th to 10th in two or three days. On MSN I went from 40th to 1st. (the red line is another of my blogs which has always ranked highly on Google for ‘Blog tips’).
Now the term ‘blog tips’ isn’t the most lucrative term in the world and doesn’t bring in hoards of readers – but it is better than what I was doing with Google and it illustrates a point – your title tags are very powerful when it comes to optimizing your blog in Google (and other search engines).
I recommend that on your home page you have a title that incorporates your blog’s name and your main keywords. On individual pages I always recommend that you make your title the title of your post – which should of course include keywords for that post. I also include my blog name on individual pages on ProBlogger as I think it could intrigue people on Search engines to come and have a look. On some of my other blogs I just use the post title without the blog title.
So on my post ‘Does Blog Design Matter?‘ my title is ‘Does Blog Design Matter?: ProBlogger Blog Tips’
I’ve still got a long way to go with Google – my individual pages are not getting very high rankings at all – I suspect that they may have sandboxed me – but making sure your title tags are optimized is another step towards getting ranked and something I’d encourage all bloggers to consider.
Update: Another side benefit of changing your title tags to include your keywords is that you’ll find other people link to your blog using your title tags in the link. Yesterday I noticed two other blogs did this – rather than linking to me as ‘ProBlogger’ they linked as ‘Problogger Blog Tips’. This is good news because search engines look at the words that people link to you with in order to work out what your page is about and how highly to rank you for those terms. This should all help my ranking for those words.