Short Blog Post Titles Help SEO and Help the Reader

I’m often astonished by WordPress blog post titles that have grown to mammoth lengths. I was motivated write about blog titles when a client sent me a new post with a title that had a whopping 210 characters. I think at some time bloggers have developed the idea that long titles stuffed with key words are good for SEO. I’ll share some insights into why you should shorten blog post titles using some examples from a made-up square-dancing blog (all fantasy… I haven’t even square danced since a rainy day gym class in high school).

long blog titles

1. Google isn’t going to show your whole title. 

Say you write a title:
Sharon Nelson Shares 30 Square Dancing Steps from Her 2014 Trip to Kanawha County, WV Festival with a stop at the Clogging Exhibition at the State Fair

Web searchers will only see a truncated part of the tile when they come upon the post in a Google search:
Sharon Nelson Shares 30 Square Dancing Steps from Her 2014 Trip to 

For someone who finds the post through a Google search, the chopped title may not give enough information to pique their interest. My recommended title would be something like…

30 Square Dancing Steps from Kanawha County, WV Festival

2. Snooze Factor. The new adage is “People don’t read.” It’s true!

People scan web pages and look for a fast answer or a clue that they want to read more. A huge problem with long post titles is that people lose interest after the first 3 or 4 words. So practice putting the words you want to excite people at the front of a title

3. Long titles can make your design look like a nightmare.

Look carefully at how your titles look before you venture into the the world of run-on titles. The design of your blog usually dictates how the title will appear on every post. If your design calls for the title in all caps you may be inviting a block  of text that will be very hard on the eyes and hard for most readers to read and interpret.

SHARON NELSON SHARES 30 SQUARE DANCING STEPS FROM HER 2014 TRIP TO KANAWHA COUNTY, WV FESTIVAL WITH A STOP AT THE CLOGGING EXPEDITION AT THE STATE FARE

4. There are no blocks on WordPress.

It’s up to the writer or webmaster to practice restraint. WordPress doesn’t block the user from creating extremely long titles, in fact, you can go as long as you want.

In a nutshell, grab the reader at the front of the title and keep it short.

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WordPress for Business is the Number 1 Reason I Use WordPress.org

Wordpress DeveloperI work only with the open-source WordPress software from WordPress.org. I don’t touch the WordPress.com stuff that’s advertised as a “Free” website source because frankly you just can’t adapt it into a WordPress for business website. I’m not talking about customization to make it pretty or to ramp up it’s functionality with plugins (and it’s pretty low on that too!). It boils down to being weak on the business side of business website.

  1. You Can’t Run Ads. That’s right you can’t make money advertising other people’s products or services. If you’re thinking about becoming an affiliate advertiser for Amazon.com – it ain’t happening. If you decide you want make some extra do-re-mi by placing Google Ads on your site — Nope. Not Allowed.
  2. You Can’t Sell a Product. You can’t sell your widgets, golf balls, or books. Even if we’re talking crafts like clay bowls, beaded necklaces, or knitted scarves—you won’t be able to set up a shop or a method of collecting payments. The Sell Products. There is no shopping cart plugin (you’re not allowed to install plugins). That means best you can do is get yourself ANOTHER website where you can collect payments and then direct people to that site. UGH. YUCK.
  3. PayPal is A No-No. Who in their right mind denies the use of PayPal? Well a free WordPress.com website does. If you’re a non-profit (NOT a business) you can have a donation button. That’s it. And if you think Google Wallet would be an alternative… sorry that too and all the other payment services are nixed by WordPress.com.

WordPress.org is the more “benevolent” side of WordPress. They actually do give away the software for free—you get the software and you can use it on your own hosting account and either you or you with the help of a WordPress web designer like Design to Spec, can customize the heck out of the site, and more importantly you can get down to making money with your business website!

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It Doesn’t Have to Be Deep, But Reveal Yourself In Your Business Blog Posts

photo 1 (1)

I had that conversation again. It’s the conversation where I urge a service blogger to reveal a bit about them self on their blog. Who you are is what makes you unique and worthy of working with your clients and customers.

Good advice… so, I’m sharing a bit about me. My blackboard door. My teen said they were too old for the Elf. Good-bye, Elf On The Shelf. {sniff!} I don’t think I’m ready to let him go. He may have to return next year with some more grown up pranks.

Merry Christmas to all and happy holidays through the New Year!

 

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Two Steps to Schedule Your WordPress Blog Posts — It will make your blogging easier

scheduling is like having remote control

Scheduling posts on WordPress is like sitting at home in an easy chair with the TV remote, and a cup of hot cocoa (well, maybe not that comfy). Scheduling blog posts is a feature that shouldn’t be overlooked by business bloggers because it’s a huge tool that will help you manage your time and keep you blogging. 2 steps to schedule blog postsYou’ll need to login to your WordPress dashboard. Look to the right and you’ll see “Publish”. Now follow Step 1 and Step 2.

Step 1: Click the “Edit” link next to “Publish Immediately”

Step 2:  Date and time boxes will appear and you can then set them for the date and time you’d like to post (or publish). Be sure to click the “OK” button to set the date and time you’ve selected– the blue “Publish” button will change to “Schedule”. Click the blue button to finish scheduling.

How does scheduling help business bloggers?

I have one client who is a prolific blogger. When he’s in the midst of multiple events he writes and writes so he has a stash of posts that he can then schedule to publish over several days so he doesn’t bury readers with multiple posts in one day.

I have other clients whose blogging style centers around vacations. Some want to have written their posts and have the scheduled to publish while they’re away from their desk. Other clients go on working vacations where they write a stash of posts and then schedule them to post later.

Scheduling blog posts works well for teams.

I have several clients who work as a team on their blog posts. Scheduling allows for a delay in publishing to gather up all the pieces needed for a post and for editing, yet still assuring a post will be timely and on track for publication.

Think of scheduling when you want to make your blogging easier.

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Icon Recognition vs Interactive Links – The Thought Behind Buttons You Can’t Click

social media icon recognition

One of my pet peeves are graphics that look like buttons, but do nothing.  I think of the poor web user punching away at them with their mouse and getting no where. But what about graphics that look like buttons on a box? Well, that’s not nearly as annoying as it sounds.

Yes, I’m torn. Part of me looks at a box with social media icons and I cringe because it violates the rule, “Get them to a destination with the least number of clicks.”  I would really like to see social media icons in print next to a web address that takes me to a page with the icons prominently displayed so I can start an online experience– clicking from a website is a few steps less than going to a social media site online or through an app and typing in a search for a business.

However, these “dead” icons are more of a comment on icon recognition–how recognizable they have become as “logos” for social media sites. They are simple. They are immediately recognized for the sites that they represent. Even the youngest kids know what they are. They are as recognizable as… well, the Nabisco triangle. They announce we’re on social media.

I found the Nilla Wafers page on Facebook (https://facebook.com/nillawafers/). Nilla ain’t my thing but chocolate is so I had to experiment with a chocolate version of their no bake cakes. Sweet!

Bottom line: social media icons are brand recognition.

Nilla wafer chocolate petite fours

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