Note to self: when writing blog post titles, forget about SEO


A few days ago, I wrote a blog post about innovative blog designs and solutions that are emerging everywhere. I think it's a great post, it offers a very detailed overview of new fascinating concepts and features that are driven by new ways we consume content. But right before publishing, I've decided to change the post's title from "Dissecting the innovative blogs..." to "UX analysis of the innovative blogs...". I did this because I wanted to include "user experience" and "analysis" in the blog's title and url for better SEO performance, but this turned out to be a huge mistake.

This article is the first part of a series, focused on new generation blogs, which will (hopefully) form a complete user experience study of modern online media. But I've chosen the wrong title for it, since the core of every UX analysis are the problems and goals each solution is trying to solve and achieve. By thinking about SEO, I've devalued the content of the story by presenting it as something it is not. Even if the the new bible would be written inside the post, user experience experts would probably think "This guy doesn't know shit about UX" because of the title. It's very easy for something to be stained by a corrupt detail and be perceived in a negative way.

Even though I know most of the traffic on my blog doesn't come from search, but rather from referrals, I always subconsciously think about this tradeoff when I'm writing a post - appealing titles vs. SEO optimized titles with high keyword density. Pressured by the amount of time I've invested in this specific post (>10 hours), I went for the latter, also because it's every blogger's dream his / her work will once be self-sustainable. Traffic without active (social media) involvement. I do the writing, Google does its magic, the readers to the rest.

Search engine rankings are influenced mostly by (social media) backlinks. This means you need social activity first, only then the keywords start to matter. Which makes it much more important for your blog's title to capture attention than to be SEO friendly.

By the way, I've changed the title back to the intended original one, but the URL stayed the same. And I'm never thinking about SEO when writing blog titles again.

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written 1.4.2013 10:23 CET on chronolog
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