Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's in a (Post) Name?

Blog hits from Google searches.  That's what's in a post name. 

I've learned that if I want to make some sort of impact outside of our community, want to get people visiting who may or may not have a connection to us, I can craft some carefully-placed words in my post titles. 

For those of you who blog and check your analytics every day, you may find some pretty funny Google keywords that have driven people to your blog.   Sometimes those keywords are a bit disturbing, unfortunately, but you can usually recall a post that you'd written that may have contained those very words, albeit in a completely different context altogether.  And while these words are sometimes derived from content within the actual blog post, I think the stronger, more powerful, more likely magnets to draw and attract those searches to you are your titles

Back before Samantha's birthday party in May, I wrote a post about how the theme was Olivia the pig, and that I was doing a lot of the crafts for the party myself.  I thought I had some cute ideas, and hoped that others looking for birthday party theme/craft options might stumble across that post.  I titled it, Chasing the Crafty DIY Birthday Party.  After the party, I hoped that, like myself when I was trying to create the party, people would find my blog and see pics of the finished product, so I titled the post of party pics, Sammi's Olivia Party Picture Overload.  When she got a Pinkalicious bike for her birthday, an item that I think is really cool, I wanted to share that with the world of Pinkalicious fans out there who may do web searches for a Pinkalicious bike, so I titled that post, The New Bike:  Pinkalicious Rides Again.

I'm happy to report that I have gotten numerous hits on my blog from just such searches.  And I hope those posts helped some people, as others helped me when I did some very similar keyword searches.

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When Sequenom's prenatal test, MaterniT21, came on the market, I frantically wrote a post to express my fear of what it would mean for my daughter's future, and the futures of so many like her, my fear of losing such an amazing and valuable population in the world.  I titled that post, MaterniT21.

Get where I'm going here?

When I start to write something I feel passionate about, I get a bit of a head rush, find it a little hard to breathe, like I've had one-too-many cups of coffee.  I feel that way now, like I can't let this go until I finish, like I may be making a difference in some way, no matter how small or insignificant...

Yesterday I got a hit from a search for MaterniT21 availability Colorado

Don't get me wrong, I've gotten visits resulting from searches for MaterniT21 before, after I wrote that initial post, but this one kind of hit home for some reason.  This time it wasn't just an anonymous, possibly innocuous hit from someone conceivably just looking for general information about the test, from someone who may even be from our Ds family wanting to know more.  This time, it felt directed by need, by someone actually looking for the test where they live, most likely so they can have it administered.

Did they stick around to actually read my post?  I don't know.  Did they feel even a little bit of intrigue?  Did they learn something?  Did they see how the happy parent of a child with Down syndrome feels, and sees her amazing life?  Did they see how beautiful our enhanced children are? 

Did they change their minds about what to do in the event of a positive test result?

I know it's all wishful thinking.  Wishful that maybe, just maybe, the titles of our posts, placed with such care and forethought, might change a mind.  Or a hundred. 

Keep that in mind as you write your next blog post.

12 comments:

Jenny said...

Hmmm...I always think about the content of my posts but never really about the titles...I will from now on though!

I wrote a post on MaterniT21 a long time ago and in my stats I notice it is the one word I get the most hits from. I too hope that who ever is searching for it or info may take time to scroll through my blog and see what a blessing Russell is to us.

Great post Becca :)

Deb said...

I was disappointed to learn that someone arrived at my blog by searching "really bad down syndrome". I am pleased to say that the majority of searchers seem to arrive by searching "down syndrome ultrasound photo" so I feel that the posts that I wrote are reaching the right audience!

Anna said...

Great post once again! Ive just started looking at things like this, just a few days ago I really delved into the stats page and laughed when I saw that my most read post was "smiley face suitcase" and "thinking happy thoughts" Waaay back in the day. It got me to wondering, is there a way to edit old posts without it causing a ruckus?(re posting them into the google reader etc) I saw a spelling error or two and could have done links, pictures etc to make it more appealing. It got me to thinking about this, how to title posts to get more hits, how to really be a voice.

Rochelle said...

Great idea. I hope they stuck around to witness the beautiful side of ds!

Krista said...

I have NO IDEA how to work Google analytics and so wish I knew how. Good on you though, I love those kind of stories.

lovemy3 said...

Hmmm...maybe I need to put more thought into my titles!

Anna said...

I once had someone search for "wanting a baby with Wolf-Hirschhorn to die". It shook me up for a long time. Like you, I hope that whoever it was read my blog a bit and changed their mind.
I also once posted the word 'Government' in a post title and saw that someone from parliament had checked out the content.
It sure is interesting.

Anna Theurer said...

Great post! It is always interesting to see the search terms. I have to say the "ugly retarded baby girl toddler" upset me the most, but I hope that whoever read my blog learned a few things!

teal915 said...

good thingbto know. i hadn't really thought about it. i check my stats every once in a while, and there are some interesting ones.

Melissa said...

I've never paid much attention to my analytics, but I know that titles do make a difference! I'll have to be more aware of that in the future.

meriah said...

I'm an analystic junkie too... but I"m also a sucker for off the wall titles - and try as I may, it's really hard to stick to the bare bones of SEO - star-worthy titling. I think it's easier somehow for me on OhGo. I don't know...

P said...

It can and will make a lifetime of difference to someone. Even if it's just one, you save a world! Passion always does matter and one step is the only way to start. Thanks!