Thursday, 26 March 2009

Post Titles

Sometimes it can be almost as difficult to find a catchy and/or relevant title for a post as it is to write the post in the first place. And sometimes I can't think of what to write at all. Tuesday wasn't one of those days; I managed to add three posts to the blog, none of them particularly earth-shattering, but each of them having something to say about how I had spent my day and how I was feeling.

My visitor figures are never particularly outstanding, although it is nice to know that some people read what I say and take the time and effort to comment. I often wonder what draws people to the blog in the first place so I often have a look at what search terms people use that causes them to have their first look (or even draw them back again later).

I have commented in the past that the search terms "meeting under the clock at Waterloo", "what is a Shetland hap shawl" and "studying and depression" regularly bring readers to the site. Then there was the saga of the students in India who all arrived at the blog by searching for "procrastination is the thief of time"; I don't think that my post with that as its theme will have helped them very much.

Students studying one particular course with the OU (a course that I have studied and mentioned in my blog) arrive at the blog by searching for the subject of the extended essay that forms the final examinable component of the course. They will be somewhat disappointed with the results though because although I mention what the essay is about I don't give them any information that would help them with the essay.

On Tuesday I went out for the day in an effort to try to cheer myself up after a particularly difficult day on Monday. I wrote a post giving details of where I had been and what I had done. Later that same evening I added another post because I had forgotten to include one of the highlights of the day. It was a very short post compared with many on this blog, and it had what I thought was a catchy and relevant title considering the subject. Yesterday I had somebody arrive through searching "keyhole surgery". I don't think that they found what they were looking for though.

So should I be a bit more careful about what I call the posts or what I write about? I don't think so. After all, it may lead someone to become a regular reader, so I don't care how they find my blog; I only hope they take a moment to read it and maybe find something that is worth reading.


Anonymous said...

So, do people search by Post Title or do they pick up key words in the text of your post? Intriguing, to say the least! I don't think it matters what the title is as long as what you say, as you say, is meaningful and that they (the reader) take a moment to read what is said. However, a little bit of thought into what the post might be about and that is then reflected in the title would always make the reader more inclined to want to read. Keep blogging.

cb said...

I think that if some particular words are in the title, google is more likely to return them as a search result. Of course, that's just an instinct based on my own observations. Sometimes I spend ages trying to think of a good title (like this morning) and then give up in despair and just end up with a description but not necessarily very imaginative.. I say go with what works for you and let the people who search and stumble, search and stumble :)