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WordPress Tip: Writing Customized Post Headlines, Title Tags, And Permalinks

By Mohsin at Blogging Bits

We all know the importance of catchy headlines, clever title tags, and short URLs. Unfortunately, the majority of WordPress bloggers do not utilise the flexibility of WordPress and the power of WordPress Plugins to customize these elements for optimal results.

While your content is what defines your blog, the post/page titles, headlines, and permalinks are the doorways that lead others to your content. An ill-structured headline, for example, is like a door that is stuck and doesn’t let others clearly see what’s behind the door.

So, let’s see how you can optimise post headlines, title tags, and permalinks to get more search engine traffic and to open the doors to all kinds of visitors.

First thing first, install SEO Title Tag WordPress Plugin. SEO Title Tag lets you define custom title tags for your posts.

Writing a headline

Now, write a post and craft a killer headline for it.

Let me give you an example of a post I wrote a few days ago. The headline for that post reads “Overcoming Laziness To Get Things Done“.

This headline is good and all for my readers, it sounds concise and to the point. But, it isn’t too relevant for the searchers who may be Googling for ways to overcome laziness. So, I need a dumbed down version of that headline that appears only in the search engine results and attracts the eye right away. Sounds interesting?

Writing a title tag

This is where SEO Title Tag comes in. If you have installed and activated the SEO Title Tag Plugin, a “Title Tag” field must have appeared just below the Write Post box.

So, here I’ll insert a custom title tag that is targeted to search engine traffic. Let’s insert “5 easy ways to overcome laziness”.

Cool, eh?

Now we have a headline that aims to impress our readers, who are supposed to be more web savvy and clever, and a title tag that catches the eye of casual web surfers using search engines.

Writing a permalink

The Post Slug is a very useful WordPress feature that is rarely put to good use. Again, instead of letting the post headline become its permalink, we can enter custom Post Slug to define a custom permalink. The shorter the permalink, the better. I have noticed that longer permalinks (URLs) in search results confuse me, whereas shorter ones instantly get my attention.

Continuing from the previous example, since the main point of my post is to explain how to “overcome laziness”, I’ll enter overcome-laziness in the Post Slug.

Perfect!

Remember that you can make your posts even more search engine friendly by inserting different related keywords and keyword synonyms in headlines, title tags, and permalinks. I could, for example, write a headline “5 ways to overcome laziness” a title tag “5 tips to beat laziness” and a permalink “5 techniques to help you get rid of laziness” to cover all possible keywords that may be used by the searchers.

If you know of any other ways, tips, tricks, and techniques to improve the post headlines, title tags, and permalinks, please share them in comments.

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I am Mohsin from Blogging Bits. I am an aspiring young blogger, and I write about creating successful blogs over at Blogging Bits. Be sure to drop by my place for a drink!

12 Comments

  1. Posted September 13, 2007 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Writing short descriptions (excerpts) is often understated in WordPress tips but I think is quite useful especially for search engine users in determining if the click thru is worth his/her time. Typically, the first few (30, I think) words from the post are used but bloggers don’t usually write posts that way.

  2. Posted September 13, 2007 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Great tip. At first I thought the SEO Title Tag Plugin would allow customization of the post title link’s “title” attribute, but I see now that it allows customization of the post title in the title HTML tag in the head of the web page. Cool.

    I am a firm supporter and believer in adding the title attribute to a link HTML anchor tag, which helps explain the link better if the link text can’t. When linking to posts within our post content and and in lists, I think this is critical to add more keywords to post titles, even though they are “hidden” unless the reader hovers their mouse over the link – still, search engines find these, helping your oddly titled posts be found in another direction.

    This method is brilliant though. Thank you!

  3. Posted September 13, 2007 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Patrix, I don’t take the trouble to write custom excerpts, but I do copy a paragraph that summarizes the post into the excerpt box.

    Lorelle, Ah yeah, the anchor tags! Got the habit of inserting anchor tags from posting on your blog sis. :)

    Thanks for your kind words.

  4. Posted September 13, 2007 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I think meta tags are extremely important for onsite optimization, along with good keyword links. These are some of the things I’ve seen that google recognizes when analyzing websites for content. I talk more about what meta tags are and how to use them . Thanks for the tips and the plugin for custom meta tags.

  5. Posted September 13, 2007 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Interesting stuff. I should begin using the custom titles…

  6. Posted September 13, 2007 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Nate: Just to be clear, this article isn’t about meta tags. It’s about the TITLE HTML tag in the head of your blog. Most meta tags are now being ignored by search engines, though a few pay attention to them.

  7. Posted September 13, 2007 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, have you checked out the All-in-one-SEO plugin? From what I know, it does the same thing as the title tag plugin, and allows for some more SEO-friendly additions…

    Does it look/seem helpful in this case you’re describing?

  8. Posted September 13, 2007 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Argh! I didn’t even know their was a v.2.0 of this plugin! At least I was using v.1.0. Glad I clicked through the truncated post in my reader to get the rest of the story! Thanks for reminding me what RSS is for (keeping updated about version changes in this case!)

  9. Posted September 13, 2007 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Adam Kayce I am flattered to know that you mistook my writing for Lorelle’s :D

    All-in-one-SEO Plugin does a few things that SEO Title Tag also does, but it doesn’t let you define custom title tags for posts, pages, categories and tags pages.

  10. Posted September 14, 2007 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Ha — you’re welcome, Mohsin!

    Thanks for the clarification; I’ll go check out this plugin straightaway.

  11. Posted September 26, 2007 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Instead of the SEO Title Tag (now incompatible with WP 2.3), it is better to use All in One SEO Plugin that not only allows your to customize title tags but also lets you add description and keywords. And it uses the title tags already specified by SEO Title Tag plugin.

  12. Posted December 10, 2007 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips.


6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] have described a way to define custom post titles, title tags, and permalinks in WordPress in a guest post over at Lorelle on WordPress. Check it [...]

  2. [...] WordPress Tip: Writing Customized Post Headlines, Title Tags, And Permalinks: Mohsin at Blogging Bits covers a top of tips dealing with writing customized post titles and more on using the Post Slug. [...]

  3. [...] WordPress Tip: Writing Customized Post Headlines, Title Tags, And Permalinks « Lorelle on WordPress [...]

  4. [...] Tips on headlines, titles & permalinks – Honestly, I never even thought about how important these 3 things were until I read this article. Choosing your headlines, titles and permalinks carefully (and creatively) can matter just as much as your content when it comes to search engines. This is definitely something that everyone with a website or blog needs to consider, whether you use WordPress or not. [...]

  5. […] WordPress Tip: Writing Customized Post Headlines, Title Tags, And Permalinks: Mohsin at Blogging Bits covers a top of tips dealing with writing customized post titles and more on using the Post Slug. […]

  6. […] WordPress Tip: Writing Customized Post Headlines, Title Tags, And Permalinks: Mohsin at Blogging Bits covers a top of tips dealing with writing customized post titles and more on using the Post Slug. […]

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