For those of you that read my daily Today’s Read posts you know that I find new posts by using Google Alerts. I pick my favorite keyword phrases, Google finds all the blogs that use them, email them to me, and I check them out in the morning.
Each alert that Google sends me usually has about three to five blogs that use the keyword that day. I have alerts for a bunch of keywords, so I get a bunch of blogs to read. I don’t check out all the blogs because they are not always relevant though. How can I tell? It’s in their title. I’m not going to read a post about improving the “usability” of kitchenware. I just read the posts about improving the “usability” of websites.
Each blog Google mentions also include a brief description with the title, but I usually only read those when I’m am unsure if the content is what I am looking for. Just like most users read websites, I skim.
FeedBurner Knows What Titles Are Effective
If you use FeedBurner for your RSS feed on your blog, you most likely have discovered that it tracks not just total subscribers, but what those subscribers actually click on. See this screenshot below on how to find post popularity.
After logging into FeedBurner simply select your feed, click the analyze tab, and then select Item Use. When you see your recent posts listed it should becomes very obvious what titles works best, and what content makes visitors click.
Looking at my screenshot above the number of views indicate that my post titled “Twitter Vs. Google? – There is Another” sparked the most attention. As a post it is getting more comments than my other posts. Does a good title equal more attention, and does it increase the chance of visitors comments? You bet! I’ve wrote about this before. A good title is more likely to get readers to comment than the content will.
A Title Isn’t Everything
A good title isn’t everything though. I won’t use that overly abused term content is k***, but some posts will get more action than others. When I started posting the Today’s Read posts, I had my concerns. They have three outbound links, they are very short, they have the same boring title. I was afraid readers might just see it as a junk post. They are not though, and I really do read a ton of blogs in the morning, and really do filter out the best to the top of a list. When I am done, I post Today’s Read. Basically, I believe they are good posts, and valuable to my audience.
The analytics of Today’s Read? It has quickly become a good reason for my subscribers to visit my site. My feed only post an excerpt of each post. Those outbound links in the post are not hurting either. Looking at Google’s Analytics I can see that I am getting more page views and time on site with almost every post.
Looking at FeedBurner’s Clicks column in the screenshot, you can see that it is no slouch as well. It’s getting more clicks than the other posts.