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Want More Twitter Traffic to Your Blog? My 5 Cunning Tactics

I’ve already covered in-depth the importance of getting your blog post titles right–they need to be engaging and keyword driven. Now I’m absolutely convinced that your post titles will become the most important aspect of any blog post–and we have Twitter to thank.

As an avid Twitter user, I’ve seen first-hand just how blog post titles have grown in importance. The ability to feed your blog posts to your Twitter stream and your readers’ passion to share your posts with their followers, have escalated the value I place on writing my post titles.

I don’t want you to miss out on this benefit, so here are some tactics I’ve refined over the past year.

Title Tactic #1 – Your Post Title Says It All

When your blog post title clearly explains the content of the post, you improve the chances that others will tweet and re-tweet your blog post. Take a look at this recent example:

I could have used a more cryptic title–one that enticed a user to click on the link, but Twitter users are extremely busy and extremely ADD. You’ve got just a split second to capture their attention. In addition, more people are using Twitter as a bookmarking solution–so they’ll tweet your post without actually having read it, but with the intent to do so later.

By including the key details in your post title, you increase the chances that Twitter users will share it–after all, it doesn’t require any effort on their part to explain the content of the post.

Title Tactic #2 – OK, Maybe You Should Be Cryptic

Let’s say you have a post that’s kinda boring. Or perhaps you’ve written about a topic that umpteen gazilion other bloggers have already covered. How do you get Twitter users to read your post? The answer is to dangle something so cryptic, so enticing, that the reader just has to check out the post. Here’s an example:

Title Tactic #3 – Short & Sweet Results in a Tweet!

You want someone to tweet your latest blog post? Make sure the post title is short enough that the user can include it, and throw in their own comment or endorsement. Long post titles might let you get multiple keywords included, but remember that on Twitter, each character count is valuable.

Title Tactic #4 – Use Trending Keywords

Now that Twitter’s interface includes “Trending Topics” you should look for ways to include those terms in your post title. Now, I’m not suggesting you shoehorn “Susan Boyle” into your post about technology start-ups, but do include relevant keywords. If you’ve just written about Google Wave, include that exact phrase in your post title–it’s a trending topic, so you might just get a few extra clicks.

Title Tactic #5 – Use a URL Shortening Service

OK, this tip is not strictly about your post title, but you’ll get a lot of insight from using a URL shortening service. How? Many of these services include stats on the number of times your link was clicked or shared. Use that information to A/B test your post titles. What tends to work better for your Twitter followers? Intriguing post titles or comprehensive ones?

I use a private URL shortener called Gri.ms (as in PilGri.ms) and I’m learning a lot about which topics are popular and which post titles work best. You can get yours at Bit.ly or Lo.ly.

Title Tactic #6 – What’s Your Tip?

There are a few more tactics for building Twitter-optimized blog post titles, but I’m interested to hear what you’ve learned. Any tips you’d like to share?

  • http://twitter.com/mdjensen Michael Jensen

    I would say the use of (please retweet) or similar is really important for the big ones, maybe once a week. Here is Dan Zarrella’s “The Science of Retweets”:

    http://mashable.com/2009/02/17/twitter-retweets/

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Michael – yeah, “please retweet” is a good one. Which reminds me…. ;-)

  • http://smm-strategist.com Vijay Rayapati

    Good tips @andybeal, I prefer via “@twitterusername” rather “RT @username” as it makes clean tweet.

    Vijay Rayapati’s last blog post..Best Of Social Media Articles During The Last Week Of May -2009

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    I treat my tweets like a well-constructed email subject line. Clicking your link is akin to opening the email. You gotta draw them in!

  • http://congressratings.com/ Marc

    As try to do as journalists have been doing for years;

    Keep it short and interesting & Remember who the audience is.

    Marc’s last blog post..President Alvaro Colom Accused of Murder

  • http://www.mariareyesmcdavis.com/topics/twitter/ Maria Reyes-McDavis

    Great tips! I also agree that “via @username” is a cleaner retweet, as well as the idea that if you ask you will receive, so “please RT” is a great addition. The other, I would add, includes the idea of also promoting other’s. When you’re consistently sharing valuable resources (including your own), you’ll see a greater return overall (including on your tweets). Groovy stuff :-)

    Maria Reyes-McDavis’s last blog post..Social Internet Marketing Weekend Wrap Up

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    I really wish Twitter would incorporate a URL shortening service right into the post function.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..McAfee Most Dangerous Searches [What Not To Search For]

  • http://www.bluefalconmarketing.com Omar Zaibak

    I would say the type of users you follow and get followed by is another important tactic. You will get better conversions to your blog, if the people following you are also interested in that same topic.

    It has to be relevant to them. That is why I recommend having a targeted profile, and gain targeted followers. The more specific your profile is, the better your conversions will be.

    Regards,
    Omar

    Omar Zaibak’s last blog post..Why The FireFox Accessibility Extension Is Awesome For SEO

  • http://www.igomogul.com iGoMogul

    Some great tips, Andy. Our blog is divided into several different series, and we often preface the title of posts with the name of its corresponding series in our tweets. While this is obviously convenient for people who follow the blog regularly, it also helps to provide a general idea of what the post is about right off the bat, and possibly get another good keyword or two in there.

    Greg @ iGoMogul

  • http://www.whosbloggingwhat.com wbw_Jeff

    I track blog posts for a living (sort of) and I am on the same page as jlbraaten. Some rules of marketing don’t change. For a tweet, tell me what it is about. Tell me why reading it will somehow improve my lot in life. And tell me why I should read it now. And don’t forget to leave room for a retweet.

    And if you have any characters left over at that point, good for you!

  • http://www.newhomessection.com Jayson

    Great tips Andy – the title is certainly the most important tip (IMO) – gotta capture their attention. I hadn’t considered #3 – thanks for the tips

  • http://www.newhomessection.com Jayson

    Forgot to mention that saving some characters for anyone that wants to RT your comment is a good idea – makes retweeting easier

  • http://speedypin.wordpress.com Eric Itzkowitz

    Good tips Andy! Another way to fashion good posts is to appeal to the Human ego and psyche (i.e. guilt, love, anger, elitist, etc.) For example, post titles that elude to, “I know something you don’t, but should.” seems to work pretty consistently.

    p.s. I am currently testing Bit.ly vs. Cli.gs. Not sure which one I like better at this point.

    Eric Itzkowitz’s last blog post..SpeedyPin Affiliate Newsletter – May 2009

  • http://www.agent-seo.com Jacob Stoops

    I like the idea of utilizing trending keywords within your tweet. That may help you show up for those searches within twitter. I also think that if you want to get more traffic, it is important to come up with good bait. Much like linkbait, if you say something catchy people will click it.

    Jacob Stoops’s last blog post..The Anatomy of an Optimized Hyperlink

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  • http://myinternetbusinessblogsite.com Chris

    Some good points. I really must get my head around Twitter, just tend to let it get updated by my posts and Aweber emails but should put more effort into those points you’ve raised above. Cheers.
    Chris

  • Pingback: 114+ Awesome Ideas on How To Use Twitter | The Baby Boomer Entrepreneur

  • http://creeksbendmedia.com Cindy Helton

    Thanks Andy some good tips. I never thought about the trending keywords tip. Not always practical, as you said, but could definitely useful. We are all scanners when it comes to tweets so the clearly the topic the more likely I am to read it.

    Cindy Helton’s last blog post..Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile: Add Video

  • http://flexewebs.com/semantix Jason Grant

    What’s the big deal with driving traffic to a site?

    Most of these guidelines are fairly useless, as most web sites want things like: loyal users, conversion (purchases), people to recommend a site onto other friends, new customers, interaction, etc.

    The tips you are promoting are to do with just driving random traffic to the site and would not achieve many tangible results.

    Jason Grant’s last blog post..Big corporations will kill the web

  • http://www.terrancecharles.com Terrance Charles

    Great post, twitter is a good way to drive more traffic to your blog and the thing is you always have to be creative when writing your blog post, make it unique and different and interactive, it’s the same tactics I use to drive 1,000′s of unique visitors to each of my post, everytime.

  • http://www.ErnieBryden.com Ernie Bryden

    Twitter is Great Fun, Here are all the Best Tips I’ve found to make Twitter a better experience: http://erniebryden.com/wordpress/?p=149 , you’ll love them.

  • http://www.simplycast.com/ Michael

    These are great tips, I have been trying out a few already and can say they help in getting RTs.

    please follow me @simplycast

    thanks

  • http://marieannesmissives/blogspot.com Marie Anne

    Great blog, and I’ll be paying attention.

    Would love to add the ‘share this post’ like you have here. Could you share how that’s done?

  • http://www.wayneliew.com Wayne Liew

    I know this can be done by timestamping your blog posts but since I start to have a group of interactive followers, I tend to timestamp and promote my blog posts when they are on Twitter. This requires testing and if you are actively on Twitter, you will know when is the time most of your followers will come out and tweet their level best to summon the fail whale. :mrgreen:

    Wayne Liew’s last blog post..3 Books I Plan to Read This Coming Semester Break

  • http://blog.homebiznizz.net/ Ola Nordmann

    Great tips. Thanks. :)

    Ola Nordmann’s last blog post..WordPress: how to fix the blog category box in admin

  • http://gowebtraffic.com Mario

    Excellent tips. Well thought out. Thank you.

  • http://www.impactmedialtd.co.uk/ Adrian Bold

    Andy – just very good and timely tips, thank you.

    It sounds like you’ve compared gri.ms over bit.ly. Did you find there was a particular reason why you settled for gri.ms?

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  • http://www.bestbuyidea.com/ Altis Lo (Beaulife)

    KISS (Keep It Sweet and Short) your 5 Cunning Tactics, really enlighten me. I will practise these tactics. Thanks!

    Altis Lo (Beaulife)’s last blog post..Autorun Eater Freeware to Prevent Infections from USB Flash Drive

  • http://www.1strank.in mrugesh

    nice post..i m gng to use this tecniques to promote my blogs n site’s

    thnks

    mrugesh’s last blog post..Origin of ?Google PageRank? Technology

  • http://www.udjuni.com Simon

    Very good tips on driving traffic. Are there analytic tools to track twitter traffic to one’s site?

  • http://www.pimpyou.net carsten

    hi thats great, hope its working for the website pimpyou.net