SEO

An Easy SEO Guide for Poets

Here’s how to up your SEO score and get more traffic for your poetry

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Learning About SEO

Working as a freelance writer, I have the privilege of SEO training with some of the companies that employ me. From SEO headlines to SEO keywords and meta descriptions, it can all get a bit overwhelming. Also, as a poet, this got me thinking wouldn’t an SEO guide for poets or short fiction writers be nice? Primarily, how to write killer SEO headlines for poetry posts.

And as we all know — it starts with a killer SEO headline, which can be challenging to craft for these shorter creative pieces like poetry, flash fiction, or other fiction works. In short, for poets and fiction blog writers, we are going to have to get a bit crafty with our headlines.

Headline Analyzers can help you create better SEO titles

I have written before about my favorite Headline Analyzer and why I use it, but what about creating headlines (or titles if you prefer) for poetry? If you want to create SEO-friendly traffic for a poetry blog post, it may take some creative ingenuity to create great SEO headlines.

For poets, working on blogging platforms allows them to share their art with the world, but the resounding response of crickets can be disheartening. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and creating winning headlines is just one of the components of this multi-faceted approach to generating traffic for your website or posts.

Poetry is challenging when it comes to SEO

Poetry posts are already at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO. There are a few reasons for this:

  • It is too hard to work keywords into the body of the work.
  • The work is often too short and doesn’t rank well with Google.

“The best blog length for SEO in 2020 is 1,760 words. According to numerous studies over the last 10 years — Google’s algorithm prefers more content when going head to head on shorter content posts–helping blog posts with over a 1,000 words do better on average–and driving up the average significantly. At a minimum, blog posts should have 300+ words. Having more than 300 words keeps your blog from being considered ‘thin content’ on your website.” — Hook Agency

  • SEO isn’t really designed to promote creative pieces like simply posting a poem, song lyrics, or a short piece of fiction. It is designed for informational purposes with the search habits of digital consumers in mind.

To that last point; because it was not designed for our lovely poems does not mean we cannot proceed with an awareness of how SEO works and apply as many of the SEO tips and tricks we can to our blog posts of poetry. The algorithm prioritizes based on that system and for that reason, we need to apply the methods to our short-form work.

How to Write SEO Headlines for Creative Pieces Like Poetry

Here, we’ll discuss how you can better create SEO headlines that stay true to the poetry you are sharing while giving your work a more optimal chance of being seen.

How does SEO work?

SEO works by taking a few factors and comparing them to other competing articles and posts on the same topic, then organizing search engine results according to what readers may want to see first. To work SEO into your article or poem you must address keyword usage, keyword density, and the inclusion of keywords in other choice areas of your work.

For SEO headlines, there are tools to help analyze the SEO of your titles and help you to score those fantastic, clickable, interesting titles you need to lure readers into clicking.

SEO in your headlines (even for poetry) includes factors such as:

  • Inclusion of keywords in the title
  • Density and length of the title
  • Readability of the title

I use Headline Analyzer — Capitalize My Title and will use it to demonstrate SEO headlines for poems. Their headline analyzer uses over 50 different data points to evaluate your headline on a scale from 1–100.

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Screenshot of Headline Analyzer sign up

You can even sign up for the newsletter which promises all sorts of tips and tricks for help creating winning titles that work hard to generate traffic. Screenshot by author.

Tips and Tricks for SEO Headlines for Poetry Blogs and Short-Form Fiction

Most poetry and fiction pieces have creative titles such as (a few of my poems as examples):

  • The Poet Cleaning (I highly doubt anyone will search for this phrase in Google.)
  • Adrift (That’s very short — no way the algorithm can really do anything with that.)
  • The Squirrel and the Tree (How would an internet search on squirrels and trees lead a person to want to read what is a life-lesson creative, short fable? If the searcher really has a squirrel problem, they’d bounce from my fiction piece very quickly.)

Make the headline longer

Let’s take the above-mentioned poem, “Adrift” and see what we can do with it as an example. Using the Headline Analyzer, I put in the title of the poem: “Adrift.”

“Adrift” has a headline score of 45
“Adrift” has a headline score of 45
Author screenshot

A 45 is a very low SEO headline score. As you can see, the shorter title of the name of the poem alone will not help at all for SEO purposes. Toying with a few extra words should bring the score up, which brings me to the next point.

Design the headline with keywords

Extending the title will also involve keywords. Who is your reader? What are they likely to be looking for if they perform a Google search? What is your poem about? What kind of reader would find your post, click on it, and read it? When you determine who your reader is, you need to type a few things into a Google search engine and see what autocomplete suggestions it gives you.

This poem is about life being difficult and trying to get through.

I imagine people who are looking for an inspirational message for their day may look up quotes or poems. I played with a few words and looked at how each change brought the score up.

Adding “A Poem” to the original search for “Adrift” raised the headline score to 57
Adding “A Poem” to the original search for “Adrift” raised the headline score to 57
Author screenshot
Adding “A Poem for You” to the original search for “Adrift” raised the headline score to 70
Adding “A Poem for You” to the original search for “Adrift” raised the headline score to 70
Author screenshot
Adding “A Poem for You Today” to the original search for “Adrift” raised the headline score to 69
Adding “A Poem for You Today” to the original search for “Adrift” raised the headline score to 69
Author screenshot

I settled on the last choice for my post because I thought it sounded better to me, but I could have added in a few words to spark emotion to increase the sentiment.

Adding “A Poem to Make You Smile” to the original search for “Adrift” raised the headline score to 74.
Adding “A Poem to Make You Smile” to the original search for “Adrift” raised the headline score to 74.
Author screenshot

Use SEO for your poetry subtitles

You can use all the same techniques for a subtitle but avoid using the same exact keyword phrasing as your title. Slight variations help your SEO.

A Few Final SEO Tips for Poetry Blog Posts

  • Try to make your post more than 300 words. This could include writing an introductory blurb and a conclusion.
  • Include a keyword phrase in your title and within the first 100 words of your post.
  • Include your keyword or phrase in the last 100 words of your post. (Examples: “Poem,” “Poem about love,” “nature poetry.”)
  • Write your metadata description of your post to appeal to your target reader.

Thanks for reading this SEO guide for poets and learning about how to write great SEO headlines for poems. Stay tuned for more great writing tips.

Written by

𝓕𝓲𝓭𝓭𝓵𝓮𝓱𝓮𝓪𝓭𝓼 & 𝓕𝓵𝓸𝓼𝓼 𝓦𝓻𝓲𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓢𝓮𝓻𝓿𝓲𝓬𝓮𝓼

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