How to choose a title and keywords for your instructable

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Choosing the right title and keywords can be the difference between an instructable going to the front page of Google search results or crashing and burning into the dreaded no-views land of the internets.

While keywords and title are not the only thing that will determine the popularity of a project, choosing the right ones will help other people find and share your work!

In this instructable I'm going to teach you how to choose titles and keywords and also how to use The Google AdWords Keyword Planner. I use it weekly - it's a super handy tool!

Disclaimer: I am by no means an SEO expert, but I have been publishing instructables for nearly eight years now! As of this writing I have over 20.5 million views and 338 instructables, 32 of which have 100,000 views or more. I'm also the author of the most viewed instructable on the site. So I guess I'm saying I know a thing or two. ;)

Plus, I think anyone at Instructables HQ can tell you I obsess over naming things properly. Whether it's a project or a contest, my first thought is always: "Yeah, that sounds awesome... but what are you going to name it?"

Paso 1: Coming up with a title

The first step of coming up with a title involves thinking about what other people will search for to find your project.

In this step, let's use my recent instructable for ice cream cake as the most basic of examples. I made it with the intention of being a copycat Dairy Queen ice cream cake, so that should be taken into account for either the title or keywords.

The best way to come up with titles is to ask yourself, "What would I type into Google to find this project?" For the ice cream cake, this is what I came up with:

  • ice cream cake
  • ice cream cake recipe
  • dairy queen ice cream cake
  • homemade ice cream cake
  • DIY ice cream cake
  • how to make an ice cream cake
In my opinion, titles are best when they're no nonsense and tell you exactly what you'll see when you click. I always try to stick with that when I come up with titles.
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sheetmetalalchemist
sheetmetalalchemist dice: Jul 26, 2014. 7:23 PM

Howdy Jessy! I'm digging using the keyword planner, but I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to do it without starting an AdWords marketing campaign. I can't seem to get to the tool without also giving google my CC# to start an ad campaign.

robindallaway
robindallaway dice: Jul 21, 2014. 6:40 AM

great article, i always believe that choosing the right keyword is the start to a sucessful campaign

Kiteman
Kiteman dice: May 6, 2014. 10:56 AM

I usually reach for the flag button when I see SEO projects...

;-)

nerfrocketeer
nerfrocketeer dice: May 3, 2014. 4:13 PM
This could be very useful! Thanks! I also find it useful to use any possible word combinations I can think of.
Attmos
Attmos dice: Abr 30, 2014. 10:53 AM

Thanks Jessy. A quick question; do you use quotations or something when entering a long tail keyword? In the past when I've tried to use long tail, all the words of the phrase come up as individual words. I guess I always figured you couldn't enter a phrase.

jessyratfink
jessyratfink dice: Abr 30, 2014. 11:13 AM

In the old Instructables editor, you do have to encase the long tail keywords in quotations so they don't get broken up - but the new editor is awesome and fixes that problem. :D

phenoptix
phenoptix dice: Abr 30, 2014. 9:25 AM

Thanks very much for this Jessy, used it in my latest instructable!

M3G
M3G dice: Abr 30, 2014. 7:54 AM
Thanks for this! I always struggle to come up with titles.
mikeasaurus
mikeasaurus dice: Abr 30, 2014. 6:59 AM

Nice breakdown, this is a good reference to keep around

Matt2+Silver
Matt2+Silver dice: Abr 30, 2014. 6:51 AM

Thanks Jessy, I've been curious about the best ways to go about titling my Instructables for some time. The tips you provide here make a lot of sense, thanks for sharing!

antoniraj
antoniraj dice: Abr 30, 2014. 6 AM

very useful information. Thanks for sharing

tofu911
tofu911 dice: Abr 30, 2014. 5:26 AM

Very useful instructable.

Going to go back and do some longtail words now. lol

Zabzab
Zabzab dice: Abr 30, 2014. 4:40 AM
This is awesome thanks =D
SlickSqueegie
SlickSqueegie dice: Abr 30, 2014. 4:21 AM

Excellent info here... Thanks for posting!

lindarose92
lindarose92 dice: Abr 30, 2014. 2:20 AM

You read my mind Jessy!! I am opening a blog and in the past few days I read tons of guides about SEO...yesterday I spent the whole morning changing titles of the items sold in my shops and a couple of other things. I'm not even done with them.

Your 'ible is so useful, I learned new things from it and you explained some of the things I learned these days in a much better way. Thank you so much!
It's time to go through all of my Instructables... :D

jessyratfink
jessyratfink dice: Abr 30, 2014. 11:24 AM

You're welcome! I'm still figuring out SEO on Etsy - it's so much more complicated than tutorials. Just too many folks fighting for a chance to be seen, I guess?

All of these tips are super useful for blogging too - I use them on my site with pretty good results. Though I need to update it so bad. :P

lindarose92
lindarose92 dice: Abr 30, 2014. 2:48 PM

I don't blame you :D I'm going crazy with mine and I'm just beginning...
One question: is renaming photos important on Instructables or just useless?

I have recently received SEO guides from other 2 online websites I sell in and althought things are always about the same ones, I admit it's getting confusing!

jessyratfink
jessyratfink dice: Abr 30, 2014. 3:23 PM

Naming the photos is pretty useless here and I never fuss with it since photos get renamed once they're uploaded anyway. I'm crazy about doing that on my site though. It's a really good habit to get into to! :D

hunter999
hunter999 dice: Abr 29, 2014. 11:54 PM

Thanks soo much!! This will help me so much for my future 'Ibles! Favorited, you're awesome. Like sunshiine, I was thinking to do the same....it wouldn't take too long for all my 'Ibles! :D

jessyratfink
jessyratfink dice: Abr 30, 2014. 11:17 AM

Yay! Happy I could help :)

sunshiine
sunshiine dice: Abr 29, 2014. 11:22 PM

After reading this, I am wondering if it is worth the time and effort to go back and re-title previous instructables and change key words to increase views. I am most curious about the title because I have changed the titles before and I noticed for a brief moment in the search engine it showed the previous name. I hope you understand what I am saying. Anyway thank again.

sunshiine

jessyratfink
jessyratfink dice: Abr 30, 2014. 11:16 AM

If definitely wouldn't hurt! Though I have to confess that sometimes it seems making a change waaaaay after the publish date doesn't make much of a difference.

I tweaked some of my old projects a couple years ago and haven't seen much of an increase, but it could also be because they're just not heavily searched. Sometimes it's hard to tell!

It's always better to start with an awesome title and get lots of clicks right away - that means you'll have a higher chance of getting to the top of the search results and staying there!

sunshiine
sunshiine dice: Abr 30, 2014. 5:45 PM
Thanks so much jessy. I need to try the program you mentioned. I hope it is an easy one. I do not usually download stuff because sometimes I have experienced pc problems when I did and don't have the knowledge to remove the program and fix the glitch. I am considering it though for this. Have a great day.
sunshiine
Raitis
Raitis dice: Abr 30, 2014. 1:11 PM

Probably not worth it after the initial share and first big batch of views. Also if some of those older instructables are still alive and getting traffic (especially from Google) then changing keywords and titles is most likely one of the worst things to do.

So my guess would be - try the changes (if you want so) on instructables which you feel (or check) might be searched for, yet are not being found as of now.

sunshiine
sunshiine dice: Abr 30, 2014. 5:37 PM
Thanks for the input and do have a splendid day!
sunshiine
Tarun+Upadhyaya
Tarun+Upadhyaya dice: Abr 29, 2014. 11:21 PM

This is exactly what I needed. You are awesome Jessy. Thank you for the enlightenment :D

jessyratfink
jessyratfink dice: Abr 30, 2014. 11:17 AM

Yay! You're welcome :)

sunshiine
sunshiine dice: Abr 29, 2014. 11:14 PM

2 little words x 3: THANK YOU! Thank you! Thank you!

Have an awesome week!

sunshiine