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Picture of How to choose a title and keywords for your instructable

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!

EDIT 12/14/16 - Google Adwords now requires you to give a credit card signing up, unless you know the work around! Check out this tutorial on to get access.

Disclaimer: I am by no means an SEO expert, but I have been publishing instructables for nearly eight years now! As of 7/30/2016 I have over 46.6 million views and 452 instructables, 73 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?"

Step 1: Coming up with a title

Picture of 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.
larry_gorham3 months ago
How many Tags are allowed?
Great tutorial.
manisharoy2585 months ago
Very informative.

HRM software :
BergHelenes9 months ago
What is ( please add at least one image to your introduction)?
instructables error.JPG

Thanks for posting!

Hi Jessy! I'm new on this website and i have an instructable in my drafts...I am having trouble adding keywords...Whenever i write them , it says "please enter keywords" .. i tried seperating with commas too...It still says that ..What should i do please help me Jessy :-(

Huh! You may be running into a bug. Try entering your keyword or keyword phrase and then hit enter - that should work! If not, you may need to try another web browser. If that still doesn't work, I'd recommend clearing your cookies and cache in whatever web browsers you're using! There have been quite a few site updates lately, so that may be affecting the site for you. :)

the modzg2 years ago

how do I use keyword???

Lucy caples2 years ago

The instructable I am trying to post keeps telling me "please add keywords". What should I do?

ViolaG2 years ago

That is good advice and I for one will keep it close at hand. It looks very simple to do. Thanks.

jeanotP13142 years ago

Awesome!! With more than 66 millions view,

I will follow all your advices for my titles!! :)

hum, Ithink google adword wants me to pay to use it (I have to add a minimum amount). Any idea how to use the keyword planner without paying?

jessyratfink (author)  jeanotP13142 years ago

Sounds like they changed it, but there is a work around!

Try this and see how that goes. :)

Great thanks!!

And congratulation, you have 67 millions views, it's amazing!!

I am gonna try to reach the 100 thousand on my next project, :p

New Instructable is online, with the title "BeYourHero! DIY VR Immersive Games"

The title seems quite good on adwords, thanks to you :)

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.

I've gotten lots of comments and PMs about this lately, so I did some digging.

Maybe try this website's walkthrough to get access?

CraftAndu3 years ago

Hey, thank you for the information.

I have hard time understanding how google AdWords works. I try to sign up and it wants money to start advertising my webpage. Am I doing something wrong?

jessyratfink (author)  CraftAndu2 years ago

It seems they've changed it, but I think I found a workaround on another site:

tellfile3 years ago

How do you get to the keyword editor box to add new keywords to what's already there?

jessyratfink (author)  tellfile3 years ago

If you go to the edit view of your instructable and hit the "publish" button in the upper right hand corner, it'll take you to a screen where you can add more keywords!

You should also be able to add keywords using a box on the right hand side of your live, published instructable. That box requires keyword phrases to be added in quotation marks, though. For example "changing a tire" - if you don't put the quotation marks around it, they words will go in as "changing" "a" and "tire". :P


I was looking straight at it and didn't see it.

whats another good program instead of google AdWorks? becuase you have to be 18 or older to use it.

I am really very thankful to you for this article! God bless you!

SalvadorM103 years ago

Nice. The next time I will be using this.

CobaltBlue3 years ago

Hey there! I have been in touch with you before...I smiled a little at your claim to the Most Viewed Instructable Ever. When I saw what it was, I actually laughed, because I have viewed that one myself!

My question is very basic but also esoteric. It annoys me that my Instructable has a typo in the title. "Daiquirí" is a Spanish transcription of an indigenous word, and should have the accent over the final "i." But I couldn't find a way to get that into the title, so it was screwball mixed up with garbage [DaiquiriÁ] generated by the HTML coding. So, by the time I was done writing the Instructable, I had sampled at least a couple of the tasty titular cocktails, didn't care any more, and published it without fixing it. It still bugs me.

Can you tell me how to get that í into the titles? It obviously doesn't work with Character Map. Or, maybe you would suggest it will be more searchable without the Spanish character...hmmm...

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SparkySolar4 years ago

Thank you for this nice Instructable. I like it.

Please check out my Instructables too.

I have my first contest entry This Halloween. Please Vote.

Thank you so much

I love the Information for the KEYWORD PLANNER

Sparky Solar

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

Kiteman5 years ago

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


This could be very useful! Thanks! I also find it useful to use any possible word combinations I can think of.
sunshiine5 years ago

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.


jessyratfink (author)  sunshiine5 years ago

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!

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.

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.

Thanks for the input and do have a splendid day!
lindarose925 years ago

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 (author)  lindarose925 years ago

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

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 (author)  lindarose925 years ago

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

hunter9995 years ago

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 wouldn't take too long for all my 'Ibles! :D

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