Effective Titles: 3 Rules for Writing Them
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In the blogging world it’s all about the titles. Your titles show up in the search engine indexes, on your Facebook page and Tweets, everywhere you post your link your post title shows up. It’s the first thing people see and if it doesn’t immediately engage the searcher they’re going to move on. But catchy titles aren’t enough.
Here are three rules for writing effective titles.
- Use a keyword: This should be a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many people don’t even think about this. If you want your article to come up in the index, then you have to use the keywords that people are searching for. And it should be somewhere near the front of the title.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to learn to do good keyword research. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the top of the index if only 3 people searched for that term over the last year. And it’s not always possible to knock out the competition on those keywords that have millions of searches.
Instead, gather together a list of 100 or more keywords and start competing for total traffic. For example, instead of trying to compete for that one keyword that got 3,000 searches, put together a list of 10 or 20 keywords that total 3,000 searches.
- Tell the reader what they’re going to learn: Forget about trying to be catchy or cute and give your readers a clear indication of what they’re going to learn when they read your article. They’re looking for information – let them know you have it. If they have to stare at that title and guess what it’s about they’re just going to move on.
- Tell them how it will help: Which would you rather read:
- Top 10 Blogging Tips
- Top 10 Tips to Help You Get More Traffic
- My 5 Top Secret Tips to Get the Kind of Traffic That Buys
Personally, I’d click on the last one. I’ve already read enough generic blogging tips to last me a lifetime and I’m up to my ears in tips about generating more traffic – I don’t even have time to try them all. But, if someone told me they had a way to generate the kind of traffic that opens up their wallet when they get to my blog, now this I gotta see.
That last title also works on a few other levels:
- It’s personalized – these are MY top secret tips. I’m already using them and they work for me, so I know they’ll work for you, too.
- These are my SECRET tips. What happens as soon as you tell someone you have a secret to share? They lean in closer and give you their full attention!
- These are my TOP secret tips: This pushes the “secret” thing a little further. Not only are these secret tips, but they’re secrets that I wouldn’t share with just anybody. You better hurry up and read this article before I change my mind and take it down.
So, you see, you don’t have to work at playing word games with your titles. All you have to do is tell the reader what it’s about and how it’s going to help. And don’t forget your keywords!