Great Content… Bad Titles – How to Let Your Blog Go #4
One bad title is like a tiny little pulled stitch under the arm of your favorite cashmere sweater. No one notices it and it doesn’t really have any effect, but if you let it go, eventually your sweater’s going to unravel. The same thing happens on your blog. One bad title over top your great content isn’t all that noticeable. But let your titles go, and your blog begins to unravel.
Why Your Post Titles Are Important
They make your post stand out from the crowd: Your title is just one of thousands of titles your reader sees during a day. It’s included with hundreds of other titles on a search engine index, it’s surrounded by hundreds more on social media platforms, and your reader might be following dozens or hundreds of blogs in his RSS reader. With all those titles flashing by, you need to do something to grab the reader’s attention and make yours stand out from the crowd.
Search engine optimization: If you’re not already including your keyword in your title, you need to start now. Your title is one of the elements the search engine bots use to determine the topic of your blog post.
They help increase sharing: Your post may end up being shared by hundreds of people but that doesn’t mean they’re all actually reading it. Many people never even click on the link, they just share it because they like the title.
How To Create Great Post Titles
Keep It Simple: Keep your titles short, simple, and easy to understand. But be careful. “Where does traffic come from?” might be talking about search engine traffic but it could just as easily be referring to the traffic on the interstate. The reader, and the search engines, both need to be able to tell the difference.
Meet A Need: One of the reasons How-To articles are always so popular is because the title immediately lets the reader know you’re offering a solution to a problem. Let the reader know you’re going to help him with a “need.”
Use Key Words: Use your key word as close to the beginning of the title as possible. This helps the search engines identify your content but it also helps grab the attention of those readers who only scan titles.
Use Superlatives: Use words like “Best” and “Most” and “Number One.” Top 10 posts are also some of the most popular posts and it’s because the title suggest these are the Top 10 best ever.
Be Descriptive: Use words that let the reader know what the post is about. Letting them know you understand their need is one thing, but let them know they’re going to benefit in some way when they read your post.
Don’t spend hours bent over your computer creating great content and then slap on a quick title and hit “Publish.” Put just as much thought and effort into your post titles as you do your content.