Oct 25 2012


Good Titles Can Make or Break Your Content

Great, engaging content is the secret to an outstanding internet marketing campaign, but what is often overlooked is this fact: content begins with the title. At its most basic level, the title indicates what will be contained in the body of the content. These words, though few, are invaluable to the success of your post. The success is measurable by three main areas: how much the content is shared, clicked through, and linked to. This isn’t just a lesson in good writing, it’s a lesson in creating profitable and productive content that will first benefit your readers.

You may ask, “Why does content fail if it does not first benefit readers?” Even if content were to receive number one position in the SERP’s, (Search Engine Results Page) your target market will simply bounce off as soon as they realize they are reading a “worthless pile of poo.”

There are certain characteristics a title must exhibit to actually benefit your internet marketing campaign. An experienced writer can often do this without putting quite so much thought into it by following some basic principles about title development.

5 Easy Title Tenants to  Follow:

1) Clear But Interesting
Clarity is extremely important. A confusing title will dissuade readers from clicking to view your SEO content. Clarity is intimately connected with interest because one is often sacrificed for the other. Absolute clarity can be uninteresting, while enticing interest through any means can be unclear. The goal is to make it nearly impossible for readers NOT to click while communicating what you plan to discuss. Examples of how this can be done is by presenting a thought or question, juxtaposing two ideas that don’t seem connected but are, and provoking the reader by pointing out a conflict.

2) Beneficial
The title must be interpreted as beneficial to your reader. Isn’t that why they are here in the first place? They are in search of content that will help or benefit them in some way – whether it is the need for instruction or the desire to share information that makes them look good via social media. A few ways to prompt the desire for benefit is to include phrases in your title such as “Find out how,” “5 ways to,” and “How to.”

3) Exciting!
Eliciting excitement is always important. This emotional tie will hook a reader faster than you can imagine, and this is done with fair ease. The use of exciting but appropriate words within SEO content is all you need to use. Words such as “mind-blowing,” “awesome,” and “epic” are just a few examples.

4) Length
One of the greatest theorists of written discourse in the 1800s once said, “A loose and verbose manner never fails to create disgust; and, on most occasions, it is better to run the risk of saying too little than too much.” Here, here! Truer words on the subject have never been spoken, and they are even more applicable today in the age of Tweets, flash fiction, and instant messaging. If a title is too long, it immediately loses potential readers. Good rule of thumb: if you need to read it twice for understanding, it’s probably either too long or too ugly. Make a few changes and try again.

5) Expectations
If you say it will happen in the title, then it must happen in the content. A conflict between title and content can mean negative feedback or downvotes for your post. Expectations don’t just mean subject matter either. Content type and length must also be recognized. For instance, if you plan on presenting “7 Easy Steps to Increasing Traffic by 30%,” then your article should contain 7 steps and be fairly quick to read as indicated by the word “easy”.

Unlock Your Social Media Responses
These points should also be practiced in regards to social media. Think about how your titles will appear using Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. This is one of the main ways you will be proactively sharing your content, so this aspect must be considered.

Practice Makes Perfect
The best possible way to prepare for writing awesome titles is to practice. Challenge yourself regularly to create a list of 10 or so articles within a specific amount of time. It will prepare you for future articles and may even inspire you to write some new content for your internet marketing campaign.

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