A routine article/blog post consists of at least 400 words while a standard title doesn’t stretches out to more than 8 – 10 words, however, the 8 words in the title can make an even stronger impact than the entire 400 words in the article.
Doesn’t matter if you are writing an article, blog post, press release, or a marketing copy, at the end of the day you have got to spend relatively more time on polishing the titles as compared to the article.
Ideally, the title should be capable of serving two purposes, it should be attractive enough to make the visitors click, and at the same time, it should contain some keywords to feed search engine crawlers. If a title fails to deliver on any of these fronts, you will not be getting sufficient rewards from your efforts.
Not only a compelling title can transform an ordinary topic into an extra ordinary post, it can also make the writer’s job easier by giving them a particular direction to pursue.
Following points will help you in making a title that serves all of the above-mentioned purposes. But remember there are no hard and fast rules and you need to adjust according to your targeted audience.
The title should be lengthy enough to be able to describe the content of the article. Remember that it’s not a book title that needs to be short and precise; the title must be descriptive enough to let the readers know what the article is all about.
And such description asks for more than 2, 3 words. But then you cannot stretch the title to make it sound like a summary. In most cases, 8 to 10 words are more than enough.
Use little or no keywords and your SERP’s will suffer, use too many keywords and you will not be getting enough clicks (because too many keywords in the title will make it sound uninteresting, putting off the readers).
Using the right keywords in the titles, while keeping it natural is an art that a web writer needs to master, because even if you aren’t writing strictly for SEO purposes, you should still be using some keywords in the title to help search engines index and show your content for the right searches.
It’s quite easy to make the people click by using the buzz words; however, if you are not backing the hyperbole by delivering what you have promised, you are taking a huge risk.
There are some veterans who will vouch for overstating just to capture the attention, but this technique can easily backfire, especially if your audience is internet savvy. In most cases high sounding words will work as a deterrent.
If you can back the claims like “ground breaking secrets”, “unique”, “totally free” or the likes, then go for it, otherwise tone down your pitch, don’t raise the expectations unless you can deliver. Otherwise the visitors will be utterly disappointed, for obvious reasons.
Hold them once you have got them:
While tempting your targeted audience to click is surely the first objective, that’s certainly not the only one. Good titles should be backed by equally good content. Being a writer, nothing hurts me more than watching a good title getting wasted by a writer who seems to be in haste.
Lists like top 5 or top 10 ignite curiosity in the readers, and often they will stop to take a sneak peak. Best thing about such lists is that you are free to rank the contents in any order of your liking.
In fact, your ranking order might ignite a debate amongst the readers, pushing them to come up with their own rankings or additions to the lists.
For some weird reasons, news industry has embraced the myth (and web publishers often fall for the same notion) that it’s easier to captivate readers by highlighting tragic and disastrous aspects.
I am not a psychologist but I’ve seen good news and success stories creating as much interest as the bad ones. If you are doling out tips on any given topic, you can either highlight the goods that your tips can bring about, or the bad that ignoring these tips can propel.
You can choose either one but for the sake of change, I’d say go for the first option and highlight the good aspects.
This is a guest post by Rahil, check out our guidelines if you want to guest post here.