Read Me! (Or How to Write Enticing Titles)

You may be able to write some of the best articles in the world but if nobody reads them there’s not much point. The title of an article may seem to be an insignificant part of the whole but in effect a good title is essential.

There are two reasons why titles are important:

  • To appeal to readers
  • To attract search engines

Writing Titles that Appeal to Readers and Search Engines

Think about it, when you do a search on the internet for a specific subject and you’re confronted by all those pages of results what makes you choose to open one over another? It will probably be because the title is the most relevant and appealing.

It’s a good idea to keep your title short, below 65 characters if possible. If you understand the importance of keywords then place your keywords at the beginning of your title, as any additional words will water down the results. Remember the title should convey the content of your article (or e-mail) precisely and explanations should be confined to the article body.

For example if your keyword phrase is “natural cosmetics” and you want to talk about the health benefits and the chemicals contained in most commercial cosmetics, a simple title such as

1. Use Natural Cosmetics for Healthier Skin. (Precise and enticing with a call to action)
2. Natural Cosmetics are Better – Here’s Why. (Keyword phrase at the beginning, piques curiosity)

Not

3. Why Commercial Cosmetics are Poisoning your Body. (Keyword phrase missing)
4. Natural Cosmetics are Better for Your Skin Because blah blah blah. (Too long and boring)

Action Words

Use you keyword phrase at the beginning of the title to grab the attention of search engines and readers and combine it with a question such as Why? When? Where? or How? and you will attract even more attention and that’s a fact.

Why are Natural Cosmetics Healthier?

The person searching is probably looking for answers, so ask the same kind of question in your title. Using the action words such as how, what, where, when and why act as calls to action in themselves. You have to entice people to click on your link and these words are proven to be very effective.

Tips & List Titles

Another good way of attracting readers is to include “List” titles. People like them because they convey exactly what’s contained in your article and they’re easy to read:

Natural Cosmetics – 10 Reasons why they’re Healthier
Natural Cosmetics – the Top 3 Brands

Just make sure you include 10 reasons or 3 brands in your article. Don’t craft a brilliant title and fail to deliver what the title promises.

Adjectives

Learn to use adjectives that describe in one word, instead of using a string of words. For example

“Why Natural Cosmetics are better for your Body” could be replaced with “Why Natural Cosmetics are Healthier”

“Why Dermatologists Recommend Natural Cosmetics” is much more precise than “A lot of Dermatologists say that Natural Cosmetics are better for your Skin.” The first piques interest, the second is simply a statement of fact.

If you’ve written a great article that isn’t attracting as much traffic as you’d hoped there’s nothing to stop you from experimenting. Try using a different title using any of the formulas above and see how many more hits you get on that page.

If you have an e-mail list, titles are also crucial for getting your emails opened. People are confronted with so many emails every day by using short, precise and eye-catching titles you’ll find your open rates increase.

It takes some careful thought to create effective titles but if you ask yourself “if I was looking for an article about this subject what would entice me to open one search result over another,” it should make the process easier.

Have you any further hints to add? When you craft article and e-mail subject titles do you use a formula that works well?

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