Why is your article title important? Why should you spend so much time on your title? Because the article title is the first thing your reader sees? No, because it's the first thing the search engine sees.
You can write your content for your reader, but always write your article title for search engine optimization.
Now, that's not to say that your article title shouldn't also be designed to catch your reader's attention. It certainly needs to pull your reader in emotionally, or provide a benefit, or provoke thought so your reader will go on to read your article. But on the other hand, without a title that search engines recognize, you won't have to worry about enticing your reader. Your article won't show up on their searches to even read your title.
So, your goal is to construct an article title that quickly catches the search engines AND your reader's eye. No easy task and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. Getting search engines to recognize your articles, and then readers to read your articles, is exactly why you're publishing articles in the first place.
Great content means nothing if search engines don't pick up your articles. That's why it pays to devote quality time and thought to your article title.
Here are 5 key article title tips to help you get the best results with the search engines.
TIP 1: Don't play word games.
As you write your title, you may be tempted to use creative word play or dual meaning words or even offbeat humor. But, keep in mind, search engines don't recognize humor and certainly don't appreciate comedy, good or bad. Not to mention that publishers and readers could be easily confused by word play or spelling tricks.
And what happens, if readers don't share your view of humor? Plain language that accurately describes your article content works best for search engine optimization. And, it's simple for readers to understand.
TIP 2: Do use keywords.
Use an Internet search to discover the top requested keywords and phrases within your business or industry. Then use those keywords in your article title. Because search engines look at your article title first, particularly the first few words of your title, it's extremely important that you also use those target keywords early in your title.
A keyword rich title will more likely be picked up by search engines and your articles will more often be read.
TIP 3: Keep your article title short.
Developing a title that is short, uses your keywords and still pulls in your reader is a tall challenge. But search engines look at the first few words in your title so it's important to keep your title concise. And, in the world of Google searches and short attention spans, your article title needs to quickly relay your article content to create a reader response. Don't risk losing your reader or your search engine with long lengthy titles.
TIP 4: Use title case.
Then, there's the actual formatting of your article title. We're taught to read titles that are written in a combination of upper and lower case letters. Write your keyword article title in title case, just as you would for a book or short story.
Remember when your third grade teacher asked you to write a story about your summer? Maybe your title was "My Fishing Trip with Dad" or "Our Vacation in New York". You capitalize all the important words and leave supporting words in lower case. For instance, a title for this article could be "Article Titles Designed for Search Engines."
TIP 5: Be a critic.
You might write your title, then follow by writing your content. Or, maybe you do the opposite and write your article content, then go back to develop your title. Use the method that works best for you. But always write, edit and rewrite your article title to reduce it to a concise, keyword headline.
The dictionary defines reduce as, to make something simpler, especially by extracting or summarizing essential elements. That's exactly what will happen to your title when you become your own best critic.
Don't leave your title as a last minute afterthought. Your article title needs to be unique to you and your article. Your title helps establish your creditability as an article writer and reflects your industry expertise.
How do you choose articles to read? Would you open your own article after reading your title?
Join Bob Sommers and watch his videos on Article Marketing for Professionals and participate in our lively article marketing discussion. Or learn how to write articles that compel readers to act from Saint Louis business writers and professional writers from around the world.