.COMS BRANDED ILLEGAL… (Just kidding) Do your blog titles grab attention?

Ok so first off, I made that title up…to grab your attention! There is no truth to that whatsoever.

I’m just looking into titles. You can spend hours writing fantastic content that really is an awesome read, but with a dull title readership figures of this can remain low and not achieve what they deserve. I was a classic culprit of this, believing that content will prevail and that as long as this is of a high quality people will find and read it – I was wrong! Now I invest far more time in coming up with a solid title.

There’s a great post on the SEOmoz blog which talks of the 80/20 ratio also known as the Pareto Principle. This rule observes that most things have an uneven distribution, as an example your title consisting of only a few words can carry 80% of your blogs success. This principle applies to many events; roughly 80% of the effects can come from 20% of the cause. With regards to how this relates to this blog, your title is a small amount of text with a lot of power and it’s worth investing in.

“For those familiar with 80/20, what this means is, the size of the title compared to the actual content (and time spent crafting it) disproportionately affects the success of that content. It’s one small piece of text with a lot power!” Ref: SEOmoz February 2012.

Titles show up everywhere; as rich snippets in organic search results, by social media platforms, on websites, offline in documents, images and the rest… They are also most often displayed in large and bold text, making them the first thing that visitors to your site or blog read.

So, how do I write titles that pique interest?

1. Write about something relevant and ensure the title denotes this. If there’s industry-relevant news that you know about that other people need to know about make sure they know that they need to know about it….you know? Without being confusing of course…

Hey Presto Blog2. Do you REALLY want to know the secret ingredient to a successful blog title? Yes – questions! Asking a question piques curiosity and implies the content will be supplying the answer, if it’s an answer people want to know about, well hey presto.

3. This gets me every time – when someone posts a picture on Twitter with no explanation at all just saying “Oh my God check this out, amazing!” I have to check it out. Not a title but still, playing on peoples curiosity with an enticing title but not giving them the complete picture is a helpful tip and a great way to draw people in to reading your content.

4. The multiples of five (mostly). “Top five tips”, “Top ten reasons to” or “Top twenty best buys”. These often indicate succinct, to the point blogs that are going to add value to the reader and be worth their time which in itself is another point – bring value to the reader.

5. Dolphins Take Over ITV!
Again – just kidding (excusing Adele’s speech the night of the Brits of course). Grab the reader’s attention with your titles but (unlike me) do try to be truthful.

6. Review it. Review a popular product, book or brand – reviews are massive, write a good one and include the product in as your title. There’s a good chance readership rates will be high (oh and I realise this is point number six which is NOT a multiple of five :)).

So, my conclusion:

Titles are worth taking time over. Keep them short. Keep them sweet. Keep them to the point. And thank you for reading!