How YOU Can Write Effective Titles
Titles are the first contact you make with your visitors. If the title is poor, it’s likely to be the last contact as well. Your titles appear in the search engines, on your site, in links on other people’s sites and in your RSS feeds. Even if you publish full feeds, many feed readers only show the actual content if the title is clicked. Getting that click is the title’s job.
Unfortunately, in the rush to publish, you may find yourself concentrating more on the copy than on the title.
So how do you write titles that are effective?
1. Speak directly to your audience and be specific.
‘Security Update for WordPress 2.0 Users’ is better than ‘Update for WordPress Available’ but not much. “Protect Your WordPress 2.0 Blog, Download The Newest Security Patch Now’ adds a call to action and introduces some urgency.
2. Appeal to your readers’ self-interest.
Your readers are no different than you are, they all want to know, ‘how does this affect me’? What do I get out of this? Tell them. This is perhaps the most important quality of a title, make a promise to your readers, and deliver on it.
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3. Deliver An Important Message
Skin Cancer Can Be Treated If Detected Early Enough – Get A Checkup Today
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4. Deliver The News – If you’ve recently improved a product or service, let people know.
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5. Ask a Question – This technique engages the reader instantly.
Do You Drive Every Day? Would You Like to Save 30-40% On Gas?
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The goal of every title is to engage and entice. The underlying rule behind every title should be, make a promise, then deliver on it.
Now lets talk about some things you shouldn’t do .
Don’t assume too much . Be direct, but don’t get too familiar.
We Know You Want to Impress The Ladies, Here’s How
That’s a pretty big assumption and it’s too personal too quick. Here’s another way to lose readers;
Everyone Wants To Lose Weight, Lose Ten Pounds in Ten Days
Don’t use large words . Keep it simple. Use instead of utilized, car or truck instead of vehicle. It’s simple, never use a large word when a diminutive one will suffice.
Don’t use the word free unless you’re offering something for free but don’t be afraid to use words like guarantee if you offer one. Words like quick or easy are attention getters. Use them if they apply. Just don’t break the promise you made in the title in the copy.
If you’re still stuck, do a few searches on the web, look through some magazines and if you find yourself reading an article, take a close look at the title to determine why it was effective.
If all else fails, start your title with the word ‘how’.