Titles set the tone for a work. They allow people to gauge what content to expect from reading your post. I actually like to title my pieces before I begin writing because it gives me a foundation for the tone and shape of the piece I am going to create.
We have been asked to write titles from a young age in language art classes. They were difficult then and are still difficult now. Here are 4 general ideas to keep in mind when writing titles.
- “Grab” your readers. Use language your target audience will be most gravitated toward to catch their attention.
- Avoid click-bait. A click bait title could misrepresent your content and present a problem with SEO.
- Stay true to the content. Similar to the point above, keep the title in line with the content you provide. This is the most honest and true way to engage with your audience.
- Keep SEO in mind. It is important to keep an eye on how the title of your article can be found in organic searches from your audience.
Longtail Search Terms and Keywords
Content marketing strategies are aided through the understanding and using of current SEO trends. SEO can cause a lot of confusion for many people, so let’s simplify it.
Pick one or two keywords– that’s it. You don’t need to have a whole litany of keywords riddled throughout your content, it will make it more difficult to read and won’t necessarily help your business SEO. When it comes to keywords, quality over quantity.
When choosing keywords, pick the ones that are most organic to your speciality. Since a majority of web searchers only click on the first 3 links that appear in a search, you want to make your way into the top 3 searches.
One of the best ways to do that is through the use of tailored longtail keywords. Try to avoid terms with heavy competition like “financial service” and modify it to something like “financial crisis planning for small businesses.” Using more specific language will decrease the competition for more common keywords and can help your target audience find you. Think about the language your audience would use to look up your product or service and mirror them.
Make a conscious effort to weave in your keywords consistently with each blog post because it will help your SEO presence build organically over time.
Testing your keywords in a search analytics console such as Google analytics will help you figure out the competition for your keyword and the amount of traffic you can expect with your keyword.
Nuts and Bolts
Keeping all of the SEO information in mind, it is time to talk about the structure of your title. There is a universal fear when it comes to titles and that is: what to capitalize.
Capitalization is important as it sets an aesthetic tone while also informs the reader of your adherence to traditional guidelines. From the following, which post is appropriately titled?
- Your guide to Financial success In retirement
- Your Guide to Financial Success in Retirement
If you guessed number 2 then you are correct! But what makes that the right choice? You should always capitalize the principal words in the title. These would include both the first and last words, nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
It is a rule of thumb that in titles you often do not capitalize articles, prepositions, or conjunctions. For example, the “In” should not be capitalized in the first example.
If you are looking for more information on capitalization protocols check out the resources below:
What Your Audience Wants
One of the first lessons we are taught about writing is establishing the proper audience for your work. The audience determines the manner with which you write your piece and they even determine the type of piece you write. Leo Tolstoy did not write War and Peace to be taught in an elementary school classroom, and children were not his primary audience (if they were, the book would be a lot shorter).
Just like crafting your keywords, be cognizant of what your audience is already searching for. Find channels of content that your business can contribute to and add your voice in on the conversation your audience is actively engaged in.
Once you have established your topic, think about how you want to structure your information. The right structure will allow your audience to absorb the information in a more reader-friendly way. Here are some questions to help frame your content:
- Are you answering an industry question?
- Are you providing tips, tricks, or facts?
- Are you writing a how-to guide?
- Are you providing an overview or getting more specific?
These questions can help you frame your piece in the most optimal way for your readers.
What your audience wants most is a well-curated, thought-provoking, authentic article that offers a genuine insight into the material. With that in mind, keep your titles simple. Let your readers know what to expect from your content, because that is what will attract them and keep them coming back.
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