The Marvellous and Curious Power of Titles!
In 2014, a French restaurant successfully sued a blogger over a review.
The owners had said openly that the restaurant have been having problems with their food and service, meaning it bad. So the blogger gave the restaurant a bad but honest review, so what was the problem?
The review title kept ranking on page one on Google and was destroying the business. It remained on page until the restaurant sued, getting an injunction to change the title and knock it down the ranks. This blogger was given a fine and was forced to change the title of that review, deliberately so it does not rank on page one on Google.
Besides a restaurant in France you probably shouldn’t go to, what is there to take from this?
Don’t underestimate the power of a good title.
While I’m sure there are other aspects of that blogger’s work which caused it to rank on page one,
That’s why in this Ricemedia blog, we will be looking at tips to create the perfect title for your content. From blog to white paper, a strong title is going affect how can it searched and who will click.
Here are five things to consider and take inspiration from when writing titles.
Question titles offer a high amount of SEO value and are extremely searchable as well as valuable to potential clients. Straightaway, you’re providing a service, information and value to them by answering questions.
When looking at creating titles and content around a question, it’s a great way to generate content that is highly targeted at your audience and look at the questions they would be asking about your product or services.
Whether you’re creating content for journalists or joiners, you are creating content for a targeted audience and you need to use that industry’s jargon or slang in your headlines.
This works on two levels.
The first being, straightaway, people in that industry will recognise the slang or jargon; meaning that news piece or infographic is relevant to them. There’s that instant connection, allows you to make industry jokes and will have more engagement with your target audience.
Also there is the SEO value it gives. Using industry language or even local phrases, it helps gives it SEO value, especially for certain cities or regions.
A great source of inspiration for coming up a great title for your content is your newspaper. Newspapers are primarily sold on the headlines, hooking in potential readers.
The great trick about a good newspaper is that they give enough of a story that you’re interested, that you want to know the whole story. An editor has to convey the selling point of a story, be it about politics or a new chip shop opening around a corner, and sell it in a short sentence.
This has not been a perfect science from the birth of newspapers, if you read old newspapers you can see where they’ve gone wrong and where you can go wrong. Early headlines were long, clunky and just did not read well. As time goes by, you start getting concise, sharper, and shorter.
So when you are thinking of titles, think like a newspaper editor and get to the meat of the content, find that selling point.
You know those awful links you see down the sides or bottom of websites? The titles are usually something horrific like “She Didn’t See it Coming and Now that’s Her Face”, which, you click because you cannot click. Only to find an awful grainy video of a woman running into a screen door. While I’m sure everyone who clicked are disappointed, there is a deal of respect to whoever wrote that title.
Clickbait titles are not like newspaper titles, they tend to be longer, not as concise but they focus on the hook. It’s all about looking at the selling point and working on a statement that draws people in, looking to appeal to people’s emotions.
The problem with clickbait titles is that they don’t have much SEO value but are extremely effective in drawing in new audiences.
Think Women’s Magazines
Women’s Magazines are a great resource to help think and develop titles as, if you look at a cover, are bombarding their readers with great titles and reasons to buy but also complete amongst their themselves. The front page of any magazine is full of titles, selling their content, but I find women’s magazine’s article titles are exceptionally good.
The titles on women’s magazines, to me, are a good mix of clickbait and a news headline. It goes straight to the meat of the content, what’s it about, but also plays on our curiosity.
Also there’s no fat to the headline, “Drop 5 Stone in 1 Week and still eat cake”, straightaway, it’s short straight to the point and keep it too the point. Unlike a clickbait article, it does not go off on a tangent but keeps it interesting and appealing to an audience’s desires or needs.