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Article Marketing Tips: 6 Pointers for Creating Titles That Are Attractive AND Keyword-Rich
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It’s so easy to get confused when you’ve got all sorts of information about the best way to write your articles. I received this question recently from a reader, and I bet there are others who are wondering the same thing:

There is a matter on which I’d be grateful for clarification. People say that you should make your title as close as possible to what someone will type in the search box [in Google, Yahoo, etc], while others say the title should be as attractive and magnetic as possible in order to attract people to read your article. Please would you kindly tell me which of these theories is correct?

My Answer:

Ideally your article title would be keyword rich for search engines and also attractive to human readers.

If both of those objectives cannot be accomplished at the same time, then being attractive to human readers (and publishers) takes precedence.

Here are 6 pointers for creating titles that are attractive and keyword rich:

1 – If the keyword phrase has a spelling or grammatical error in it, it’s best not to try to use it in the title (would be a turn off to publishers and readers).

2 – If the keyword phrase is a long tail phrase (say 3-8+ words long), then there’s a good chance that it will be a good title as it is or with a little tweaking.

I have a post that gives some specific examples of how to turn long-tail keyword phrases into compelling titles.

3 – If your article is targeting a shorter keyword phrase (2-3 words long), then incorporate those words into a title that is interesting to readers.

4 – When people say that you should make your title as close as possible to what someone will type in the search box, it doesn’t mean that you can’t add words to make the title interesting.

Let’s say that your words are “article marketing”. You can make all sorts of interesting titles that contain those words:

Article Marketing for Beginners: 5 Ways To Bring Customers To Your Website With Articles

Learn to Write Interesting Content for Article Marketing in 3 Easy Steps

What Is Article Marketing?

5 – What you want to avoid is a title that just looks like keywords.

It needs to look like a title, and it should indicate the specific topic of the article (which is the real purpose of a title).
You can also use semantically related keywords. For example, if your key phrase is sail boat, you can also use sail boats, sailing boats, how to sail a boat, etc.

6 – If you’re having some challenges coming up with interesting titles that contain your keywords, try using EzineArticles.com’s title suggestion tool.

You enter in a keyword phrase, choose the category you’re interested in, and their system will generate some title suggestions. These title suggestions were written by professional writers, with the objective of being attractive to search engines and to human readers.

Conclusion

The trick with making a well-balanced title is to know who you’re writing for. Firstly, you’re writing for humans–after all, if publishers don’t publish your articles, then search engines won’t see them.

But there’s no need to think that it’s an ‘either-or’ situation. You can do both most of the time.


NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"


17 Responses to “Article Marketing Tips: 6 Pointers for Creating Titles That Are Attractive AND Keyword-Rich”

  1. Nick says:

    Hi Steve,
    As always, I read this article with avid interest!
    I`ve noticed that when you read someone`s article for the very first time you get an instinctive feel for his / her style. This is usually enough to tell you wether or not you want to read more of his / her work.
    However, this does start with, in the very beginning, do I like the sound of this title or not?
    Sometimes titles DO NOT sound right, irrespective of the keywords, simply because a particular subject has been written to death! If you break any subject down to bare bones & beyond then both titles & articles simply will not sound right!
    If you want to keep it natural …then just let it flow!
    Thank you
    Nick

  2. rmharrington says:

    Hi, Steve.

    Great content. In all forms of Internet writing, search engine friendly wording must take second place to quality content – titles included. Retaining visitors is just as important as getting visitors.

    Thanks for pointing people in the right direction.

    Mike
    Rmharrington

  3. Sir,
    I think the same because the article heading is very main. The title gives the half information of the article so we should be very specific about the article heading. If we are getting training we will be familiar to form the apt heading.

    with regards,
    Umamaheshwaran

  4. Hi Steve & Nick

    I have been following the info you have been writing for a while Steve. It is always great content…

    I would agree with you Nick, writing an article just for your readers without worrying about keywords is the best way. The long tail keywords you find more often then not have very searches per month, thus worrying about ranking for those is not worth it.

    When you write a good quality article with a strong title it will get published by other website owners… This is the main goal at the end to build back links wihtout extra work and rank your own website pages in Google!

    But…

    One Big Mistake Almost All Article Marketers Make!

    You optimize a page of your site for good keyword from your extensive research. Then write an article for distribution to article directories and blog networks…

    But the problem is the title and content is optimized for that same keyword!

    WRONG!!!

    When that article does get picked up by other website owners and their site has a High PR then you have just created a lot more and very strong competition…too strong maybe to rank your own page #1 for that keyword.

    Yes you can use a ‘long-tail-keyword’ in the title but NOT the one you have optimized your own page for!

    This is something that not a lot is written about unfortunately. Just write a great article and the SEO bit takes care of itself.

    Warm regards
    Arjen

  5. Steve Shaw says:

    @Arjen Bootsma: Hi Arjen,

    This links back to what I’ve said previously about creating two sets of keywords – the first set is what you want your site (or pages on it) to rank well for, and you’d use this set of keywords to link back to your site; the second set of mainly long tail keywords are used for the actual articles you write, i.e. optimizing them for this second set.

    Please check out the free report (at the end of each blog post) which gives more info on doing this.

  6. Excellent points.

    1. Always put your keyword in your title.
    2. Make your title Interesting so people will want to read it.
    3. Use lists. People love lists.
    4. Your title should address what people are looking for or problems that they are having to get more views.
    5. Long tail keywords are Marketers best friends. :-)

    Thanks for the insight.

  7. It depends on what the aim of the article is. If the main purpose of the article is to get read then you should think of the title as a sales headline. The idea is to pull the reader into the article and get them to click on it.

    Google Rankings – How to Cheat Your Way To The Top in 5 Days or Less

    This is designed to draw the reader in to find out more. Hopefully they will find the article interesting enough to click through to your site and find out more or share it.

    If you are using the article to help you improve your rankings in the SERPS then you should use a different tactic.

    The basic idea is to give the title as many opportunities to rank for as many relevant keywords as you can. Starting with the long tail and then as time goes on you should start to rank for the shorter phrases in the title.

    Example:-
    How To Write An Effective Blog Title To Rank Well in Google
    How To Write An Effective Blog Title To Rank Well
    How To Write An Effective Blog Title To Rank
    How To Write An Effective Blog Title
    How To Write An Effective Blog
    Rank Well in Google
    Write An Effective Blog Title To Rank Well in Google
    Write An Effective Blog
    Write An Effective Blog Title
    An Effective Blog Title To Rank Well In Google
    An Effective Blog Title To Rank Well

    You will also begin to rank for combinations of the title:-

    “How to Rank Well In Google” for example.

    It is not as an exciting title, and may not draw in as many readers but overall, as you begin to rank for more keywords, you will be found by more and more people. This will help improve your rankings for the given keywords.

  8. Kurt Schmitt says:

    Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a moment. There is an argument against writing a title like this:

    “Learn to Write Interesting Content for Article Marketing in 3 Easy Steps”

    I used to write my titles like that, and there may be a time and a place to do so from time to time, depending upon your objectives. But, for the most part, I would avoid it.

    There’s a difference between titles and headlines on your Web pages, but in the case of article writing and distribution, the title and the headline are generally the same thing, or nearly the same, and become the anchor text of many of the links to the page.

    If a site republishes your article and puts something in front of the title, like “guest article:” (everyone feel free to gasp in shock in unison — it happens), then your title just became even worse.

    Note that I’m speaking from an SEO and “get the click” perspective. If you’re writing to get published in ezines, or you’ve exhausted most of your excellent keywords and talked them to death, or you simply want to tap into someone else’s audience and don’t care about ranking, per se, then it’s a different story (although my argument for a better user experience could be enough — see below). But, for SEO…

    First, it’s believed by most that search engines place more importance on words at the beginning of a block of text. If “learn to write interesting content” is what you want to rank for, then this title is fine. But we would rather rank for “article marketing” here.

    Second, even if the SEs don’t value the first words more, Web usability studies show that people skim Web pages, they don’t read them. They read the first few words of a line and then decide whether or not to continue reading, and by now, we all know about the “F pattern” from looking at heat maps.

    If you put “filler” words in front of the important stuff, you slow down the reader’s ability to absorb the key information and those little decisions they make while reading your content, such as…

    Should I keep reading?
    Should I click?
    What’s this all about?
    Can I trust this person’s information?

    … will tire them out. (I’m assuming they don’t know you, aren’t your fan, haven’t seen you on Letterman or bought your New York Times bestseller, and so on.)

    Third, if your article ends up in a list of links (and it will — either at an article directory, a “best of” list, some republished RSS feed, or a “related articles” list, and so on), you’ll be competing with every other article in that list for “learn to” or “learn to write.”

    The reader is likely already overwhelmed with a long list of links, and your link will not stand out. They want “article marketing.”

    Change the title to this:

    “Article Marketing: Learn to Write Interesting Content in 3 Easy Steps”

    … and you’ll likely get many more clicks.

    Remember that the search engine results pages are just a list of links and descriptions. This will make yours stand out and tell the reader that it’s about article marketing immediately. If that’s what they searched on, it will be bolded and up front.

    If it gets truncated, it won’t look like “Learn to Write Interesting…” (which tells the reader nothing about what to expect — vagueness does not get the click and creates a bad user experience).

    I noticed you started your post with “Article Marketing Tips.” Smart. :)

    Thoughts?

  9. Steve Shaw says:

    Hi Kurt,

    Yes, I agree it’s best to choose your first 3 words wisely and to try to get your keyphrase at the beginning of the title if at all possible.

    However, it’s not always possible to get your keywords in right at the beginning though (hard to make a hard and fast rule that should be used on every title), so instead of crafting an awkward title, it’s better to be flexible and “let” the keyphrase be where it makes more sense than to force it to always be at the beginning.

    Sometimes it will make more sense further into the title. Maybe not on that example that I gave :) , but on other titles it would look better to have the key phrase further in.

  10. rmharrington says:

    In a sales focused environment like the Internet, quality writing seems to lose value. I am glad to see your article include the following line:

    “If both of those objectives cannot be accomplished at the same time, then being attractive to human readers (and publishers) takes precedence.”

    This is good material, Steve. Thanks for holding a strong front in favor of readability.

    rmharrington

  11. [...] be fooled into thinking that Article marketing is just about the articles–the title you produce for your article will also have a huge [...]

  12. [...] Article marketing is not only about the articles–the title you write for your article will also have a n enormous impact on the volume of readers who click through to read your article. It will also effect how the search engines view the content you have produced. [...]

  13. [...] Article marketing is not just about the articles–what title you select for your article also will have an enormous impact on how many readers click through to read your article and how search engines view the content you have created. [...]

  14. [...] not be fooled into thinking that Article marketing is only about the articles–the title you create for your article will also have a n enormous [...]

  15. [...] not be fooled into thinking that Article marketing is just about the articles–the title you create for your article will also have a n enormous [...]

  16. Mike says:

    Yes great tips. Title is most important part of articles

  17. [...] Article marketing is not only about the articles–what title you choose for your article also can have a huge impact on how many readers click through to read your article and how search engines view the content you have created. [...]

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