The way you title your content can make a world of a difference in how many visitors you get. Today I found myself helping someone who was very frustrated with her progress in the online business world. This person had been building her site for several months and not seeing anything happen in terms of getting visitors.
Before when we spoke, I had given her tips on what to do and she was absolutely implementing them:
- Content was very high in quality. You could tell she knew a lot about her niche.
- She wrote a lot of posts on her site and was actively continuing this trend.
So what was wrong? Well when I finally took a look at her site, the immediate problems were the following:
1. Her titles didn’t stand out. They didn’t scream for attention nor catch my interest. They were plain, boring and frankly…
2. The title didn’t give me any indication of what I was reading.
Once I spotted this, I immediately wrote back to her telling her the issue. And funny enough as I was typing, I found myself thinking back to how many others I’ve already seen who were and are making the same mistake.
Let me ask you something…
Have you ever walked past a store that had newspapers on a stand outside of it? If so, was there ever a moment when your eyes naturally drifted to see what was written there and you couldn’t help but look?
How about surfing the internet and reading certain blogs/ads. Again, was there ever a moment where you had to click to find out what was being written?
I’ll bet you have and looking back, what was it that made that initial and even uncontrollable need to look happen? Bingo: It was the title!
And even if what you read in the newspaper or the site was utter nonsense and you regretted doing it, the very fact that the title was the gateway into it in the first place was what made the marketing magic happen. So why not implement them on your site?
Let’s backtrack for a moment:
In the case I mentioned above with the woman, everything was perfect, except the title. I’m not going to give specific details on what she did, but I will use other examples to illustrate the mistake that was made as well as how many others keep repeating it.
Let’s start from this point of view:
Before titles happen, we need to know what we’re writing about. Thus we need the following:
- A niche idea chosen.
- Low competition keywords found to write content on. This is also optional as content itself is the most important factor, but obviously we want visitors so ideally if we find low competition keywords within our niche and can write high quality content on it, we’re on the right track.
Using this idea, let’s use a few examples:
Say my niche is on bulldog training. This is a niche because we have a specific breed chosen as well as a subject (training) listed.
As for keywords, let me use one to illustrate my points. Something broad. Something that is plain and doesn’t stand out: Bulldog training. Let’s pretend this keyword has low competition.
What would happen if I wrote a post and titled it “Bulldog training”? Well even if by some miraculous feat it would even reach page 1 to begin with, who would ever bother clicking on this? It doesn’t have any reason to be clicked on to begin with.
Now if I were to fix that up and change it to something like:
- 5 bulldog training tips that get results in days, not weeks!
- The ultimate bulldog training guide for beginners.
- Bulldog training guide teaches your pet to skateboard!
Obviously the last one is a bit out there (it is true though!), but the titles have become so much more eye opening and worth looking at. Just simple adding words to our main keyword (bulldog training) such as: results, ultimate, beginners, skateboard are enough to catch attention.
Now if we were to appear on the first page for that keyword, the odds of people visiting that would have greatly increased. Just think about all the traffic potential being thrown down the drain and with some minor fixes, it can make all the difference!
Tips moving forward:
1. Make sure to use titles that stand out. Use the example I just provided as reference.
2. Identify within the title but don’t reveal too much. This means you should let the person know what they’re going to expect within the title, but not provide all the goodies unless they click to read. For example:
- A no in my book: Is so-so diet pill dangerous? Yes, don’t take it!
- A yes in my book: Is so-so diet pill dangerous? You won’t believe the answer.
See how the second one makes people want to click to find the answer? This is what I’m talking about!
3. If you already have posts and pages on which you have titles you’re not happy with, leave them alone! A lot of people who read this might go about and change the title to make it better. The problem with this is that it will make the title and permalink look different and I personally don’t like that, especially if your content is already ranked on search engines.
So leave current content you wrote alone. What you should do is from this point on, whenever you write new content to make the titles stand out and go from there.
A confession (sort of):
I’ll admit, I’m not the most creative person in the world when it comes to coming up with titles. In fact, with all the reviews I do, it becomes very difficult to re-invent myself. I’ll even go as far as to say that some of my titles may even be boring.
But the difference is that I give people enough reason to click through and provide them with information they crave. And it works.
You don’t have to come up with incredible titles each time you write, but don’t be boring either. At the same time, don’t be the complete opposite in that all you ever write is titles that cause shock each time. Too much of that can also make you boring. Find that golden center.