When you're doing your article marketing, you might be tempted to assume that the key to a successful article is the article itself, but that's actually not true.
Yes, the article needs to be helpful and well written, but before someone has your full article sitting in front of them they will be looking at a list of article headlines (or titles).
In order for a reader to see your entire article, they will most often have to select your article from a sea of titles on similar topics. If your title catches their eye, then they will click the link and read your article.
So, guess what the pivotal key to a successful article is? You guessed it--it's the title!
What makes a good article headline?
=> A good title reveals the gist of what your article is about.
=> A good title makes the reader want to read your article.
Some basic tips:
1- Your title should clearly state what your article is about.
2- Your title should be written with the intention of capturing a reader's attention.
3 - Your title should be more than just your keywords.
4 - Try to avoid sarcasm and puns--search engines (and humans!) understand straightforward language more easily.
5 - Be sure that your headline does not promise something that your article does not deliver. For example, let's say your article is detailing 10 things to look for when hiring a personal trainer:
A bad title: "New Jersey Personal Trainer: 10 Things To Look For"
Why is this title bad?
The article is about finding a personal trainer but is not specific to New Jersey. So, it would not be appropriate to include the location of New Jersey in the title. The only time when it would be appropriate to include a location in a title would be if the article was specifically pertaining to that location.
A good title: "10 Things to Look for When Hiring a Personal Trainer"
Why is this title good?
It tells exactly what the article is about. Anyone who is looking to hire a personal trainer would be interested in that article title.
Here are 3 different types of titles to experiment with:
1 - The "How-To" Title--these types of titles (and articles) are very popular on the internet. They are not flashy, but they clearly state what the article is about and the benefit of the article. For example:
"How to Hold a Baby"
"How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets"
2 - The "list" title--a title that references a numbered list. For example:
"Top 10 Chicken Recipes"
"7 Reasons You Should Learn Ballroom Dancing"
3 - A title with your keywords. Be careful on this--your keywords should not comprise the entire article headline, but rather just be a part of it. And you should only use your keywords in your title when appropriate.
Remember, the title must reflect what the article is about, so if your article is not about your keywords, it would not be appropriate to include them in your title. If you are including your keywords, try putting them at the beginning of the title. That will help readers who are scanning lists quickly pick up on the topic of your article, and it will also help search engines.
Here's some homework for you...
=> Try using these different types of titles and see how they work for you.
=> Imagine how your title will appear to a reader looking at a long list of article headlines on the same topic.
=> Aim for these two things with your next article title: simple and to the point, and also attractive to your target reader.