Writing great titles for your own articles and blog posts is the second most important thing you need to do to get greater visibility and exposure on major search engines. Notwithstanding tons of articles on the topic and the supposed ease with which great titles could be written, I still see most online publishers, SEO specialists and highly popular sites completely miss the boat on this one. Why?
Unless you start seeing the Internet for what it is, a giant information library in which you find the things you are looking for, not by browsing at long allies of digital information shelves, but by asking one of the very efficient and always-on-duty information librarians: Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask.
If people were indeed to browse digital shelves and to look at covers and titles, there would still be some logic in using catchy titles or using "irony", double meanings and "smart" wordings to stop potential readers in their tracks. But would you use the same tactics if you were the information librarian trying to categorize and classify all the new incoming books?
What I am trying to point out is the fact that internet search engines need to classify and organize information (web pages, sites, blogs) in ways that allows them to easily provide back to the requester reliable results.
As such the major search engines do not care at all about catchy, smart, ironical or cute titles: they actually hate them.
Here is my humble advice in video on the importance of writing great titles for your blog:
The second most important thing after making sure that your site is clearly spelling out the sectors it is working on, it is to make sure you work on the titles of your posts in a way that classifies them in this infinite library which is the internet.
Search engines are just like just information librarians that are going to check for you what is out there.
But if your content has titles that don't help the librarian understand what you are talking about, then he has to continuously read inside your pages to really find out... and you talk about many different things everyday... you don't have a specific topic... that's what makes it very difficult for the librarian to know what you are about.
So when people ask questions inside the search engines, your page, your blog, your site it is not going to come up among the top ones, its going to come low... and for many reasons.
One of these is the fact that the titles of your posts, of your articles or of your news need to be clear.
You need to clearly spell out what is your content talking about?
Is it written clearly in that title?
If you care about having your articles and blogs show up inside the major search engines, [you better pay attention to this] and receiving lots of traffic for it... you better pay attention to using great keywords... and great doesn't mean cheating or artificially cheating by including terms in your title and content that you place there only to appear relevant for things or issue people are searching a lot for.
Great keywords are well thought of synthetic words that express clearly and simply to anyone: "what is this content about".
If you do that, you are going to do well on the web.
Major search engines expect titles of your blog posts or site articles to be as clearly and unequivocably classified as the each one of the book index cards you find inside a traditional library. Clearly classifiable information about a specific topic.
If you can give that to Google for each one of your articles... you are rocking.
Wonder why so few do it. While hard to believe, the only reason is that they have not yet understood this to the fullest, as they keep mixing in traditional journalistic and print title approaches, and more importantly, this is much more difficult for the untrained online publisher.
Even in my own virtual newsroom, I have highly talented and skilled individuals, with good culture, university degrees, who, after months of training and seeing directly the titling logic explained above, have real difficulties at creating titles that respect this "classification" logic. No, I am not saying they are stupid... I am saying that notwithstanding what you may have thought until now, doing this effectively is much more difficult than you can imagine.
Not only, one has to have the intellectual ability to understand what is the "real" topic of the article being titled (this is what people think is easiest to do, while in reality this is the most difficult part), and done that, understand also how a potential web reader would articulate a "search" for your newly titled content.
What words will a web reader use to make a search for which your article is a perfect match?
Example: you write an article about a new web service called MoneyTube that allows individuals to sell their video clips online.
If you title it: "Moneytube launches new service for video publishers" you are missing out on the whole concept of the Internet as a classification system and on the relevance of putting yourself in the shoes of your potential readers.
For classifying the article properly you need to ask yourself what is the true topic of this article, which in this case could be for example "video monetization" or "selling videos online". By analyzing that question seriously you will generally come back with short 2-3 keyword long category names, that will be frequently matching what people would write in a search engine if they were looking for the exact type of content you have in your above described article.
In this case therefore "Selling videos online: Moneytube offers new video monetization opportunity for online video publishers" you offer clear categorization data to the "information librarians" while closely matching the keyword sets that your potential readers could use when searching for this very type of content.
It seems simple, but it is not.
That's why it is so valuable to be able to learn how to do this effectively and this is why, for now, this remains a scientific art of a few.
Who's going to swell the ranks next?