Prevent Premature Content Failure
A great Content Title will dramatically slow the Inevitable Content Oxidation often occurring when no one views your content. The Anti-Oxidant effects of a well written Title are well known in both writing circles and within the Prevent Premature Content Failure (PPCF) association.
In my last post titled Beat The Big Brands In Search I talked a bit about some of the SEO steps you can use to help level the playing field on search engine results pages (SERP). I think expanding upon a few of the main points will help get you deeper into what it takes to build content that search engines will like.
[pullquote align="left"]“Fight Content Rust, Include Title Anti-Oxidants With Every Meal.”[/pullquote]
Titles have always been one of my favorite things to create when putting together any type of content for the web. Titles act like Billboards on the busy web interchange. A really good title will slow people down for a split second, they’ll wonder about what’s behind the title saying to themselves “I wonder what it’s all about.”
The well written title grabs potential readers and hooks them. Once slowed they’re more likely to check out the content. Get your viewers to wonder and you’ve won half the battle, give them a dopey or boring title and they’ll just continue on their way. You’ll have lost a viewer, you’ll have lost a connection.
[pullquote align="right"]“A Soggy Title Will Hasten The Oxidation Of Even The Best Content”[/pullquote]
Titles are not an afterthought, search engines and your potential readers see the title first, from that starting point they build an impression. You may get a second chance at a party if you blow the first impression but viewers will not happen upon your content title a 2nd time changing their mind about reading it.
A great title sells the books, it puts people into theater seats, it makes you read the ingredients (Rocky Road – Cherry Garcia). Great titles are simple and straight to the point, sometimes a dollop of humor or controversy is added before it’s all mixed up and served to a crowd of hungry content snackers.
Simple Is Best
If you are writing about a product or service you first want to take a quick visit to a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Tool. Find a 2 or 3 word keyword phrase that people are actually using and use the phrase you pick as a base for your content title. 4 or 5 word titles work best, remember you’re trying to grab attention not telling a story in your title.
If you find yourself writing about an idea or a piece of philosophical mumbo-jumbo then be creative with your title and come up with something that is emotional. Titles that are evocative or controversial tend to funnel more views to the content.
Titles are about slowing down the reader so they will visit your content. Titles are not about telling a story in 10 words and titles are differently not an after thought you write once your article of video is complete. Write the title before anything else is produced. Make your work reflect your title.
Take Out The Trash
The search engines label words like and, or , but, the, and if as “Stop Words.” These words are thrown out when a page is being indexed. Leave these and other 2 and 3 letter words at home when writing a Great Title. Don’t waste you precious title space with fillers.
Yep I said it, when it comes to content titles throw grammar out the window. Titles are not sentences, they are titles. Can you think of any titles of movies, books or Broadway plays that agonized over proper grammar? Of course not. Your title is like the name of a play or maybe a coffee shop with the title “Great Tasting Coffee,” now there’s a title.
3 Rules To Keep
- Have Fun
- Be Creative
- Use Emotion
And finally look around at how other successful content creators are creating ways to pull viewers into their content. What titles, first sentences, video intros etc are they employing to slow down the next viewer who almost certainly is about to whisk on by, never stopping to snack on your great content. Prevent Premature Content Failure at all costs.