An article is just as good as its title. Many web content writers may bristle at this statement, but you have to admit that this is quite true. Search engine users only get to see the titles of the articles generated for their search queries on the SERPs. The first sentence or two of the article, or its meta description, is also shown. Even though these snippets can also convince a searcher to click on the link, the bigger factor is still the title.
Content titles are supposed to summarize, in a way, the essence of the entire article. Considering that thousands of related articles and web content is being shown in the SERPs for popular keyword searches, users rarely bother to read everything shown in the SERPs. People will simply skim through the titles on the first page and open those that sound most promising—meaning, titles that sound like they have precisely what it is they are looking for.
On the other hand, it’s not just the most straightforward titles that catch people’s attention. Titles that are very creative, witty, and structured with punctuations and intonations also attract readers in search of an informative but also entertaining read.
Here now are examples of how you can structure your titles to make them eye-catching and so promising that reader’s can’t help but be compelled to click on them.
1. Simple, Plain, and Straightforward – These titles don’t prioritize creativity or witticisms. It tells readers straight out the contents of the article. This is appealing for researchers who are impatient with fluff and need to get to the point right away.
a. The History of Polka Dots
b. The Count of Monte Cristo
2. Sentence Titles – Creating a title is often very difficult, and sometimes when a writer is truly having a hard time thinking up of one, he simply uses one of the sentences in the intro or conclusion of the article. Readers are attracted to these titles because they are also very straightforward and tell right away what the article is about.
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3. Punctuated Titles
a. Questions – Question-titles are really great for SEO purposes. Many search engine users type in actual questions as queries. If it happens to be an exact-match title for your article, there’s a very good chance that it will rank high in the SERPs (except of course if hundreds of other articles also have exactly the same title). Users also gravitate towards articles that answer direct questions like what, where, when and how. That’s why “how-to articles” are very popular and have earned the distinction of being a category of their own.
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b. Hyphens, Double Colons, Parentheses – These are the most commonly-found punctuation marks in article titles. They serve two purposes: first is grammatical, and second is for visual effect. Hyphens, double/semi colons and parenthesis allow you to put two different, albeit related, ideas into your title. They also make a title stand out, especially if the rest of the titles adjacent to it are plainly-worded.
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4. Using Numbers and Statistics – If you included statistical figures in your article, you can choose a vital one and use it as bait for your title. Shocking statistics will surely grab attention and pique people’s curiosity, prompting them to click on the link and read the article or at least look for the information that comes with that intriguing bit of statistic.
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5. Command Titles – Titles that tell people to do something are actually very good, if they are worded in such a way that readers will want to do what it tells them to. This is an alternative for how-to articles. Remember to include a perk so that people will really be convinced to read the article and follow its recommendations.
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6. Suggest Exclusivity – People are consumers, and consumers are always attracted to special offers. Give them that sense of privilege and urgency so that they will feel compelled to click on your article.
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