Watch These Flying Squirrels! Creating Interesting Keyword Optimized Titles

By Libby Turner     |     November 10, 2011

We won’t talk about flying squirrels today, even though they are awesome. But it made you want click right? How many people actually made it to the second half of the title before clicking?

If you are an SEO, I bet you get a little tired of making titles out of keywords like “mobile application development” and “business process improvement”? I sure do. While keyword optimized titles are legit SEO-wise, it can be challenging to create an interesting title out of dull keywords.

Back in my more regular blogging days (3-5 per week) one of my most ridiculous blog titles was, “Rich Internet Application Database Development: Project Crescent” Keyword stuffing anyone? I was obviously tired after writing the article, and just took the easy (and boring) way out with the title.

If you read the content/news-aggregator Huffington Post, you know that they have great titles for their syndicated content. I visit often and usually make several tabs of articles I want to read, simply because the titles are so interesting and make me to want to know more.

Because Huffington Post is an aggregator, they have the luxury of having both a title that is optimized (coming from the actual news source) and a vanity title (that they ‘rename’ the content, this is the one you see and click on). This means they can focus on pure draw with the headline.

Here are a few examples:

Unfortunately, we’re not all aggregators and cannot have vanity titles for our own original content. There is however a lesson in this; about breaking the mold on conventional titles.  In the ever-evolving world of SEO, Google Panda and changing user relevancy algorithms, creating less keyword-stuffed, more interesting titles will serve us better rankings and popularity-wise.

How to Create Interesting Titles for Content:

Limit keywords: Fit in a keyword if you can, 1-2 maximum. We know sometimes they have to be there, but do not keyword stuff.

Leave them asking questions: “How did she change it all?” “How was the Cain Train rocked?” Make readers want to answer the question that comes from the title.

Put away the thesaurus: Try to use smaller words; big words do not register as easily with readers.

Test Different Things: Test a sensational/goofy/alluring title once-in-a-while to see if it works.

Take some time to think about it. Many of us rush titles because it’s the last thing we think about; but it’s really the price tag on your product. How will your title entice people to act?

Soldier On SEOs!

About Libby Turner

Libby is living her dream of working with dynamic brands. Having always been (admittedly) a lover of brands and their unique voices, she greatly enjoys the ability to use her expertise to shape their digital strategies. She began her as a site producer for AOL working with the now content giant on developing their vast blog network. From there she honed her knowledge base on software development and utilizing digital tactics to market B2B and B2C software and mobile apps. Having worked with multiple franchise organizations like she is the resident expert in helping brands roll out location-minded digital executions.

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