Stop Killing Your Article Marketing Efforts With Those STUPID TITLES!!!

by Allen Graves 20 replies
Warriors,

I’ve always said that article marketing is like a jigsaw puzzle. In order to get it right, you have to have ALL of the pieces in place. Today, more than I have ever seen before, the article title plays a huge role in completing the entire article marketing puzzle. The reason I say this is because I am seeing some really good articles not getting ranked in the search engines, seemingly because of titles that do not fit into the puzzle!

A lot has been said about article titles lately – and rightfully so. As I said, the article title is more important to your success now than ever before. But let me clarify something here before we move on…we are talking about the meta title of your article. The meta title is what shows up in the top bar of your browser when you are viewing a web page.

Most blogs and article directories will use your article’s title as the meta title, but our new Diamond Level membership allows you to create your own meta title and have a completely different article title, thus eliminating the issue of creating an SEO-friendly title or a reader-friendly title…so for those of you who are Diamond Level members, we are talking about the meta title.

Back to the main topic...


Here is a list of the types of titles I found attached to these lifeless articles, and a short discussion of each. I have slightly modified these examples so that I do not embarrass or tick off anyone.

The Long Title

These titles go on and on…just way too long for the search engines to realize what the article was about. For example, one of the titles was for an article about weight loss and it was entitled, “The Top Seven Reasons You Need to Lose Weight: Do You Constantly Hate Yourself When You Look In The Mirror And See A Fat Person Staring Back At You?”

While this title may appease the typical reader, the search engines might have a problem with it. First of all, what is the main keyword phrase? What exactly is the article about?

And if the spider does decide on a specific keyword phrase, chances are that it will not be ranked very highly because of the uncertainty of the whole thing.

If you have a problem believing this, just take a look at the top few pages of your main keyword phrases and tell me how many results you see that have titles longer than 10 or so words! That alone should tell you something.

Crappy Titles

One of the titles I came across was, “Get Rid of Stretch Marks: Best Way Available.”

I’m sorry, but that title doesn’t really scream “EXPERT AUTHOR – CLICK THROUGH” to me. In fact, if I were browsing the directory or scanning the search engine results, I wouldn’t give it a second look. Another one that comes to mind is the example we just discussed above about the ‘Losing Weight’ article. That title was crappy because it didn’t really give the reader or the search engines a good idea of what the article was about.

Yet another crappy title I found was, “Want to Make Some Money? Read This Article Now.” OK, I don’t know about you, but this title immediately turns me off. I would think it was some kind of scam or possibly an unethical way to make the money and I probably wouldn’t even bother scanning it for key points – I would just move on.

And another – “<keyword phrase was here>: 10 Advice Notes” – umm, what is an advice note? How About ’10 killer strategies’ or ’10 Ways to…” instead.

Make sure that your titles are professional, but can generate a little interest while pleasing the search engines at the same time.

Highly Competitive Titles

I found one author who would only submit titles like these:

· Make Money Online
· How to Make Money Online
· Work From Home
· Working from Home
· Get Rich on the Internet

While these titles are not long or crappy, there is simply way too much competition for these keyword phrases. The owners of these top spots are not going to let them go easily!

The chances of these articles getting ranked highly at ANY article directory are slim to none. I believe that Ehow has one article on the second page for one of the terms and GoArticles has one on the third page.

This is simply a chance that any reasonable business owner should not take. Do a little research and target your articles for keyword phrases that 1.) already have article directory results on the first couple of pages and 2.) are terms that people actually search for.

For example, instead of, “Work from Home,” write a title like, “How Can You Work from Home and Still Pay the Bills?” The competition for this phrase is a lot less fierce and this is something that people would actually type into a search box. This is just one, quick example. Stop and think for a while about the kind of keyword phrases you could target in your niche.

Quirky Titles

Another title that doesn’t get a lot of search engine traffic these days is the whimsical or cute title that is only trying to be reader-friendly. While a reader-friendly title is a good thing, you must at least insert your main keyword phrase. Here’s are two examples:

“Your Recliner Chair Cannot Fix Your Relationship! Get Up And Learn To Love Again!”
Or
“In Your Love Relationship Your Heart Must Be As Tender As A Good Dinner Steak”

These are great titles…for a magazine or ezine that people are already subscribed to! No matter how good these article are – no matter how original or compelling the content is – there is a good chance they will never be ranked highly in the search engines for the keywords that the target audience is searching for, thereby wasting away on our web server getting a rogue visit here and there.

Again, if you are going to be cute and create a good, reader-friendly title like the examples above, make sure to include your main keyword phrase at least once. And if you are dead-set on using titles like this, consider joining our diamond membership where you can create a different meta-title for the search engines.

So those are the titles which I have been seeing lately that the search engines are not really in love with these days. There are always exceptions, but for the most part...a very LARGE part...these are not good titles to use anymore if your M.O. in article marketing is to get your article ranked in the search engines.

I hope this helps - It really makes me sick to my stomach to see a world-class article sitting there gathering dust!

Respectfully,
Allen Graves
#main internet marketing discussion forum #article #efforts #marketing #ruining #stop #stupid #titles
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  • Profile picture of the author Diver's
    Thanks for sharing Allen..!
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  • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
    It seems to me that some people think the effects of a bad title can be lessened by writing an even worse article. I saw one somewhere the other day with a really dreadful title, which was instantly forgotten when I went on to read in the article body that table lamps can 'gracefully eliminate' my home. I'm really hoping I've got the kind that illuminate it - I had no idea that table lamps could be so deadly
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    • Profile picture of the author David McGimpsey
      Originally Posted by Diana Lane View Post

      It seems to me that some people think the effects of a bad title can be lessened by writing an even worse article.
      Splorff! There goes another monitor! Article marketing quote of the year!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Diana Lane View Post

      table lamps can 'gracefully eliminate' my home. I'm really hoping I've got the kind that illuminate it - I had no idea that table lamps could be so deadly
      No wonder there are so many homeless people -- they've been buying table lamps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    I have probably done more testing on article titles than most people simply
    because I'm not afraid to take chances. If I come up with a stinker of a
    title, so what? I've got so many "good" articles out there, I can afford a
    few stinkers.

    Ironically, SERP love or not, some of my quirkiest titles get me the most
    views. Now I understand that I probably have a regular following anyway
    so it's hard to compare me to somebody just starting out, but I don't see
    much of a difference as long as I do at least have the main keyword
    phrase somewhere in the title, which I always do.

    The key, for me anyway, is the two part title which takes this form.

    <main keyword phrase> - <more specific title>

    For example:

    Internet Marketing Tips - Taking Out The Trash

    I find titles like this, at least for people looking up the main phrase
    "Internet Marketing Tips" get me a lot of views because people are
    wondering what the hell I'm talking about and if I'm on crack or something.

    Some of my titles are so off the wall, they're almost comical.

    But I always include my main keyword phrase right up front. And since I
    target keywords that usually don't have as much competition as others,
    I get my share of views. But then again, with a regular readership, who
    the heck knows how much traffic I get from the SERPs?

    I do know that in my non IM niches, all my traffic comes from the SERPs
    because I'm writing under a pen name and nobody knows who I am.

    While those titles aren't quite as off the wall as those in the IM niche
    that I write, many of them are still quite unusual.

    Still, I target keywords that I know I can rank high for. So IMO, that's
    really the key. Go for keywords that don't have a lot of competition and
    then you have the freedom to get a little creative with your titles, as
    long as the main phrase is in there somewhere.

    But don't go by me because I'm a special case. Test your titles for
    yourself and see what works best for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hamish Jones
      Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

      The key, for me anyway, is the two part title which takes this form.

      <main keyword phrase> - <more specific title>

      For example:

      Internet Marketing Tips - Taking Out The Trash
      I must say, based on my own testing, that I am more and more seeing the benefits of a title written in this fashion.

      Cheers,

      Hamish
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    I know how much traffic you (can) get from the SERPs, Steven.

    If you'd submit some darn articles to my directory, you would too!!!!!!!!

    Just bustin' your chops...
    Allen
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    Every day I check the obituaries. If I don't see my name there, then I know it's going to be a good day!
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Allen Graves View Post

      I know how much traffic you (can) get from the SERPs, Steven.

      If you'd submit some darn articles to my directory, you would too!!!!!!!!

      Just bustin' your chops...
      Allen
      Feel free to bust away. I've just become such a lazy slob that it's almost
      criminal. I think I've worked about 4 days this month. I'm finding that it's
      really hard getting motivated like I used to. I guess when you don't have to,
      it's not easy. When I had to work hard, I did.

      These days, I prefer writing punk rock tunes and blowing up enemy tanks.

      When I get bored doing that, maybe I'll get back to work.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Seward
    Hey,

    That was a great breakdown of commom article titles mistakes. Thanks for the informative post ;D

    Best
    James
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  • Profile picture of the author mar1nemom
    Thanks Allen and Steven for your great advice. I will definetly be thinking of you 2 when I title my first article.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrian Cooper
    Originally Posted by Allen Graves View Post

    Warriors,

    I’ve always said that article marketing is like a jigsaw puzzle. In order to get it right, you have to have ALL of the pieces in place. Today, more than I have ever seen before, the article title plays a huge role in completing the entire article marketing puzzle. The reason I say this is because I am seeing some really good articles not getting ranked in the search engines, seemingly because of titles that do not fit into the puzzle!

    A lot has been said about article titles lately – and rightfully so. As I said, the article title is more important to your success now than ever before. But let me clarify something here before we move on…we are talking about the meta title of your article. The meta title is what shows up in the top bar of your browser when you are viewing a web page.

    Most blogs and article directories will use your article’s title as the meta title, but our new Diamond Level membership allows you to create your own meta title and have a completely different article title, thus eliminating the issue of creating an SEO-friendly title or a reader-friendly title…so for those of you who are Diamond Level members, we are talking about the meta title.

    Back to the main topic...


    Here is a list of the types of titles I found attached to these lifeless articles, and a short discussion of each. I have slightly modified these examples so that I do not embarrass or tick off anyone.

    The Long Title

    These titles go on and on…just way too long for the search engines to realize what the article was about. For example, one of the titles was for an article about weight loss and it was entitled, “The Top Seven Reasons You Need to Lose Weight: Do You Constantly Hate Yourself When You Look In The Mirror And See A Fat Person Staring Back At You?”

    While this title may appease the typical reader, the search engines might have a problem with it. First of all, what is the main keyword phrase? What exactly is the article about?

    And if the spider does decide on a specific keyword phrase, chances are that it will not be ranked very highly because of the uncertainty of the whole thing.

    If you have a problem believing this, just take a look at the top few pages of your main keyword phrases and tell me how many results you see that have titles longer than 10 or so words! That alone should tell you something.

    Crappy Titles

    One of the titles I came across was, “Get Rid of Stretch Marks: Best Way Available.”

    I’m sorry, but that title doesn’t really scream “EXPERT AUTHOR – CLICK THROUGH” to me. In fact, if I were browsing the directory or scanning the search engine results, I wouldn’t give it a second look. Another one that comes to mind is the example we just discussed above about the ‘Losing Weight’ article. That title was crappy because it didn’t really give the reader or the search engines a good idea of what the article was about.

    Yet another crappy title I found was, “Want to Make Some Money? Read This Article Now.” OK, I don’t know about you, but this title immediately turns me off. I would think it was some kind of scam or possibly an unethical way to make the money and I probably wouldn’t even bother scanning it for key points – I would just move on.

    And another – “<keyword phrase was here>: 10 Advice Notes” – umm, what is an advice note? How About ’10 killer strategies’ or ’10 Ways to…” instead.

    Make sure that your titles are professional, but can generate a little interest while pleasing the search engines at the same time.

    Highly Competitive Titles

    I found one author who would only submit titles like these:

    · Make Money Online
    · How to Make Money Online
    · Work From Home
    · Working from Home
    · Get Rich on the Internet

    While these titles are not long or crappy, there is simply way too much competition for these keyword phrases. The owners of these top spots are not going to let them go easily!

    The chances of these articles getting ranked highly at ANY article directory are slim to none. I believe that Ehow has one article on the second page for one of the terms and GoArticles has one on the third page.

    This is simply a chance that any reasonable business owner should not take. Do a little research and target your articles for keyword phrases that 1.) already have article directory results on the first couple of pages and 2.) are terms that people actually search for.

    For example, instead of, “Work from Home,” write a title like, “How Can You Work from Home and Still Pay the Bills?” The competition for this phrase is a lot less fierce and this is something that people would actually type into a search box. This is just one, quick example. Stop and think for a while about the kind of keyword phrases you could target in your niche.

    Quirky Titles

    Another title that doesn’t get a lot of search engine traffic these days is the whimsical or cute title that is only trying to be reader-friendly. While a reader-friendly title is a good thing, you must at least insert your main keyword phrase. Here’s are two examples:

    “Your Recliner Chair Cannot Fix Your Relationship! Get Up And Learn To Love Again!”
    Or
    “In Your Love Relationship Your Heart Must Be As Tender As A Good Dinner Steak”

    These are great titles…for a magazine or ezine that people are already subscribed to! No matter how good these article are – no matter how original or compelling the content is – there is a good chance they will never be ranked highly in the search engines for the keywords that the target audience is searching for, thereby wasting away on our web server getting a rogue visit here and there.

    Again, if you are going to be cute and create a good, reader-friendly title like the examples above, make sure to include your main keyword phrase at least once. And if you are dead-set on using titles like this, consider joining our diamond membership where you can create a different meta-title for the search engines.

    So those are the titles which I have been seeing lately that the search engines are not really in love with these days. There are always exceptions, but for the most part...a very LARGE part...these are not good titles to use anymore if your M.O. in article marketing is to get your article ranked in the search engines.

    I hope this helps - It really makes me sick to my stomach to see a world-class article sitting there gathering dust!

    Respectfully,
    Allen Graves
    I have thanked you for this Allen because it also raises the greater issue of headlines and titles generally.

    It is no coincidence that the top copywriters place such great emphasis on the headline and sub-header.

    A visitor to a web page usually takes on average of 7 seconds to decide whether to read on or surf on. You want to ensure they read on otherwise they are a lost lead or customer.

    So a really innovative and effective title, headline, sub-headline etc iscrucial for:

    Articles
    AdWords
    Subject lines in emails
    Forum posts
    Websites - and this is overlooked most of all

    A good illustration is a newspaper stand.

    The tabloids use the most outrageous headlines to catch people's attention and compete with all the others.

    Anything you write for the web public should do the same - assuming all keyword requirements have been met.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gabe77
    Hey Steven, I've been reading your articles at EZA and they're a great help to my IM education. Thanks for that.

    Also, thanks to Allen for the info re: titles. There are times when I'm at a loss in coming up with a compelling title for my articles. I'll take note of your advices for future reference.
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  • Profile picture of the author StephenDavies
    If you are browsing through an article directory site and looking for an article to use on a a website or in a publication of yours, then I think quirky titles may have a slight edge.

    This is because they stand out from the crowd and are therefore noticed by the publisher looking for content.

    However if you intention as the author of an article is to gain the maximum exposure possible in the search engines, then I favour the approach by Steven Wagenheim, ie the two part heading: <main keyword phrase> - <more specific title>

    This serves as a dual purpose, the first part tells the search engines what your main keywords are, and the second part gives the end reader more specific information on what the article is about.

    All of my articles now consist of this two part headline.
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    I advise all my clients to use the two-part title - with a little advantageous twist, of course!

    If done properly, you can satisfy everyone with a clever yet simple and short title.

    But the most important part of the OP has been lost in the conversation - don't forget that the title is just one piece of the whole puzzle. You still have to complete the entire puzzle to have success.

    Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author newbyr
    I just stick to keeping titles short and sweet, but always with the keyword or keyword phrase in them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
      Originally Posted by newbyr View Post

      I just stick to keeping titles short and sweet, but always with the keyword or keyword phrase in them.
      Are you doing any kind of split testing with different types of titles?
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      Every day I check the obituaries. If I don't see my name there, then I know it's going to be a good day!
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan700
    Originally Posted by Allen Graves View Post

    Warriors,
    The meta title is what shows up in the top bar of your browser when you are viewing a web page

    [FONT=Georgia]Most blogs and article directories will use your article’s title as the meta title, but our new Diamond Level membership allows you to create your own meta title and have a completely different article title, thus eliminating the issue of creating an SEO-friendly title or a reader-friendly title…so for those of you who are Diamond Level members, we are talking about the meta title.
    I did this at my Blogger blog - hope it works. By Diamond level I take it you mean at Website-Articles.net.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dredger
      I use this handy, free tool when I do my composing. Advanced Marketing Institute - Headline Analyzer. It really helps me a lot. I am trying to remember where I got the link, but can't be sure. If I had to hazard a guess, it would be Jack Duncan. Anyhow, he does such a great job on all of the inside places for snooping out great data that I'm giving the credit to him anyway. If it was someone else here on the forum, please forgive me and post a correction. I'm old and my memory just ain't what it used to be, LOL.
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    • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
      Originally Posted by Ryan700 View Post

      I did this at my Blogger blog - hope it works. By Diamond level I take it you mean at Website-Articles.net.
      Ryan, yes.

      And thanks, Jeff. In fact, those two were not changed in any way - those were actual titles submitted.

      Allen
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      Every day I check the obituaries. If I don't see my name there, then I know it's going to be a good day!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Williams
    Allen,

    Excellent post. I'll admit, I've never been completely satisfied with some of my article titles. They either came off too controversial, too sensational, or too hype-filled. Even though, that's exactly what's needed at times. A title that grabs folks by the throat.

    But, I'll have to say - after seeing some examples of titles you see everyday - I just don't feel quite as bad anymore, lol. I mean, that title with the "heart as tender as steak" mantra was giving me a bad "Hannibal Lecter-Silence of the Lambs" vibe. Yeesh.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. I enjoyed it.

    -Jeff
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