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.
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.
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!"
"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!