Content vs. Title - who wins out in the fight?

21 replies
What do you think is more important the content or the title?

Like the age old chicken or the egg debate, what do you think is more important content or the title?

I read a post recently from Rand Fishkin which made me think about this.

There is plenty of discussion about this online and could it all come down to the title of a blog rather than the content itself for SEO.

Do cool titles trump all the fleshed out fresh content in an article or blog?

Does it all come down to the title when we are getting ranked online?

I spend quite a bit of time of titles for content, however Id be keen to hear what your take is on this.
#content #fight #title #wins
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    What is more important to a person's life: air or food & water?

    To suggest that one is more critical than the other is to not understand how they work together to make your content great.

    Really, why does it matter which is more important? It doesn't in the least. Besides, it's a very subjective call.

    The title stops the browser in his tracks and forces him to read further.

    The content gives the information the viewer seeks.

    They are both important and without both you would go crazy as a browser. Imagine if only titles existed without content. Who would benefit?

    Imagine if only content existed - how would we know what we wanted to read without sampling every single piece of content that came our way?

    You need both. You don't need to choose which is most important.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author SummerDaze
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      What is more important to a person's life: air or food & water?

      To suggest that one is more critical than the other is to not understand how they work together to make your content great.

      Really, why does it matter which is more important? It doesn't in the least. Besides, it's a very subjective call.

      The title stops the browser in his tracks and forces him to read further.

      The content gives the information the viewer seeks.

      They are both important and without both you would go crazy as a browser. Imagine if only titles existed without content. Who would benefit?

      Imagine if only content existed - how would we know what we wanted to read without sampling every single piece of content that came our way?

      You need both. You don't need to choose which is most important.

      Steve
      Thanks Steve, I agree it is subjective and it's impossible to really say, personally I think without a kick butt title the blog is a tough sell to get opened however at the same time without good content the whole process falls on its head.
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  • Profile picture of the author KosenIvra
    Thats quite an interesting point you are raising.

    I believe both are quite important, they are like yin and yan, each of them cant exist without the other, that being said I would say that their importance depends on the stage of the process.

    If you are building an audience and trying to redirect traffic, the title is surely the most important thing, you need to have a good title for appealing to your audience and making sure they will click on your links, without a good title, the quality of your content wont matter, because no one will see it.

    But once the title has done its job and people has click on your links, this is where the content comes in, people will be quite dissapointed if you content is boring or is not entertaining, and that will seriously harm your chances of making them come back to your website in the future, thats why you always need to have good and appealing content, that will increase your awareness.
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    • Profile picture of the author SummerDaze
      Thanks everyone for your responses - it sounds like we have a tie in this debate.

      You need both equally by the sounds of what everyone is saying and I tend to agree.

      Here's cheers to creating incredible content and titles that a clickable and gives the viewer what they want.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    The titles is very important and will be the factor in 'attracting' the right audience (target market). But if you don't have the content to back up the title, what's the point? You can't do things half way. To get what ever it is your after, you gotta go full out.

    You need BOTH.
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    Successful Marketing comes down to a 'process'. Are you going through the full process? Have you even started?

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  • Profile picture of the author zdebx
    The catchy titles make you click - that's for sure. However, if after clicking on an article, the content doesn't deliver, then you can have the best title in the world, but without decent content it's useless.

    And it kind of works the other way round as well. If your content is solid, but you have a weak title, then you may miss out on a lot of readers simply because your title doesn't entice too many people to click.
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  • Profile picture of the author TNT011
    The easiest thing to say would be both. Yet, the tough part is to create a piece that has it both. So, what happens, I guess not only to me, but to all the busy little bees online is this. When you find a catchy title with no quality content, then you feel like you are being tricked. On the other hand, I can be pleasantly surprised that I locate an interesting read that is hidden behind not so intriguing title. On rare occasions I stumble upon some great articles and posts that offer the "full package." Yet, there is some justice in it. What you give to the readers is what you get in return. If you play only with catchy titles, you aren't going to stay in the game for long. Also, while you already invested some time in content, what's stopping you to go an extra mile and come up with an equally interesting title.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tokama2542
    For me, content is more important that the title since it is where valuable information is usually found. The function of the title is to "inject" interest and curiosity to the readers so that they'll be entice more to read the content. Therefore, every title should we carefully thought of as well so that readers will be interested to proceed to the content part...
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    If you can't retain traffic long enough to make a conversion it's all kind of pointless.
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    Hi
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    • Profile picture of the author sparrow
      yukon your so right

      titles will get clicks, but if you can't keep their attention on the page it is all pointless

      from our testing the longer users are on the page we are seeing either higher rankings or sustained page one rankings

      we are suspecting this behavior change in the SERPs is the result of AI(RankBrain) having the ability to do real time analysis, pretty much the behavior that is being reported about real time on going penguin updates(behavior) but instead it also is being applied to user interactions from the testing we are seeing

      so I don't think you can get away without both regardless
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  • Profile picture of the author aizaku
    come for the title

    stay for the content...


    sadly, people share titles on social media not content....

    -Ike Paz
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  • Profile picture of the author unlimitedoptions
    Hi:
    As has been said the title should get the reader to stop and click. The content should engage them, keep them on your page, and impress them enough for them to book mark your site.

    So both are important.

    If you have an average title then fewer people are likely to click. However, If the content is good to great then those who have clicked and read it should come back again and should become a subscriber.

    If you have an awesome, eye popping title but below average content then you get the reader to click. However, you loose them as a fan and a subscriber.

    Try to strive for both as much as possible. Of the two I believe content is a little more important for the long term success of your blog or website.

    Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author Junaid khawaja
    Hey,

    To elicit any type of response you wish to achieve, your content must do two things.
    1. Grabs reader's attention.
    2. Grab reader's interest.

    Title grabs attention.
    Content grabs interest.

    For example, a catchy title may grab attention of someone who is not even interested in the offer. And it will surely grab attention of someone seeking for the information. But, the content must grabs their interest too.

    If it fails to do so, the title is nothing but click bait and switch.

    Thanks
    -J
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  • Profile picture of the author Keith Everett
    Title is very important or no one will be bothered to click, however, when they click and see your content, it has to be interesting enough for people to read it. It's not an "either or" situation, both are important.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Think about the Title and every other line in your Content as your on "personal salesman" to sell and entice the person to keep reading on to the next line. Until they get down to your Call to Action.

    So they are all equally important and have significant roles


    - Robert Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author tyronne78
    One isn't more important than the other,they both serve a purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author ra42
    I recently changed titles in one of my websites for a specific keyword and it worked very good. (there were no changes in the text itself)
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  • Profile picture of the author Antony Micheal
    Imagine you read one article that the content is different the title, you call it spam. but if you wrote beauty content but have none title, no one know what is it
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  • Profile picture of the author decenthasoo
    Hey Great Question.

    with respect to SEO both are important for bringing visitors to your website is title is important and engaging them contents important but i prefer contents because contents is the king for SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author James Clifton
    Both content and title are crucial for online success. While interesting titles catch the attention of your target viewers, its the content that provides them the information they are looking for. To say that one is more important than the other is completely beyond reason because both are essential in audience retention. As a tip, take your time and make sure you are writing compelling content and catchy titles.

    Good luck on your business!
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    • Profile picture of the author SummerDaze
      Originally Posted by James Clifton View Post

      Both content and title are crucial for online success. While interesting titles catch the attention of your target viewers, its the content that provides them the information they are looking for. To say that one is more important than the other is completely beyond reason because both are essential in audience retention. As a tip, take your time and make sure you are writing compelling content and catchy titles.

      Good luck on your business!
      Thanks James - it's an interesting perspective and I agree.

      It's like most things they go hand in hand.

      Unique and compelling content is key yet I don't always see amazing titles out there. People get lazy and it can often be a bit of an after thought where as I would like to see more effort put into titles as they are the reason people usually click to see more.
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