A year or two ago, I posted a thread where I offered to give feedback on hubs and how to improve them. I then went on to write a post based on the most common mistakes I saw people making (you can read it on the slider on my profile.)
This time, I'm going to offer title suggestions. Post ONE title of a hub which you feel could be improved and I'll give you a title suggestion and/or point out any major problems I see.
Note: Some of this information may be used in an upcoming hub. I can't guarantee how soon you will receive your title suggestion, based on my own spare time and the number of replies to this thread.
Cardisa: People Google answers, not titles. Sue Adams: Use 'answer words' in your titles.
I generally like to keep stuff like this to myself, but this is something that really irks me that I see a LOT here... You shouldn't use colons like that. Use pipes instead... "|" (The symbol just above the "\")
Google ignores colons, and reads that entire title as a single phrase, which takes away from your keyword strength. Formatting "15 Tips To Avoid Brain Aging: Elderly Forgetfulness" to instead be "15 Tips To Avoid Brain Aging | Elderly Forgetfulness" looks just as good, but it actually provides you with two much stronger individual longtail keywords in the title. This can and will improve your rankings searches involving either of those. I have seen this firsthand as recently as yesterday.
Thanks for the feedback, Matt. Do you have any links to back this up? From what I'm aware, Matt Cutts has said there is no impact - basically a separator is a separator. However there may be some indication that dashes work better than pipes from memory, but from an aesthetic and CTR point of view, not SEO.
Interesting tip, I just changed a couple of my titles to use pipes instead of colons, but left the ones which use dashes, to see if it makes any difference.
You may not always want Google to separate the two parts into different units though, for example I have one with the title "Low Cost DIY: Zoned Central Heating System with Wireless Actuator Valves" which I would want to come up in searches for a search like "DIY zoned central heating" which crosses the divider - so perhaps colons would be best in that kind of situation?
That's a good question. Really, it comes down to - what is searched for more AND/OR which do you rank higher for? This is where it is important to use Google Webmaster Tools to do keyword research.
It is unlikely that you are going to rank high for "low cost DIY" so in this instance separating them might not be the best option, so it is a matter of which is the better option, DIY zoned central heating system or just zoned central heating system. Now in most cases I'd say do your keyword research, and target the one you are ranking better for. (If webmaster tools puts you at #11 for one and #56 for the other, your time is better spent trying to rank for whichever is #11) But in this specific case, you could be getting two very different audiences. People searching without the DIY might be looking for something completely different, so yes - I'd leave the colons. This is why webmaster tools are so important...it allows you to look at your ranking for keywords, see what exactly you are ranking well for, and really zone in on those specific keywords. But...that's more information than I usually like to give - Google can help with the rest ;-)
Not sure what you mean. Please give me specific examples / suggestions. I have been using the former "TitleTuner" in the past. That may have elongated some of my titles incomprehensibly. Any improvements would be welcome.
Hi WryLilt, I do not have a question about any of my titles but I do have another question I have been meaning to ask you. In a previous forum you stated that if a hub does not have good traffic after about a year you go ahead and delete it. How do you determine which of those to delete? Many of my hubs will have a 0 for the day, but a few views per week,and many more for month. Does that mean that Google looks down on the other hubs because of those poor performers? If I delete them, are the others likely to perform better? I went ahead and deleted some Brazilian recipes and my hubs on eastern religions. The others are performing better. Should I get rid of some of the others that have little traffic? Thanks for your advice. I realize that none of us really know what Google wants, but I have learned a lot from reading some of your comments in the past and know that I have room to improve here.
If they're getting Google views at all, I usually leave them, then try to give them some SMO (social media optimisation) such as a good MFP image. Social media sharing can raise rankings in Google, especially if your summary and image captions contain relevant keywords.
I've yet to see any indication of poor performers negatively impacting a website. I've seen more evidence that low quality content negatively impacts a website - so as long as your content is high quality, not spammy etc, you're usually fine.
If a hub became unfeatured due to traffic, I'd probably delete and move it unless I had a very good reason not to.
I had a Taoism hub like that, and in 2 years it gained less than the 1 day traffic of many of my hubs. I tried changing the title many times but finally just deleted it The "Act Out of Character" poem may never do well.
Update on title change: The hubscore increased by 4 points - but it's still at the bottom - #73 of 73 hubs, lol. I also changed a few other titles based on your advice about repeating keywords. That worked out well, too, increasing hubscores. Thanks again, Cardisa.
Great idea for an article and I like the title although you might get a new, improved, better, exclusive one. Sorry I have been in comma training. My mom sold houses for a while and told me the woman makes the final decision. I would enjoy reading that article.
I also wanted to point out that if anyone is looking at the discussions at the bottom of the page, HubPages provided some Exclusive Titles in the past, but that program did not work and is no longer available.
I appreciate your gracious offer and hope you'll take a look at this title and tell me how to improve it. "Donate to Charity Without Spending Money or Time - One Simple Way to Help" Thank you WryLilt. Your webpage is fascinating. Peg
Yes, you are right. I was directing it to you. Her suggestions are good too. Let me know how it goes. I would have taken her up on her article if I were ready to publish something. Titles are the toughest it seems. People who write for the big newspapers make more money than the people who write the articles. It is the title that sells with newspapers. Here on the web is a little trickier because we have to rank too. Again let me know how it goes.
Firstday, The title is really what draws me in, especially on my daily email recap of new hubs from people I follow. It's the main thing that drives my curiosity on the long list of new hubs. Cheers Peg
"Donate to Charity Without Spending Money or Time - One Simple Way to Help"
-Change to donations not donate. -Include words free and volunteer. -Lose the "one simple way to help", "spending".
"How To Give Free Charity Donations With Coke" or "10 Free Charity Donation Ideas - Including Coke, Volunteering & More!" - Lists are great for MFPs plus they seem to do well in Google.
-Add another capsule at the end of the article outlining other free ways to donate, so you can justify using these ways in the title. People may not be looking for "coke donations" but they may be looking for volunteering info. If they don't know to look for your topic, they won't look for it.
-Include mention of the ice bucket challenge for ALS somewhere. Time relevant but may help, as it's a big deal right now!
I'm going to jump in and offer some general tips on creating titles, I'm sure WryLilt wont mind .
Using the same word twice is sort of redundant and may appear to be keyword stuffing. These titles often have trouble getting indexed.
Think about what you would search for on the subject you are writing about and not what you think may look pretty. Selling newspaper headlines requires catchy titles but the internet requires search friendly titles.
Get directly to the subject of the article and what it's about.
Measure your title in a text editor and make it no longer than 65 characters with space. Titles should be at least three words short, less than that and you may have a problem.
I'm not that great at titles myself, but I would observe that your information that you have photos would be better placed in the summary section under the title. That information will show up on Google under the title, so potential readers will see it. That way, your title would be more compact and to the point. Best wishes
@WryLilt. I see you are getting an overwhelming response to your offer to help. I generally do not need any help with the title however I do have a particular hub which needs some expert advice. This hub is "How to Save on Foreign Exchange Fee When Travelling Abroad". The keywords related to foreign exchange are high competition keywords (Serp 1 to 10 populated by established travel site with article pagerank PR5 to PR3) but I am not ready to give up. I published it in May 2014 so it still has to mature and gain some organic backlinks.
For long tail keywords my SERP (checked by some free SERP checker) is as follows:
Foreign Exchange Fee When Travelling Abroad - 26th Position How to change money abroad - 60th position Changing money in a foreign country- 78th position
Please suggest changes in the title and meta description if you have time. Thanks!
Thank you, WryLilt.. Social media promotion is not my strong point, but it is worth exploring. I also liked the idea of MFP picture or even better, an infographic which can be a storyboard for the entire hub and can be shared on social media.
Re pipes; Writer Fox uses pipes, and he is good at getting traffic. Thanks for the help with my title. My hub is on first page of Google without much traffic for my chosen keywords. Thanks for new ideas.
I have an idea as to what to do with this one, which is either leave Dog Beds in or take it out. Dog Beds | Choosing The Right Bed For Your Dog I just noticed that we have a dash in between every word in our url.
Oh; have you stopped offering suggestions now WryLilt? I was going to ask about one if you are still doing it. It's 'Top 10 Christmas Gift Ideas For Him 2014'. I have just updated this for 2014 so it would be good to get some traffic to it.
Hi there. Thanks for the generous offer of helping people edit their article titles. Can I get some help too?
I'm kind of really bad with titles and I think a lot of mine might be too long so I'm always changing them and trying to come up with alternative titles. I saw the info here about pipes so I tried that with this title but, I don't know. Maybe it's still too long / vague / not descriptive / too descriptive or something else entirely?
This is the article title: "Why Dumbledore Shouldn't Know How Voldemort Killed The Potters? | Harry Potter Plot Holes"
What if someone has used keywords for an effective title already (eg. How To Clean Green Shoes), the "clean green shoes" being the keywords. If their article is a bit crap and is not from Hubpages, should we try to use the same title (which is the most efficient title to use in this case) or should we try to create a different title.
Is there any punishment in Google for having a title the same as someone else's?
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