A lot of my guides use the present participle in the title. An editor/editors have started replacing these with "How to..." at the beginning. So for instance "8 Easy Steps to Planting a Shrub or Tree" has been replaced by "How to Plant a Tree in 8 Easy Steps". I've experimented with the two variations myself with not much change in traffic and I'm not sure whether they're doing something similar to boost traffic or they've done title research.
I tend to go with the editors when they make changes like this. A little adjustment in the title can go a long way.
Editors have changed my titles a few times, and in some cases we worked together to end up with a final version. But in all cases I ended up with a better title. Eugene, that editor’s version of your title is more in line with what people would type in a search, and that should help improve traffic.
I use "how to" in almost all of my titles because that is what people type into Google when they are seeking information. I like to think that the phrase improves my standings in the search results.
Glad to note that. I think at most 3 or 4 of my articles start with the 'How to' title. In one traffic is down. Okay, I'll edit that using the present participle. But I'll express it in the present tense active voice. I was brief that in my Englsh class.
Sounds like SEO to me. Sounds like they're making the title into a keyphrase from the search engine.
That would be my guess too; it's all about SEO and what is actually searched for. In the specific example of the OP, no one searches for "8 easy steps...", they search for "how to plant a tree".
That's interesting. I think it was a fallacy that using a number got more traffic. I think that is only true for publications which have used followings. Hubpages doesn't essentially get their traffic from followers but from google. I think that when it comes to google, the better title is 'how to.'
I wonder how "power words" fit into this and whether they're still relevant? Is using a power word and a numeral still an effective way of gaining a Googler's interest when they're presented with a list of search results? E.g.: "10 Great Ideas....," "20 Amazing Ways to ...."
I've not try the trick in any of my articles.
I think fashions come and fashions go. When my articles have dropped from number one to number three, I go back and check the search terms that the other articles ahead of me are using, and then I insert those into titles and sub=titles (I think that's what Hupages puts into meta-tags), isn't it?
IMHO it is good to have the main noun and verb up front when people are scanning through their options in a browser.
I tend to agree with psycheskinner that it reads better.
There are quite a few reasons why they sometimes change the title, I believe, not soley for SEO reasons. I have had quite few that have had fairly generic keyword-orientated titles that I've had altered.
I tend to just run with whatever editors do, I'll admit. It's only when they eff up the content that I get miffed, but that's pretty rare.
There is a general opinion in writing that the present participle has a weakening effect and it's best avoided whenever possible. I've read that, or been told it at writing classes, more than once. For example, I seem to remember George Orwell saying it in his advice for writers.
Whether the editor changed the titles for esthetic reasons, or technical, we may never know, unless they give their reasons. I have been given the reason(s) sometimes, but often not.
They did a basic edit on my "9 Easy Steps to Wiring a Plug Correctly," but didn't change the title. So I wonder should that be "How to Wire a Plug in 9 Easy Steps" or "9 Easy Steps on How to Wire a Plug?". I think it's best to keep the numeral at the start anyway. That guide gets about 100 views a day. I'm reluctant to change titles on any guides that are doing well or reasonably well. The "8 Steps to Mixing Concrete by Hand" gets 250 views and is in 4th place in SERPs for the search term "how to mix concrete by hand."
Wire a Plug in 8 Easy Steps.
Easily rewire or replace plus for lamps, vacuums, space heaters or any other household appliance in 8 easy steps, with photos.
by Jennifer Suchey 8 years ago
I know that once you publish a hub you shouldn't change the title because it affects . . . well I don't fully understand it, but I know it's not a good idea, especially established hubs. However, if I did change a title shortly after it was published, would that still not be good for some reason?...
by Nathan Bernardo 2 years ago
How do you deal with a change that was made to an article by an HP editor? They unnecessarily changed the title of the article, I'd like to change it back to what it was. Is that what everyone else does when this kind of thing happens? Curious.
by Will Apse 2 years ago
Quote:Google is very suspicious of anything that increases a sites search rank. It suspects some possible spammy search engine optimization tricks might be at work so it will flag the web site and cause its search rank to fluctuate wildly ....https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-su …...
by Cardia 7 years ago
While going through some of my hubs, I realized that most of them have numbers in the title - for example:- 7 Ways to Gain More Followers on Instagram- 50 Brilliant Life Hacks that Everyone should know- 19 Easy Ways to Save Moneyand so forth. I was just wondering if using titles such as these is a...
by Janis Leslie Evans 8 years ago
I'm increasingly coming to learn the importance of titles to make hubs searchable. But some of my hubs are still not doing well. Out of the following factors, what do you are the top three most important for hubs to get traffic and be successful? 1. Titles2. Keywords 3. Original content4. Topic5....
by Nathan Bernardo 9 years ago
It seems to me they are. You find out what's searched on the Internet and put it in the title of your article. But it seems to me, some of it is just logic; What will someone likely type into the search engine? No one is going to search for "how to pay attention instead of getting wrapped up...
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