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Choosing Article Titles

Updated on July 10, 2012
Article Title Photo
Article Title Photo

It’s critical to write timely, informative articles about popular subjects when pursuing an online writing career. Choosing appropriate, attention-getting titles for your articles is just as important as the content itself. Articles packed with useful content, current statistics and links to knowledgeable websites will get the necessary views to be successful, but only if they have well-crafted, searchable titles.

Using Keywords to Your Advantage

You may have a great idea for an article, and know what information to include and where you want to submit it. The last thing you want is for your hard work to go to waste by choosing the wrong title. By using an online keyword tool you can easily and quickly find out what people are searching for. Slightly slanting your content to accommodate a popular title is fine, but your content should accurately reflect your title or readers will feel cheated. Readers don’t want to spend time searching a subject only to find that your article has nothing to do with its title.

Searching popular title keywords is also invaluable when fighting a frustrating case of writer’s block. Using keywords as writing prompts is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Title Length

Trimming your title to as few words as possible is a good idea when trying to achieve high ranking search engine results. People are often in a hurry when searching online and tend to type no more than three or four words when conducting internet searches. The Proper Way to Train Your Dog would rate much higher if titled Dog Training Basics. The Dumbest Posts I’ve Ever Seen on Facebook would be more searchable as Dumb Facebook Posts.

If you decide to go with a longer title be sure to place the most valuable keywords within the first three or four words. Do not make your title a series of nonsensical keywords. Search engines tend to consider this spam and this will harm your article’s search engine ranking.

Popular Searches Mean Popular Titles

There are several topics that always seem to be popular in internet searches. Google, eBay, music, food, travel, sex, money, love and celebrities, just to name a few. Popularity can vary according to what’s hot at any given time. For example, Kim Kardashian’s wedding caused a spike in internet searches shortly after she said I Do. But these articles aren’t evergreen and often lose favor with search engines quickly. That’s not to say you shouldn’t jump on a popular subject when it’s fresh. After all, this is why tabloids are so popular. But when it comes to article writing the key is concentrating on timeless topics that will continue to generate views long after publication. Keep a list of popular keywords handy for title ideas.

Be Prepared to Change Focus

You may find yourself with an idea for an article, but after a keyword title search you find something a little different will get more views. Don’t be afraid to narrow the focus of your article to better reflect your title. Scaling down your focus is usually best in shorter articles and helps to define your title at the same time. For example, Social Media’s Impact on Relationships could be narrowed down to, Facebook and Relationships. This could quite possibly result in providing enough content for a series of articles: Cheating and Facebook, Permitting Children on Facebook, Fake Friends on Facebook, and so on.

Sharing Means Caring

Choosing an article title carefully will also affect how well your content does when shared on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and others. Only a few content sharing sites, such as Reddit, allow you to change an article’s title when submitting it. Most simply require an article’s URL for submission. People perusing these sharing sites won’t bother to click on your article link if the title doesn’t catch their attention.

Don’t let all your thorough researching, writing and editing go to waste by giving your article a bad title. Readers won’t bother to read your quality content if your title doesn’t catch their valuable attention within the first few seconds. There’s a wealth of information available on the internet and yours will get lost in the slush pile if it doesn’t stand out with a attention-getting title.


**Are you a writer? Why not sign up for a HubPages account here and begin writing in a unique online community with high earnings potential?

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    • lovesleftovers profile imageAUTHOR

      lovesleftovers 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Thanks so much tillsontitan!! It's much appreciated :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Very well done and very informative. Your explanations are concise and helpful with lots of important pointers.

      I voted this up, useful and interesting and I'm sure anyone reading it will come away with ideas.

    • lovesleftovers profile imageAUTHOR

      lovesleftovers 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Good, LetitiaFT, I'm glad I could help! You are most welcome!

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 

      6 years ago from Paris via California

      Yes that helps. Thanks, I'll keep all this in mind!

    • lovesleftovers profile imageAUTHOR

      lovesleftovers 

      6 years ago from Texas

      LetitiaFT, thanks so much for your comment. You're right, there can be many identical article titles coming up on any given search. The key is to have an eye-catching, keyword rich introduction to entice readers into clicking on your article. Here on HubPages, your "summary" serves as your intro, so it's important to pack it with concise information. Try a popular search and you'll see what I mean. That's why it's essential to launch right into your topic and not be overly wordy. I hope this helps! Thanks again :)

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 

      6 years ago from Paris via California

      This is very helpful. I'm just wondering what your view is on competition. I mean, if you use a good (ie easy) title for which there are a lot of searches, how do you zip past writers who've had the same idea to reach google's 1st page?

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