9 Tips for Crafting More Successful Article Titles

Marie Westerhof

Marie Westerhof

Posted on June 22, 2011

Your title is one of the most important factors in your writing.  Especially when writing for medical practice marketing and SEO purposes, a well-crafted title can make the difference between your article being seen, shared, and indexed by Google and your writing being totally ignored.
Here are nine ways to improve your SEO article titles and see content writing success.

  1. Remember that you’re writing for more than one audience. You’re writing for search engine robots and for people.  Your title and article may be totally optimized and show up on the first page of Google results for your keywords, but if the article doesn’t seem interesting or appealing a human audience isn’t going to click on it.  Ultimately, conversion is what makes your client money – not clicks or visits to articles.
  2. Use your keyword phrase within the first sixty characters of the title. This is the part of the title that robots crawl.
  3. Use a call-to-action. Your title should challenge your viewers in some way or offer them something in exchange for reading your article.  “Learn to Replace Your Own Bathroom Fixtures” or “10 Steps to Living Greener” are ways to entice the reader to click on your article.
  4. Write your article as a list, including tips and tricks. A numbered list with the number in the title induces a sense of curiosity in the reader.  It also offers them some solid form of knowledge that they might actually be able to recall later.
  5. Write those lists with an odd number of items.According to a recent study of over 150,000 article headlines, titles with odd numbers had headline click-through rates that were 20% higher than even numbers.
  6. Keep it around eight words. Too short and your title may not convey specific enough information, and if it’s too long you’ll lose your readers’ interest.
  7. Use subtitles. Subtitles offer you a way to be creative with your title and convey the exact content of the article at the same time.  They also offer a great way to work in difficult keywords.  Use a hyphen ( – ) or a colon ( : ) to separate the title from the subtitle.
  8. As your readers some questions in your title. Questions – “Which Pipe Material is Better – PVC or Copper?” – draw your readers’  attention by letting them know that the content of this article will explain exactly the information they were looking for.
  9. Avoid excessive exclamation points (!!!), ALL CAPS, or gimmicks like “FREE!” and “Click here!!!”. Titles written like this are irritatingly reminiscent of spam email subject lines, and your readers won’t trust anything you have to say after that.

For more information on medical SEO and healthcare website design, visit www.MedicalWebExperts.com.

Marie Westerhof

Marie Westerhof

Marie is the Director of Marketing at Medical Web Experts, and has over 10 years of experience in the development and execution of digital marketing campaigns for healthcare organizations. She also heads complex medical writing projects for healthcare networks, hospitals, large physician groups, and independent physician practices.

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