The 80/20 Value of Titles
Via:Posted by evolvingSEO to Content & Blogging, February 2nd, 2012, at sseomoz.org
Recently, Rand did one of the best Whiteboard Fridays I’ve seen in a while (I do watch all of them) about increasing the likelihood of your content going viral. He touches briefly upon the importance of your title for click through rate and sharability, but in this post I’d like to take a more in depth look at titles and how they help spread your content. (By the way, this is my first YouMoz - woohoo!)
In my opinion, the elements of writing click worthy titles deserve more attention. In the wonderful marketing book “Made To Stick”, the Heath brothers note that any good news or editorial writer may spend 80% of their time crafting the title (or “lead”) and then whatever time they have left on the body of the content.
For those familiar with 80/20, what this means is, the size of the title compared to the actual content (and time spent crafting it) disproportionately affects the success of that content. It’s one small piece of text with a lot power!
Note: to clarify, I am not necessarily referring to the title tag exclusively. I’m referring to simply the title of a page, post, article… which as you will see below can be the same as your title tag, but doesn’t have to be.
A Quick Analogy: The Internet As a Highway
If your webpage was a store on the side of a busy highway, the title’s job would be to capture attention and get people in the door. As many of the right people as possible. If you’ve ever driven on Route 1 heading into Boston, MA, you know what I mean (see photo).
Lots of people may pass by your links, tweets and shares, but few may actually stop to come in and check things out.
I hope this little analogy illustrates the extreme importance of crafting a clickable title - and that you will join me as I suggest some ideas for making your titles more clickable. Let’s go!!!
7 Ingredients of a Click Worthy Title
Assuming all other factors neutral for the moment, let’s look at what I think are 7 most important ingredientsof your titles;