Expand Your Article Titles

Tip: Expand your article titles by 35-40%.

One constant theme in my article writing & marketing coaching is to always be expanding your article title length so that you make it easier for people who are searching for your articles to find them… ie: Expanding your article title gives you more ‘hooks’ into your target article reader.

However, there’s a right and wrong way to expand your article titles. Last year in our Alternative Health section, there was a string of calcium articles that I’m going to use to illustrate right and wrong ways to expand your article title length.

Here’s our list of 15 articles for the discussion:

  1. Liquid Natural Source Elemental Calcium – Learn about the Liquid Natural Source
  2. Calcium Intake Pregnancy – The Benefits of Sufficient Calcium Intake and Pregnancy
  3. Symptoms of Low Serum Calcium – What are the Dangers and Symptoms of Low Serum Calcium
  4. Food Source for Calcium – What is the Most Beneficial and Healthful Food Source for Calcium
  5. Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D – What is the Source of Getting Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D?
  6. Calcium Supplements and Bone Health – The Benefits of Calcium Supplements and Bone Health
  7. Calcium Absorption and Diet Soda – Does Diet Soda Affect Calcium Absorption?
  8. Good Source of Calcium – Almonds – Are Almonds a Good Source of Calcium?
  9. Best Calcium Source – Is it Safe to Say that Calcium Supplements are the Best Calcium Source?
  10. Soft Chewable Calcium Tablets – Are They Effective?
  11. Marine Grade Okinawa Coral Calcium – Better Than Other Grades of Coral Calcium?
  12. High Calcium Weight Loss Diet – How to Make a High Calcium Weight Loss Diet Plan
  13. Fiber and Calcium for Weight Loss – How Beneficial Are Fiber and Calcium for Weight Loss?
  14. Benefits of Liquid Calcium – Learn about Some of the Benefits of Liquid Calcium
  15. Vitamin D with Calcium – What is the Advantage of Taking Vitamin D with Calcium?

Do you notice any patterns?

This author (whom I’ve asked permission to use as an example for today’s blog post) seems to believe that the first 2-3 words in the article title are critically important. Heck, it’s a concept that I taught years ago and still think today that the first few words of the article title are very important… BUT, to include the exact same keyword phrase a 2nd time in the article title loses the naturalness of the intent and hence, feels forced.

Article Title Tip: If you are going to make the first 2-4 words very keyword dense in your article title, do not repeat the keywords a 2nd time in your title.

Now, how can this author recover from this or what should he have done?

Using a boxing analogy, he should have executed a right and a left hook rather than only two left or two right hooks!

Example: Your article title includes TWO highly related keyword phrases, one primary and one secondary in importance while you still maintain an ENGLISH LANGUAGE friendly looking title.

Article Title Tip: If you look at your own article title and think it’s keyword spammy, it is. Better to write an article title that is at least 60-80% in natural English language and 20-40% keyword intelligent (rather than the other way around!).

In this authors defense, article #10 is unlike the other 15 in that it doesn’t double-dip on repetitive keywords.

Your thoughts on this?

20 Comments »


1
Dave Wellman writes:

Chris,

Thanks for the help. I am just learning this whole article marketing thing and these kinds of tips are awesome!

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 7:45 AM

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2
Carl Pruitt writes:

I can see a huge difference in the page views when my article titles have followed this formula accidentally. I often also find undiscovered keywords in the longer title.

Thanks!

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 8:04 AM

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3
Anita Bruton writes:

Ok, now I’m confused.
I’m a student of Jeff Herring and took his Article Writing and Marketing Secrets Class.
One of the things he taught us regarding titles was a formula:

Keywords – Benefits – Keywords

He emphasized that the first four words should be keywords, then state the benefits and use your keywords again.

This formula seems to work for Jeff.

Could you clarify this a bit more?

Thanks

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 8:15 AM

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4

Thanks Chris.

I’m a newbie blogger and after reading your post, I think I fall squarely into this trap. Not so much to the extent of the 15 articles listed above though. For example I might say something like MICROWAVE DANGERS – ARE WE PUTTING OUR HEALTH IN DANGER EVERY DAY? I don’t know how bad it sounds but there’s repetition of the word Danger alright. Or is that an Okay heading?

This post very enlightening.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 8:25 AM

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5
Jim writes:

Thanks for the reminder, I sometimes forget to add secondary keywords in the last half of the title. I must admit I like long titles when searching as they do help to focus the search.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 8:26 AM

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6
Jan Verhoeff writes:

I find it interesting that once I finally figured out how to increase readership by using keyword effective titles, subtitles, and content, rules changed… LOL

Unique Content – New Ideas Promote Web Development Better

Actually, what happened wasn’t a changing of the rules, but rather a changing of my own strategies. I began to follow a non-ritual based writing style and my articles flowed better. If it seems redundant, it probably is. Write it differently, and use NEW content. That’s what I’ve found works best – including titles.

Jan

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 8:35 AM

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7
Ron writes:

Hay Chris,

Your article was great as far as it went. Could you give a few examples of the correct way to do this. I am new so did get the idea, however some examples would help.

thanks RonnyG

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 8:49 AM

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8

Ron,

This article I wrote 3 years ago still fully applies today: Article Marketing & Copywriting Secret: How To Make Your Article TITLE Sell

Wanjiku,

That’s probably ok.

All,

I brought this topic up even though I started this blog entry last August… because I wanted to help newbies to make their article titles more descriptive — And I wanted to help members who were ‘overtly too keyword efficient’ to take it down a notch.

The article title should be written for HUMANS with a gentle understanding of including a primary keyword and sometimes a secondary keyword to help your article to be found.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 9:00 AM

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9
Jan Verhoeff writes:

Ahhh Chris, I love it when you talk about me that way!! LOL

Somebody kick me off the computer this morning, I woke up early in a writing mood and have already done more than 30 articles (some keyed for an ebook I’ve got in production, others for various blogs, writer assignments and a few for some place called EA). I’m taking a walk with my coffee mug before I post them for review though.

Overtly Keyword Efficient – can I borrow that phrase?

I think I can get a title out of that:

Overtly Keyword Efficient – The Extraordinary Talent of Injecting More Than Enough Keywords to Warp a Search Engine

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 9:41 AM

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10
David Maillie writes:

Well, basically Google gives priority to the first 5 keywords. You will place better for the keywords you are using if they are in the first 5. But, you must also create a compelling headline or title to grab readers. Then you need to deliver on what your title promises – quality comes in here. Far too many authors on EzineArticles fail at quality and then wonder why they have decreasing click thrus. That’s because their articles were seen as rewritten and low quality spam by the serps and go to the supplemental index or so far back in the search rankings to be virtually non existant. It is also possible to rank highly for a keyword with little or no traffic (this usually happens to newbies whom haven’t properly researched their keywords).

Chris is right here. You should use your keywords once and make a title that draws customers in. Then follow it up with quality content – this alone will put you ahead of 99.9% of the authors here on EzineArticles – especially the ones that just mass produce low quality content and rewrite others low quality articles. Your quality written content will be rewarded with continuous traffic from Google and the other serps that far outweighs the other writers and their spam article mentality.

Remember quality is king and links are queen to SEO. Then, if you think you have what it takes, true linkbait is the Holy Grail of SEO. Provide your readers with good, helpful information that is well written – don’t waste your time by writing crappy content. Start writing with quality and then work your way up by constantly improving and eventually you will far outplace, outrank and outtraffic all the others.

David

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 12:18 PM

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11
aris writes:

thank cris,his article that is solid and contain am useful for all, I in learning to make the article, please cris can help me in making the article, may you be successful

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 12:48 PM

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12
Edward Weiss writes:

Top copywriters always suggest to NOT do the SEO thing when writing copy.

Although … I wrote an article titled “Piano Lessons for Seniors – Now Online” a week ago and it’s now #1 for the term “piano lessons for seniors.”

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 2:50 PM

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13

Ya’ll want to know what else is conflicting on this advice?

A/B split tests confirms that SHORTER SUBJECT lines in email newsletters & permission-based email marketing out-perform LONGER subject lines.

We have data that both confirms and rejects that longer article titles outperform shorter ones…so we’re leaning towards providing MORE decision making information than less.

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 3:07 PM

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14

Anita – yep…keyword – benefit – keyword while following these 2 guidelines:

1. The Title has to read “human friendly”
2. Don’t use the exact same redundant keyword phrase – use other keywords or phrases

Hope that clears things up….a bit :)

Jeff

Comment provided May 12, 2008 at 4:31 PM

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15
Lance Winslow writes:

I have been quite successful with extending my titles to the maximum allowed at EzineArticles, another 10-characters would give me even more options for future excellent key-worded titles that help the reader know exactly what the article is about, helping me narrowing in on the niche.

Comment provided May 14, 2008 at 10:34 PM

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16
Michael writes:

Hi Chris,

ok, I’m not sure if I’m getting this correctly, that’s why I rewrote some titles following my understanding of what you wrote.

2. Calcium Intake During Pregnancy – What Are The Benefits?

3. Symptoms of Low Serum Calcium – And Why It’s Dangerous

4. Calcium Food Sources – Which Are Best?

5. Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D – Which Foods Have It?

6. Calcium Supplements for Bone Health – What Are The Benefits?

7. Calcium Absorption and Diet Soda – Does It Go Together?

8. Good Source Of Calcium: Almonds?

9. Best Calcium Source – Calcium Supplements?

Am I on the right track?

Thanks,
Michael

Comment provided June 9, 2008 at 2:46 PM

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17

Michael,

YES!

Bravo!

Nicely done.

You’re showing more concern for the reader than your SEO needs. This is good.

-Chris

Comment provided June 9, 2008 at 2:49 PM

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18
Shirley Bass writes:

Hi There,

I think getting my keywords in the first five words of the tiltle are the most difficult part of writing for me. I can’t seem to make it exciting, unless I ask a question first and then add the answer with keywords.

I have learned something new and like it. I like the example you have used and I really like how Michael corrects the titles, so we can learn from him.

Thanks to both Chris and Michael!

Shirley Bass

Comment provided June 9, 2008 at 6:40 PM

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19
Michael writes:

Hi Chris,

thanks for checking, great. This feedback really helped me a lot.

Michael

Comment provided June 10, 2008 at 1:15 AM

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20
Kathleen Bren writes:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the great article.

I am new to article writing and to the whole concept of SEO. By writing helpful and detailed articles such as this one, you are saving me tons of research time on the internet.

I’m finding all the information I need right here.

Kathleen

Comment provided June 10, 2008 at 9:06 AM

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