From My Desk to Yours – 6th Edition

By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

Did you know the TITLE of your article comprises the unique URL for that article? Changing the title of a live article effectively re-writes the URL. This results in confused search engines.

That’s why we recently changed the editing process to no longer accept changes to the title once an article is approved. A unique title with a consistent URL means your article can always be found in the same place.

Getting your TITLE right the FIRST Time:

  1. Download and review the “Article Title Training Series” [Download PDF – 420KB] – And keep it for future reference.
  2. Target both human readers and search engines – Make the title keyword-relevant but also ensure your keyphrases are grammatically correct and the title reads naturally for humans.
  3. Use 50+ characters – Longer titles maximize your ability to attract readers with a specific promise that is highly relevant to your niche.
     
    • Bad Example: Your title is “Changing Horses Mid-Stream?” and the article explains how this is an allegory for switching web hosts. This title is short and vague; it is not optimized for SEO and does not tell the reader how they will benefit from your article.
       
    • Good Example: Your title is “Brazilian Karate – 7 Keys to Self Defense in Brazilian Martial Arts”. Your title contains multiple highly-targeted keyphrases without being redundant. It will attract search engines and readers alike, and makes the specific promise of 7 tips.
  4. Avoid punctuation that breaks URL’s (including periods, slashes, colons, and pound signs), and refrain from article parts – Be sure the title “stands alone” to provide a positive reader experience and to maximize your chances for higher article distribution.
     
  5. Study what works and what doesn’t – Review your Article Reports to see which titles have the most views and clicks. Also, read the titles of the Top 15 “Most Viewed” and “Most Published” articles (listed beneath every article) in your niche to brainstorm new ideas.

Following these simple steps will help you generate an endless stream of quality titles that require little or no revision. If you have more tips for crafting the perfect title, please post a comment below!

37 Comments »


1
Lisa writes:

As always, thanks for the great tips and advice Penny!

Comment provided January 28, 2010 at 5:36 PM

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Michael J. Ming writes:

Very thought-provoking article.
Question: I have been positng articles with the same title but Part1,2,3 … at the tail end. Could this have any negative or otherwise effect with searches?

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Michael,

Article parts don’t stand alone which makes them NOT syndication friendly. Also, if your reader needs to weed through too many articles to get all the highlights on one topic, you’re going to lose them.

I would recommend changing your title for every article and making it specific to the article content. Each “part” can be it’s own idea and it’s own article without being classified as a part. When readers see parts, they see more work. Reel them in with very specific article content that will entice them to read more.

This will also increase the likelihood of your articles getting syndicated which means more exposure.

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Michael J. Ming writes:

Thanks, Penny. Right now I have to edit my article due to too many quotes (exceed the 5 lines). I will change its title.
Mike

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2
Ahmed writes:

Dear Penny

Thanks for your advise and will do the best

Ahmed

Comment provided January 28, 2010 at 5:57 PM

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3

Hi Penny!

Here are my tips:

1. Never choose your title in a hurry. The articles title is essential, because only if it has the right keywords and if it is attractive enough, your readers will find it – because it will have a good ranking – and care about reading it.

2. Choose your title from the beginning, instead of writing many things without organization and purpose, to give them a title only later, because you have to be loyal to your title, and write exactly about what it is announcing. After writing your article, change your title if it doesnt exactly describes what you have written, in case you didnt concentrate your attention in the points announced by your first title.

3. Dont use in your title terms that your readers would never use to find the information you are giving. Use keyword tools to find the words preferred by your readers. You can also find entire sentences used by them; dont look only for single words, but type something else more specific near your main keyword, and check if there are people using 2, 3 or more words together when looking for the information you are giving. For example, dont look only for the keyword “relationship”, but also for the sentence you want to use in your title, like “how to fix a broken relationship”.

4. Never use titles that most people use, without adding something else to them. Youll find thousands of articles entitled “How to fix a broken relationship” for example. So, write something else besides that, like: “How to fix a broken relationship with intelligence and humor” for example, so that your title may be somehow different, more attractive and more specific.

5. Dont write short titles based on keywords with too much competition, (like “Depression Cure” only) but explain what your article is about in your title, after using these keywords in the beginning (because only the beginning is examined by the search engines – the first 60 characters I guess, but Im not so sure). So, if you want to write about depression for example, dont begin your title saying: “How to Be Always Happy and Beat Completely your Depression”. Begin with your title using your most important keyword first of all. Youll have better results with a title like: “How to Beat Depression and Find Happiness”, instead of mentioning your most important keyword only at the end.

Comment provided January 28, 2010 at 5:59 PM

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Ahmed writes:

Hi Penny

i agree with all the words and your articles. because if do you want make a good article you Do not write besad the keyward with too much must important keyword only at the end.it is nice it

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4

I’m confused. I understood from previous information on the EzineArticles site that it was recommended to change the title of an article that wasn’t doing so well.

Comment provided January 28, 2010 at 6:04 PM

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Nora,

We did allow you to change the title before but now, that has changed. You no longer have the option to change your title once it is has been approved. We changed it for the reasons stated above and more importantly, to offer you the ability to write another article and learn.

If one article did not do so well, then offer another one. You get better after each and every article and as you know, the more you write, the larger your article base, the wider your exposure will be. Write Mo’ Articles = Get Mo’ Traffic (Thank you Chris Knight for the stickiness of this phrase)

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5

I had a great success by using any search tool for a keyword. Then see how many searches it had. It should have more searches and less competing pages. The title must start with the keyword.

Comment provided January 28, 2010 at 6:09 PM

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6
Jeff Dobkin writes:

When writing an effective title – as in writing the headline of an ad, the teaser of a direct mail piece, or the first sentence in a direct mail letter – use the Jeff Dobkin 100-to-1 Rule: Write 100 titles and go back and pick out your best one. Hey, I didn’t you’d like it, I just said it was the way to write an effective title.

In reality, where I virtually think we are, you may not need to write all 100 titles – you may get by with writing 20 or 40. But when you find that exact right one, you’ll know it. This tip is taken from my book, Uncommon Marketing Techniques, from the chapter The 100-to-1 Rule. Hope this is helpful. Jeffrey Dobkin

Comment provided January 28, 2010 at 6:20 PM

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7
Ed writes:

Hi Penny,

If each article title hosts its own URL, does this mean i cannot use the same title for another article before i publish it, the reason i ask is i wanted to write some articles simular but use the same title for keyword reasons?

Thanks….Ed.

Comment provided January 28, 2010 at 7:23 PM

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Ed,

You can use the same title but we do not recommend it. In fact, if you try use the same title on submission, we alert you and offer you to change it.

You can use the same title as the URL will be different. We include the article ID number to each URL which is specific only to that article.

You can only get better with each article and each title. If you find that one is doing well, offer another title and write another article. This will be far less confusing for your readers and they know they will be getting new quality information every time.

Reading a book that I really like doesn’t mean I am going to read another one that has the same title, in fact, I wouldn’t for fear of wasting my time with getting the same information. My time is valuable. However, I would pick up another book by the same author because I was so impressed with the first one.

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8
Wheat writes:

Hi,

Nice tips thanks for it and keep it up GREAT article.

Thanks, again…….

Comment provided January 29, 2010 at 12:34 AM

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9
Ahmed writes:

Hi Penny

we need read title to an article taht will doing as well and then will talk about it

Ahmed

Comment provided January 29, 2010 at 7:03 AM

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10
Matthew Robert Payne writes:

That is a very informative article. I read a few books 15 years on writing headlines and it is so important when you write articles Thanks

Comment provided January 29, 2010 at 8:21 AM

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11
Dana Lynn Smith writes:

Great tips Penny. You said not to use punctuation in the title, but your example of a “good” title has a dash in it:

“Brazilian Karate – 7 Keys to Self Defense in Brazilian Martial Arts”

Are you saying a dash is okay?

I remember reading elsewhere that the first three words of the title are most important for SEO purposes, so I try to put my most important keywords there.

Thanks,
Dana

Comment provided January 29, 2010 at 8:26 AM

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Dana,

A dash is OK. What you want to avoid is punctuation that will break a URL. ie. Smart quotes, including periods, slashes, colons, and pound signs.

A small dash (-) is OK to use.

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12

If it was allowed to change our articlestitles I would change almost all my titles… Ive submitted to other sites the same articles I had submitted to EzineArticles, but changing their title and making it more attractive, using better keywords, etc, and I got a lot of views and clicks this way.

Now I know much better how to give the right title to an article, while two years ago for example, my titles were too vague, nothing attractive, not interesting, not really describing the articles content, etc… I have learned a lot in three years.

Wish we could change our titles here at EzineArticles too, like we can do in other sites, but at least we can feel happy because we have the possibility to test many different titles for the same article at different sites.

For example, one of my articles had a very long title at EzineArticles, and I submitted it to another site giving it the simple title:“Relatioships Advice”. Almost no clicks… I changed it to “Dangerous Relationships”… What a difference! The same article suddenly became very interesting, because the danger was the main point I should emphasize to provoke curiosity.

These are things that we learn as we observe the publics reaction…

Comment provided January 29, 2010 at 10:04 AM

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13
Before40 writes:

From this post, it seems the only way to effectively change an Article Title is to delete the article from your system, and then re-submit it under the preffered new Title?

Jay Onwukwe

Comment provided January 30, 2010 at 2:58 AM

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Jay,

There is no way to resubmit an article you’ve deleted.

This is an anti-bait-and-switch feature we put in place many years ago. The end goal with this rule is to build trust with the search engines over the long-term.

If you’ve got new distinctions in how your article title should be, we recommend that you write a new article with that new title knowledge. :)

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14
Phil Bell writes:

Hello Penny,
I have 10 relatively new live articles. Several are doing nicely and several are duds. The duds suffer from poor titles. I think the body contents are OK, but I know the titles are less than wonderful.

So, I’m interested in changing the titles of the duds.
Is simple article deletion, Rewite title, submit new article, going to be acceptable?

I’m guessing the whole article will need to be rewritten into “original” condition.

I suspect that many, many folks will want to fully understand this new rule (ASAP.)

We await your guidance…
Phil

Comment provided January 30, 2010 at 1:46 PM

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Phil,

Our position is that we’d like you to use your data and newfound article title knowledge to WRITE NEW ARTICLES.

We no longer allow article titles to be edited once your article is live.

If you delete the article, you will not be able to submit it nor will you be able to submit a derivative of it.

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15
Ahmed writes:

in fact your articales must be sample and the knoward of titles also show with your message so you can began with update with business markting .

A.G

Comment provided January 30, 2010 at 4:57 PM

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16
Jennifer writes:

Thanks for sharing the information! As a new writer I am trying to improve the effectiveness of my articles and I know I will be able to by implementing several of your suggestions.

Comment provided January 31, 2010 at 3:10 PM

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17
Martin Security writes:

No colons! Smacks forehead.

Are well, at least I know better now. I’ll use a dash instead.

Comment provided February 1, 2010 at 3:48 PM

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18
Anita writes:

As usual a great article from you. Thanks

Comment provided February 2, 2010 at 8:37 PM

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19

Thanks for this nice and wonderful information.

Comment provided February 17, 2010 at 5:38 AM

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20
Mindy Makuta writes:

Hi,

i think that an author should be able to see their own “most viewed” and “most published” (in 60 day) articles, <> their own or another author’s article and artificially increasing the view stats for that other article.

Also it seem like in “Poetry” for example there are articles on the 60 day “most viewed” list that were published in 2009, so are these stats to be trusted.

Comment provided March 25, 2010 at 11:22 AM

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Mindy,

I don’t see this? All articles in the “Most viewed” section were published in the last 60 days. Do you have an example?

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Mindy Makuta writes:

well, now i don’t see any, but i could swear there were articles listed that had a publish date of 2009.

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Lisa writes:

It’s only March, perhaps you saw articles from Dec 2009 back in February and you are remembering those.

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21
Mindy Makuta writes:

Sorry, in previous post the words “without having to view” are missing where the are

Comment provided March 25, 2010 at 11:24 AM

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22
Martin Security writes:

“Also it seem like in “Poetry” for example there are articles on the 60 day “most viewed” list that were published in 2009, so are these stats to be trusted.”

If those articles are well placed in Google, for example, they could be amongst the most viewed for years to come.

I don’t think that reflects on the accuracy of the stats.

Comment provided March 25, 2010 at 1:40 PM

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23
James Anderson writes:

Thank you for the post regarding titles in articles. I found this out the hard way when I submitted an article and wished that I had called it something else. I am now paying very close attention when giving my articles a title and making sure that it will get me the most mileage at the same time.

Thanks again,

J Anderson
professorofprofit.com/1/

Comment provided July 26, 2010 at 8:03 PM

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24
Bryan Knighton writes:

Nice tips. I’d like to add that your titles should be exciting and unique. If they’re the reason people are going to read or skip your article, the title needs to be something really special. When I see titles like, “Brazilian Karate – 7 Keys to Self Defense in Brazilian Martial Arts,” I think of it’s similarity to 400 million similar titles that I find on PLR articles all the time. You can still SEO titles without having to be so standard.

Comment provided July 29, 2010 at 5:00 PM

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25
Martin Security writes:

I’m having a chuckle to myself.

I’ve just received an email from Go Articles entitled:

12 Tips for Making Your
Article Headlines WORK for You!

Their number two tip is . . .

“Employ the EzineArticles.com “Title Suggestion Tool” to help you generate a thoughtful keyword rich title.”

Now that’s an endorsement!

Rather like Pepsi advising you to drink Coke :0)

Comment provided July 31, 2010 at 6:01 AM

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