2 Minute Approval Tips: #17 Special Characters in the Title

Episode 17 of the “2 Minute Approval Tips” Video Series

There are many elements that go into a great article title: correct grammar and spelling, an optimized hook, reader benefit-oriented keywords, a balanced use of long-tail keywords, relevance to the article, and proper character usage.

In all the hustle and bustle of article writing, character usage is often overlooked. Proper character usage is important for readability, credibility, syndication, and much more.

Watch this video and discover what special characters are allowed in your titles for your next set of quality, original articles!

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format


A Quick Recap of the 17th “2 Minute Approval Tip”

Your title is the first impression your reader has of your article, so it’s important it’s a good one.

Since the title is the first thing your reader sees, you want to make sure your title is:

  • Specific
  • To the Point
  • Relevant to Your Article Body
  • Uses Proper Characters

Some special characters are allowed in the title, but it takes some getting used to in order to ensure you are using proper characters.

Acceptable Special Characters

The Editorial Guidelines state that the following characters are allowed in titles:

, ? ! $ [ ] ( ) _ + – = : / \

Periods are accepted only when used in:

  • Product Names (e.g. Version 2.0)
  • Numbers (e.g. 10.5 mm Lens)

Asterisks are allowed only when preserving brand names (e.g. E*TRADE).

Special Characters to Avoid

Titles become a permanent link to your article, which is why characters not compatible with URL formatting are not acceptable in your articles.

The following characters are not allowed because they are incompatible with URL formatting:

< > & ~ # | @

Additional characters not accepted in article titles:

  • Characters or symbols not found on the American-English keyboard (e.g. € £ © ™ ®).
  • Using quotes around your entire title (e.g. “Readers Will Think You Didn’t Write The Article”).
  • Using a symbol in place of a word is not acceptable (e.g. Make More $ $ $ in Half the Time is not acceptable; however, Make More Money in Half the Time is acceptable).

Optimize Your Title

To ensure your titles make a great impression:

  • Quickly skim the title. If anything catches your eye other than the words, you may want to change it.
  • Ask a family member or friend if they think the title works.
  • Check out the EzineArticles Editorial Guidelines for additional tips on titles.

There you go! Another 2 Minute Approval Tip to getting your articles approved on the very first submission. Keep these tips in mind when writing your next article title.

To check out the entire “2 Minute Approval Tips” series, click here. Then, put all the “2 Minute Approval Tips” to good use by writing your next set of high-quality, original articles for more traffic back to your website or blog.

16 Comments »


1
Pat Jacobs writes:

“Additional characters not accepted in article titles:

Characters or symbols not found on the English keyboard (e.g. € © ™ ®).”

Actually, the sign is on the English keyboard – in England (and the rest of the UK! :-)

And some have the Euro sign too.

Comment provided October 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM

[Reply]

Pat –

Thanks so much for your astute observation! :-) You’ll be glad to know that we’ve updated the blog post to state “American-English keyboard” instead … sadly, it’s too late for us to update the video.

– Marc

[Reply]

2
Wolfgang writes:

Although some characters are allowed on EzineArticles some of them are not good for S.E.O. I found that Googles is acceptable but Google’s is not, as with this character you would get something like %20% in the URL rather than ‘, I hope that that makes sence, someone will probably tell me that I haven’t quite got it right, but this is only an example.

Comment provided October 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM

[Reply]

3
Karen writes:

Normally I try not to include any special characters in the title as I’m not sure whether it will be accepted by Google. I came across a certain network that doesn’t accept a dash ( _ ) in the title. Anyway at least now I know what is accepted in EzineArticles. Thanks for the update.

Comment provided October 28, 2011 at 9:08 PM

[Reply]

4
Rosie writes:

Very helpful information for a novice and very much appreciated.
Thankyou

Comment provided October 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM

[Reply]

5
Hampers writes:

Personally, I think characters are unnecessary noise and distract from the easy reading I aim for.
Part of efficient, punchy writing is being able to put things, whatever they are, into words – it’s part of the art of writing.

Comment provided October 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM

[Reply]

6
Ira Mency writes:

I’m glad I’m reading this. As someone who blogs and has their blogs posted to twitter and facebook, I was using the “number sign” aka # as a hashtag on my titles. Not on EzineArticles, but on my blog. I was thinking it may be easier to do that so that when the article is tweeted the hash tags would be there, but I wasn’t thinking of how Google would react.

Comment provided October 30, 2011 at 2:50 PM

[Reply]

7
Stacie Walker writes:

Penny,

I appreciate this tip on special characters to avoid. I learn something new everytime I visit this blog. I have gone back to revise articles that have the character ‘&’ and replaced it with ‘and’. Thank you.

Stacie Walker
WomanInLeadership.com

Comment provided October 30, 2011 at 10:07 PM

[Reply]

8

I think that title of an article should not contain these special characters and it should be descriptive because people love descriptive titles.

Comment provided November 1, 2011 at 10:18 PM

[Reply]

9
Vijay Khosla writes:

“I learn something new everytime I visit this blog.”

Very aptly said by my learned friend ‘Stacie Walker’.

I am in complete agreement.

Thanks.

Comment provided November 6, 2011 at 11:03 AM

[Reply]

Stacie Walker writes:

Vijay,

It is so true! I absolutely love this site.

[Reply]

10

I Like this information…… dear..

I was thinking it may be easier to do that so that when the article is tweeted the hash tags would be there

Comment provided November 11, 2011 at 6:06 AM

[Reply]

Thanks for the suggestion. Which hash tag(s) would you recommend adding to your article tweets? There are so many to choose from, it would be very difficult to determine which hash tag(s) would be appropriate for any particular article. In addition, they would use up valuable characters in the 140 character limit. Nonetheless, I’d be interested to hear what you have in mind.

– Marc

[Reply]

11
Vijay Khosla writes:

Thanks Stacie for your kind words.

Comment provided November 29, 2011 at 3:32 PM

[Reply]

12
Mark M writes:

I love you little videos but some times I can’t get them to download. 17-special-characters-in-the-title.wmv
I also tried to download the M4V as well both failed.
After 2 tries I got the .wmv to download.
As always great information.
Thank you

Mark M

Comment provided January 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM

[Reply]

13
Jennifer Nathan writes:

Way cool, some valid points! I appreciate you making this article available, the rest of the site is also high quality. Have fun.

Comment provided April 24, 2014 at 2:37 AM

[Reply]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.