So, you’ve put together a thought compelling, value-rich, well-articulated article, now it’s time to decide on the title. While you may have the best content ever put to paper, it’s going to be hard to gather an audience if your title projects a dull, boring, and tedious read.
Titles are the catalyst to getting readers, and with a good one, an excellent way to see an improvement in your rankings.
Whether you’re formulating the title, headline, or sub-headers, we’ve put together some of the best tips for writers in 2020 to catch the eyes of your audience.
Decide On A Title Last
Regardless of it’s a book or a blog you’re writing, it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to formulate the perfect title before you’ve even outlined your story.
While it doesn’t technically have to be the very last thing you come up with, content-wise, you should have a clear direction that your writing is taking you.
If it’s necessary, you may want to start with a working title, just to keep you on track.
A working title is not the same thing as a topic, as a working title gives you a clear intention of the piece, while a topic holds a broader scope.
A topic may be, “Minimalism”, but that topic can be explored in several directions. Are you addressing consuming less, buying less, owning less, and so forth.
A working title will have a narrower focus that can help keep your content from straying into a broader area. So instead of having a title of “Minimalism”, you may want to start with “A minimalist approach to reducing your internet consumption”.
After you’ve written the bulk of your piece and start seeing the true message behind it, whereupon you’ll reach that golden moment of clarity, “My Life as a Minimalist: Or When I
Decided I Didn’t Need a Dedicated Smartphone for the Bathroom”, or something along those lines.
Ok, I’ll admit that my above inspirational title may have been a little much, you want to have nice and short titles that are on message.
It may be tempting to dump all of the info from the content into the title so that it’s accurate, but if I titled this piece, “Tips for Writers in 2020 that will Help Create Amazingly Short Titles that will Engage Audiences While Optimizing SEO”, there’d be more than a few problems with that.
First of all, you’d be exceeding the 60 character count that will allow your title to display nicely on search engines. Secondly, you’d also sound ridiculous.
If you’re having trouble trying to rephrase a long title, just imagine trying to read the title on your social media feed, and if you get tired just reading it, then it’s time to shorten it. First, try just rephrasing it by cutting it down to its core words.
If rephrasing doesn’t work, then think of a question that your piece is addressing.
When being concise with your title, you also want it to reflect the content. Just because you’re cutting back on the size of the title, you should allow too much ambiguity into the title that could make it misleading.
An ambiguous title for this piece could be read as “Titles that Will Blow Your Mind”. While I feel that there are some titles here that will blow your mind, the piece isn’t really about generating titles for you.
Spice it Up
Well, you’ve shortened it and made it accurate, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dry. Keeping your readers in mind, you can have fun with your titles as long as you address what they need.
Use captivating language to build interest with your readers. There’s a reason you saw all of the articles and ads leading off with, “Doctors hate this one trick” or “You’ll Love this Secret”.
The hard part is to balance accuracy with enticement because it’s easy to fall into the “Click-bait realm”.
If your article contains multimedia, make sure to point that out, as over 80% of all global internet traffic is being used for video. So if you have a video attached to the article, make sure to get as much mileage as you can by including that information in the title.
Keep SEO in Mind
You shouldn’t write a title to appease the current algorithm that Google is using, because more likely than not, your title will sound a little off, you do want to make sure that search engines will display your title.
So while we’re not making titles for SEO purposes solely we will keep it in mind.
As described above, we want it to attract the readers, there are some tips for writers in 2020 to take advantage of when making their titles.
Once again, keep your meta title tag between 50-60 characters. This will allow the title to display correctly. The range is because there isn’t a set limit do to varying width in character pixels. Google’s display titles display limit is set to 600 pixels.
Another little trick is to keep your keyword at the beginning of the title, this will allow your readers that are searching for an answer that your content provides to be found easily.
Making titles should be a fun part of the process, and as long as you keep it catchy and accurate, as well as reasonably short, you’ll be making amazing titles in no time.