Saturday, January 15, 2011

Techie: 9 Reasons Why the Title is Important

Have you ever considered how important the title is to getting people to read your blog post?  

If you think the content you put online is good but have been disappointed with numbers visiting your blog or commenting on its content maybe now is the time to find out about one of the reasons why....

Why does your title matter?

The title or headline of an article, blog post or advert is the main reason why a lot of people read what else you have to say
“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

“Unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money…”

"The purpose of a title is to get potential readers to read the first line of your content."

David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy had a point - and part of the answer as to why the title - or headline - is important.  He's the man who wtote the best primer on all aspects of advertising.  Time called him "the most sought after wizard in the business".

This truism applies to newspapers, magazines, advertising copy as well as websites and blogs. 

Clever blog post titles may look good but unless people click to read and/or look at your art they're entirely wasted.

Nine important reasons why the titles of blog posts are important

Today the reasons extend to the mechanics of search and how people read blogs for content.

  1. The title of your blog post determines whether or not most people read on - to see what else you have to say
  2. If your blog appears in other people's blogrolls, the title of your blog post is often all people have to make a decision which triggers a visit
  3. The title of a blog post appears in the results of search enquiries using search engines.  Highlighted text is likely to reference words in your search enquiry
  4. You read the title of the blog post in that email from that blog you subscribe to.  Does the blog post title make you want to open it?
  5. Blog posts which reference your blog post (such as "who's made a mark this week") very often use  the title you used. 
  6. Many people set their feedreaders to headlines only (ie the title) rather than full post so they can scan content more quickly.   If you don't attract attention with the title, then some of your subscribers will never read your post.
  7. The title of your blog post will appear on social media sites which draw their content from your RSS feed (eg Facebook and Twitter)
  8. Take a look at your archives.  Can you tell what a blog post is about just from the title
  9. If you're trying to sell your art, your blog post is the advertising image and copy and the title is the headline
Do you have any other reasons to add to this list?

[Update:  I think I may have caused some confusion here.  I've now amended this post to make it clearer that I'm referring specifically to the title of the blog post rather than the title of the blog]