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]


  1. The name of your blog is the first impression you give off as a blogger, so it's crucial that you pick the perfect blog title for your needs. This will not only become the domain name that your visitors see in their address bar, but it's what they'll commit to memory if they ever intend to come back to your blog.
    Minanson, part of the Traduceri team.

  2. I have often found myself skipping over post titles without clicking further because nothing grabbed my attention.
    I wonder how many good posts I have missed because of this.
    So - my resolution - pay more attention to the titles of my posts so I don't get lost in the mass of blogs out there.

  3. I've started a new series recently about early collage artists. So far, I've called the posts by the artist's name, followed by "Profiles in Collage." Do I really need to "jazz" it up more?

  4. I think it's good that you've started with the name. I'm really not sure what the impact of a series title has. I have to confess that's something I agonise over now and again with some of my titles.

    It sounds OK - it has the benefit of being unique but it makes me wonder whether it's a search term. Maybe "Collage Artist" might be more accurate and/or use better keywords?

    I always tend to check out words re their keyword status if using a series of words as a repeat for a series of posts.

  5. Good resolution Carol!

    I bucked up my ideas on post titles for my blog when I realised I was ignoring ones which didn't tell me what the post was about.

  6. Hi - well this blog title definitely grabbed my attention! I do have a question, if I title a blog 'Creating realistic shadows' or something similar, would that be a good title, or is it too bland? I imagine there are a ton of blogs that have a title similar to this...adding more to it like 'How to bring your paintings to life by creating realistic shadows' seems to make more sense, correct?

  7. Well first off I assume you're talking about a blog post rather than a blog! :)

    Actually I think you captured the essence of what you want to write in the short title. You've told people what it's about - the alternative is just good grammar. :)

  8. I'm not sure if I agree about the blog title drawing people in because many artblog followers (myself included) use a view that shows the top illustration with the title and it is usually that draws them/me in.

    I recently had a title "cute eritrean guys" after a mad keyword search someone had done and landed on my blog. It didn't attract as much traffic as the boring titles. This month my most successful posts have been "IF - chicken" and "1.1.11". hmmm

  9. 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.

    You can certainly attract attention with an interest title for your blog. I've often said that calling this blog "Making A Mark" was one of my best ever decisions! However people get used to blog titles and it's then that the blog post title comes into its own.

    I guess I think of the blog title as akin to the brand name or newspaper title and the blog post as being similar to the headline for the avertising copy or newspaper article.

  10. Katherine - yes, I meant Blog Post Title....sorry for the confusion! Thanks for the reply.

  11. I think artists can also use this advice when titling their work. If you title your work appropriately, it will also make it easier for others to find on the Internet and discover your work. Great reminder to think things through and make sure your are putting your best foot forward.


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