We read a lot of search engine marketing blogs here at Search Mojo. We absolutely realize as blog writers that having a good title can be the difference between you post being read and just taking up space in the archive folder.
ProBlogger Darren Rowse has produced the best post I’ve seen about “How to Craft Blog Post Titles“. Sticking to these rules will definitely work at attracting readers to your story.
The problem I have really just might be my own personal perspective, but I’ve really grown tired of super provocative blog post titles that have little or nothing to do with the actual blog post or that have content that just doesn’t live up to the great title.
I’m just as guilty as anyone as using these tactics, but I’ve honestly stopped reading a few bloggers because I feel like I’ve been burned too many times by the title.
In an ideal world you can combine a great title with a great post and keep the blog reader returning because they either subscribed or you built some trust by delivering what they wanted. If you do this you can maybe have a more “vanilla” post title every now and then.
We are all about conversion metrics here at Search Mojo for both PPC and SEO, and I kind of look at blogging in the same way. There is shopper, browser and flyby traffic. We obviously prefer the shopper segment of blog traffic. Not that a browser or flyby reader might not eventually become a regular reader, but it’s really just a quality versus quantity argument.
Bloggers really need to know where the line is to tease just enough and keep people coming back for more.
Some great provocative titles that I’ve recently seen in SEM blogs include:
What if Google Killed Puppies?
Why I’ve Never Been More Embarrassed for Yahoo
Are Social Media Links on Death Row?
SEO is the Worst Thing Ever Invented
Guy Kawasaki on Making $5M/yr in Your Underwear
and my own personal creation How Google Convinced Me To Stop Paying For Sex
These “Link Bait” titles are attention grabbers, most of them live up the titles – you can figure which ones for yourself. If your content doesn’t live up to the caliber of your headline it’s almost the equivalent of all the “male enhancement” and Viagra spam littering my inbox right now. They all have provocative subject lines but I’m not going to even dare open one of them.