What’s In A Name?
When it comes to getting your site to rank well in the search engines and getting lots of traffic that actually convert it’s often a war between SEO and user experience. One wants the site written exclusively for Google and the other wants it to make perfect sense to keep your traffic engaged enough to make a conversion.
One area they do both agree on is the title. The title needs to be perfect; it needs to articulately describe the content to the user and the search engine whilst enticing the user to click through to view more. It’s not easy so just how do you do it?
Drop Those Stop Words
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing exclusively for your traffic; you’re going to have a limit on how many characters can be displayed. If you’re writing a meta title then you need to cap it around the 65 character limit and if you’re writing a blog post you’re still going to have a limit on how much content can be displayed. This means you need to seriously cut any stop words, they’re needed for structure and to make sense but for the most part they’re useless.
Things like and, how, what, the are often needed to make sense of a title but the brain will usually add these in whether they’re there or not. Look at a headline on a tabloid paper; although these are meant to be grammatically incorrect they very rarely contain any stop words.
Cap The First Letter Of Each Word
Although this is grammatically incorrect it’s recommended you capitalise the first letter of each word in a title, this helps it stand out and it engages the user. When you type in a phrase into the search engines you’ll notice the vast majority of website results returned will always have the first letter of each word capped in the meta title and a good way to get your descriptions to subtly stand out is to cap the first letter of each word in your call to action.
At the end of the day you can use all the psychology you like when it comes to getting attention but you need to have a certain degree of intelligence. Your titles need to be punchy and they need to be cleaver, they need to make people read it twice and actually take it in both times. This isn’t something everyone can do and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you know you’re not great at writing titles than do a quick Google to get inspiration or ask the person sat next to you if you’re at work. People feel that little bit proud when they make the association between your title and a famous quote or pop culture reference. Alliteration also works very well, starting each word with the same letter.
Keep It Quick And Simple
Your content might be longer than a copy of War and Peace but no one is even going to click through if they know this. Most people using the web to look for content want something concise and to the point so your title needs to highlight this. A quick guide to something or some top tips are great titles, if your content is then broken down further you need to make sure the heading continue to reassure the reader it won’t take long to read. They can see the content that’s there and they probably know how long it’s going to take to read but breaking it down makes it’s easier to assimilate.