Effective Titles for Articles and Blog Posts

This article is an oldie, but the information is still relevant today.

How to Promote Your Book by Writing Effective Titles for Your Articles and Blog Posts

Guest Post By Dana Lynn Smith

Writing articles and blog posts is a terrific way to promote your book. The title of an article affects its ranking in search engines and influences how many people click through to the article from a search engine results page or take time to read a post on your blog. Here are some tips for creating great titles.

1. Do your keyword research first.  Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for your topic on a search engine like Google. I use the Google Keyword Tool to create keyword lists for topics that I write about. For example, I have lists of keywords related to book marketing, book promotion, authors, book publishing, etc.

It's tempting to select the most popular keywords, but you may be better off selecting keywords with less competition (fewer searches and fewer competing pages.)  One easy way to find out how many other Web pages are using a particular keyword is to type the keyword (in "quotes") into a search engine and see how many pages it brings up.  For example, "book promotion" gets 118,800 annual searches, but there are 876,000 competing pages (seven pages for every search) while "promoting your book" gets 15,600 searches but has only 31,500 competing pages (two pages for every search.)

2. Determine the primary keyword phrase for your article and use it in the title of the article, and then use it again several times in the body of the article. You may want to select a secondary keyword to use in the article as well. For maximum search engine optimization value, use the primary keyword at the beginning of the title. The first three to five words are most important. Here is an example for the "promote your book" keyword: Promote Your Book With Facebook Groups

3. Consider using a compound title, containing two different phrases. This lets you get your most important keyword up front and perhaps repeat certain words. The experts at recommend longer article titles, with 50 characters or more. If you need to use punctuation in the title, use a hyphen rather than a colon. For example: Promote Your Book in Your Own Backyard - 10 Strategies for Success

4.  Many people use the words "how to" when searching on search engines. Capitalize on those searches with a how to title.
How to Promote Your Book and Yourself on Facebook

5. Use the magic of numbers combined with keywords.
Top 10 Book Promotion Strategies for Fiction Authors
7 Secrets to Successful Book Marketing

6. State the benefit to the reader.
Sell More Books on Amazon by Increasing Your Book's Visibility in the Search Results

7. Identify your audience.
Top 10 Platform Building Tactics for Authors

8. Be clear rather than cute. It's important that your title convey what the article is actually about, and sometimes it's more important to appeal to your audience than to search engines. For example, instead of "The Magic of Twitter" or "Promote Your Book with Twitter," this title is more appealing:
5 Easy Ways for Authors to Build Their Twitter Network

Or, you could make this into a longer, compound title with keywords:
Promote Your Book With Twitter - 5 Easy Ways to Build Your Twitter Network
Next time you write an article or blog post, take a little extra time to craft a title that will appeal to search engines and to readers.

Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides. For more tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter, visit Dana's blog at, and get a copy of the Top Book Marketing Tips ebook when you sign up for her free newsletter at

Image Copyright 2014 Karen Cioffi


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post about effective titles for articles and blog posts. I'll defintely keep this information in mind for the future.