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Great Titles for your web articles

Robin Good's article How To Write Great Titles And Headlines For The Web is definitely the best resource for writing eye-catching titles that also increase the search engine ranking of your blog posts.

1. Make an effort to keep your title short. - Three to six words is the ideal length, and at around ten the maximum limit. Major search engines give high relevance only to the first set of words you use in the title, and they display only up to 8-10 words in their search engine result pages (Google and MSN; Yahoo displays up to 16 words).

2. Do not try to make the title "smart", by using irony, word play or other "journalistic" approach. - On the Internet, headlines are often displayed out of context. The reader is searching for your content and will only get to it, if a most appropriate, serious and well thought out label is attached to it. On the web, readers often don't get the chance of applying background understanding to the interpretation of the titles they are presented with.

3. Proper names, products, brands and services names go last. In general, leave product names in the end of the title as people who are searching for products or services by name will often want to go to the original manufacturer web site. If on the other hand you are providing review, analysis or commentary on specific products, people, organizations, you may want to associate qualifying keywords in front of the product name (e.g.: Issues and problem with Skype; Alternative tools to Microsoft Word, etc.).

What is best way to test if your title is effective ? Take the Google test n°
Verify if AdSense ads (those text ads displayed on the right side column of Google page results) do appear. If they do appear and are of great relevance to the topic you are covering, then you have written a good one. If Google ads don't appear it may mean that your title is OK, but it is either too specific, long, not clearly expressing a specific topic/theme. Or it simply means that you have done a bad job of it. It's hard to say. What you want rather to avoid, is the view of Google ads coming up but with content clearly not relevant to your topic/theme. That is clearly a sign not to go with the selected title, as it maybe ambiguous, badly worded or interpreted in completely other ways from what the ones you had intended to."

And most important: You can never get a great title down in one shot. Please realize this. You need to allow time and refinement in your title writing process as the title matures with your better understanding of it. Write it down right away, however bad it is and let it sit. Then keep writing your article and from time to time get back to it. Edit it and improve it. Try out new solutions. Experiment with it and test the new combinations in the search engines. At one point your title will automatically emerge from your investigation as only so very few can stand the matching with the criteria I have given you above.