April 29, 2011
People crave bite-sized pieces of information online in the form of articles so they can quickly research and decide which topics to investigate further. Truth is, anyone can use article marketing to promote just about anything because article marketing rates as one of the most effective ways to generate traffic online. However, the pivotal key to effective article marketing, the article title, usually receives the least attention. This lack of thought and attention seriously undermines the otherwise great results people could have gotten through article marketing with just a little more effort. The following 7 keys should help every level of article marketer improve their titles, and therefore, massively improve their results.
Key # 1: The Article Title Is The Single Most Important Part
The fact is, a great title combined with an average article will outperform a bad title and great article! In the end, your title serves as the headline for the article, just like the headline for a sales page or advertisement. Your title grabs attention and lets people know the article is relevant to their needs and they should stop and read it right now.
Key # 2: Titles Should Contain The Main Keyword Phrase
You should know the #1 keyword phrases your audience searches for online and every article you write should center around one of those main keyword phrases. Also, every article title should contain one of those main keyword phrases. Why? Because it helps automated software that trolls for articles to find you and add you to content sites. It also helps you show up in the search engines when people search for that particular phrase. Most importantly, it lets people know instantly that your article is relevant and they should read it right now.
Key # 3: Titles Should Create Curiosity
A great headline gets people to say “Hmmm. That’s interesting. I wonder what that’s all about. Is there something good in there for me?” Remember: the #1 purpose of a headline is to get people to stop and read the first sentence of the article. Curiosity rates as the #1, proven way to get people to stop, drop what they’re doing, and start reading your article.
Key # 4: Titles Should Evoke Emotion
Emotion in the headline creates the urgency to push people into actually reading the article itself. Make people mad. Make them sad. Make them laugh. Make them afraid. But whatever you do, don’t bore them! Emotional involvement is the key to getting the most people to feel the need to read your article once you arouse their curiosity. Creating an emotional reaction starts with your article title.
Key # 5: Titles Make An Immediate Promise
“5 Specific Ways To Get Your House Sold Without an Agent” vs. “General House Selling Tips.” Which is more compelling?
The one that makes a specific, immediate promise for the results or information the reader wants. Make a promise of immediate results and specific information your target audience can use. Offer an inside “scoop” they wont’ find anywhere else in the form of secret tips or tricks. If you followed the first 5 keys in this article, this should actually be one of the easiest parts (making a promise). Just tell them you have what they want and all they need to do is read the article.
Key # 6: Titles Continue A Conversation
Everyone, especially online, has a conversation going on in their head at any given moment. It may be organized or disjointed, but everyone’s headed in a certain direction.
When they look for information, they want the information they want – not what you think they should want. That means using the words, phrases, and questions they use so they stop and say “Yeah! That’s what I’m looking for!”
Example: Someone wonders “How can I get my house sold without an agent and save the commission?” When they see article titles like “Thinking of Selling Without and Agent?” or “How To Sell Without An Agent” or “5 Specific Tips For Selling Without an Agent” – they pay attention.
Article titles like “FSBO Tips” or “Home Selling Advice” will not continue that conversation nearly as well in the minds of potential readers.
Key # 7: Titles Should Lead To A Next Step
People aren’t stupid. They know you can’t solve all their problems in one article. They also realize (consciously or subconsciously) that your article is probably just one stepping stone along a path they must follow to reach their final goal. So ask yourself, “What’s the next logical step they should take after this article?”
Knowing that next step before you even write the article will help you lead them from the article title, through the body of the article, all the way to the resource box.
Knowing the “big picture” turns your article into one giant slippery slope that shoots the readers straight into your list and sales funnel with a win-win proposition!
For more complete information and a FREE video on WHY article marketing is the single best and most useful method for driving FREE Website traffic and how EASY it is for anyone to get started, no matter what you sell, visit: http://easyhowtovideos.com/article-marketing/
Jim Edwards is a 10 year veteran syndicated newspaper columnist who specializes in helping info-marketers and info-publishers maximize their results.