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May 13, 2009

How To Write Article Headlines: 5 Tips for Clickable Titles

What makes the difference between an under-performing article and one with a drastically higher number of views?

Many times it’s something as simple as an awesome title that pushes an article over the edge from so-so to spectacular!

Here’s why your title is crucial:

Most of the time readers will discover your article through:

a) a Google search b) looking through an article directory

In both of these instances, your headline is one of the few bits of information the reader sees before they decide to click through to read your entire article.

When a reader is looking through a long list of articles on a directory or on a search engine results page, they are quickly scanning a long list of titles, and the title plays a huge role in which article they decide to read in its entirety.

So, don’t take your titles lightly–really put some thought into them and be willing to do some experimenting to see what types of titles work best for you.

Want headlines that generate more traffic? Try these 5 tactics:

1) Be short and sweet.

Put yourself in the shoes of a reader–when you’re scanning a long list of article titles, you don’t necessarily take the time to read each and every title in full. You’re just glancing over each line, trying to get the gist of what the article offers, and sometimes a very clever, long title can be overlooked simply because it doesn’t scan well.

Shorter titles tend to be more direct and focused, and this also helps search engines determine what your article is about.

Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t ever write long and clever titles–experiment, but be sure to try submitting articles that have short and punchy titles as well.

Then look at your article statistics and see if you can tell a difference in performance between the short titles and the longer ones.

2) Be direct.

Remember, Google does not understand irony, humor or puns. Search engines take things at face value. A more direct and straightforward title can help your article get higher ranking for your keyword terms.

3) Put your most crucial words at the beginning of your headline.

Again, this pays off when people are scanning your titles, but it also helps Google and the other search engines classify your article. By putting your most important words at the beginning of the title (possibly your keywords or variations of your keywords), you are making it easier for readers and Google to determine what your article is about.

Not sure how to make that work?

Here’s an example:

How To Write Article Headlines: 5 Tips for Clickable Titles

The first few words state specifically what the article is about, and the part after the colon gives additional information.

4) Your title should indicate the topic of your article.

Kind of obvious there, but when you become aware of your keywords, you may be tempted to put your keywords in your title even when the keywords are not appropriate for the article.

For example, your keywords may be “New York Dog Walker”, but in order to use those keywords in your title your article would have to be about some aspect of New York dog walkers. If your article is just about dogs or dog walking in general and not specifically about New York, then it wouldn’t be appropriate to include ‘New York’ in your title.

Your title should always describe what your article is about, and sometimes it’s not appropriate to use your keywords in your title.

5) Your title should make readers want to click through and read the entire article.

Remember, you’re writing for human readers, not just search engines. Even if it is appropriate to use your keywords in your title, you’ll want to put some thought into the phrasing of the headline so that it invites/inspires the reader to click the title and read the entire article.

Your title is the first thing a reader sees when they’re introduced to your article, and you can drastically improve your article submission success simply by paying attention to how you phrase your article headlines. Try these 5 tips and then watch your article stats to see which types of titles work best for you.

Carefully write your title, then submit your article to a vast network of targeted publishers. The more places your article is published, the more traffic your website receives. Steve Shaw created the web’s first ever 100% automated article distribution service,, which distributes your articles to hundreds of targeted publishers with the click of a button. For more information go to=>