The title is responsible for the first impression readers have of the article. It gives the reader a set of expectations: what the content will be, how it will be useful to them, the tone and style of the writing, etc. Readers will use these expectations to determine what value they are going to get from the article and whether it is worth reading or not. Titles can draw readers to your article content or drive them away.
Your article title is more than just an accurate description about what the reader will find in your article body; it's a promise you make to build a relationship with your readership (prospective & current clients).
Title Do's and Don'ts:
The following characters are allowed in titles:
- , ? ! $ ( ) + - = ' " % / \ : [ ]
- Periods (.) are allowed ONLY when used in product names or numbers. E.g.: "Web 2.0" or "10.5mm Lens"
- * will be allowed ONLY when preserving a brand. E.g.: E*TRADE
The title will become part of the permanent link to your article; therefore characters that are not compatible with URL formatting are not ideal. The following characters are NOT allowed in titles:
- < > ` ~ & # (tab) (pipe) @ * ... &
- Characters not found on the English keyboard, Smart Quotes, and other non-standard English characters such as Ã©ÃÃ³ are not allowed in titles.
- . Euro, Â£ English Pound and other related symbols
- (c) Copyright, (r) Registered Trademark, and TM Trademark and other related symbols
- "Quotations around the whole title"
- Do not use symbols (even acceptable ones) in place of words in the title. E.g. "Save $$$ on Heating This Winter" is not permitted. These titles are not SEO-friendly and look like spam to readers.
Titles Should be In Upper and Lower Case Letters with the First Letter of Each Major Word Capitalized
- Our system will automatically capitalize the major words in your title, but common words (a, an, the, for, to, etc...) ARE NOT auto-capitalized.
Each title must have two unique words to be accepted. One word titles are not allowed. (E.g.: "Location, Location, Location" is considered a one word title.)
Titles cannot be edited once the article is live on EzineArticles.com. Editors will NEVER alter keywords or major sections of content. The only changes you will find are minor adjustments such as spacing, capitalization, and typo corrections.
The article body must deliver on what is promised in the article title. Below are specific details on this guideline:
- Numbers - If the article promises a specific number of tips or steps, the body MUST clearly define and provide that number of tips or steps.
E.g. The title of an article is "10 Tips to Brewing a Better Cup of Coffee". The article body must clearly define 10 Tips.
- Cover All Topics - Each WORD in a title needs to be talked about in the article body.
E.g. If a title of an article is "St. Bernard Puppies - Weaning Them in 7 Days", the article body must contain specific, in-depth content concerning 4 topics: "St. Bernard - the breed of dogs", "puppies", "puppy weaning" and the timeframe of "7 days".
- "How-To" Articles - If your article title promises a "how-to" or states that the article will give directions or a recipe, the body must provide these details.
E.g. The title of an article is "How to Fix a Leaky Kitchen Sink". The body of the article must tell the reader EXACTLY what to do to fix a leaky kitchen sink. If it offers a weak or thin advice like "go online" or "buy a guide", the article will be rejected.
- Localized Niche Articles - If there is a location in your title, you must offer unique content that is specific to that location alone. If a reader could replace your location with any other and the article would still make sense, the article will be rejected. Naming specific landmarks, businesses, and other details that are relevant to the article topic provides the best reader experience for location-niche articles.
E.g. The title of the article is "The Best Family-Friendly Vacations Spots in the USA," the body must deliver a few specific vacation locations specific to the United States by name for the reader.
E.g. The title of an article is "Visiting Chicago - Attractions That Are a Must See!" This article must provide information that is specific to attractions in the city of Chicago.
The content relating to the location must be specific to the article topic. Merely listing general information about the location will not satisfy this requirement. For example, if you are discussing "Wisconsin Homebuilding", the "Wisconsin" specific content must relate to homebuilding in order to fulfill the title.
Delivering on Your Article Title Promise
Articles Targeting Localized Search
Special Characters in Titles
Deliver on Article Title
Understanding Localized Niche Articles
What to Include in Your Titles
- Keyword Rich Language - The first few words of your title are vital to its SEO success. Use keyword rich (NOT keyword stuffed) language to draw readers and search engines to your article.
- Proper Grammar - Every title must make sense grammatically. As the "preview" for your article, the title demonstrates your writing talents. Readers will be turned off by errors.
- Topics Specific to the Article Content - Titles should inform the reader of what they will find in your article body. Be clear about what you're offering.
Do Not Include:
- Author Name - Your byline will be automatically included at the top of the page, beneath the article title, therefore adding your author name to the title is unnecessary. This leaves you more room for keywords and other informative content.
- HTML - HTML coding cannot be included in the title, as the title will be used within the article's permanent URL. Including HTML will break that URL, making your article difficult for readers to access.
- Prescription Drug Names - Do not include prescription-strength drug names in the title.
- Repeating Keywords - Do not stuff a title with keywords and repeat similar phrases for Search Engine Optimization purposes. Search engines may see them, but humans won't read them.
- Title Cut Off - You are able to use up to 100 characters in the title field, including spaces and punctuation. All titles must be a complete thought, without sounding cut off or ending in an ellipsis. E.g.: "Boating: How to Use a Cover and..." will not be accepted.
- URL or Website - An article title cannot contain a website URL. E.g. "A Review from
Http://Your-company-name.com," "Reasons to Visit Your-company-name.com," and "Your-Company-Name Tells All!" are all invalid titles.
- Excessive Punctuation - Do not use excessive punctuation. E.g. Multiple exclamation points!!!!
Keyword Rich Titles
Writing an effective title is a key component of article marketing. Having a keyword rich title will entice readers and encourage them to click through to your article. A quality title will communicate clearly to your audience what your article is about.
The first 3-4 words of your title determines the success of the article in terms of how much traffic it will generate, so ensure this is the most keyword rich section of your title.
Successful titles include a long tail keyword phrase in the beginning of the title and then expand in more detail on what the article is about.
Example of a BAD keyword title:
Top 9 Ways to Acquire Fractional Jet Ownership
Example of a GOOD keyword title:
Fractional Jet Ownership - 9 Strategies to Help You Acquire Your Private Jet
Keyword rich titles must read naturally. Do not use awkward phrases for SEO purposes or stuff keywords in your title in a manner that will cause it to sound repetitive. This will cause a poor user experience and you will lose credibility before your article is even read.
Are you finding it difficult to come up with your own article title? Maybe we can help. See Why should I use the Title Suggestion Tool? on our FAQs page. These titles are designed to be search engine-friendly and maximize the traffic drawn to your article.
Article Marketing & Copywriting Secret: How to Make Your Article Title Sell
Long Tail Concept - Targeting Your Ideal Audience
Driving Traffic in Your Direction With Effective Titles
Enrich Titles with Keywords