When you write the title tag of a blog post, do you usually try to come up with something creative and attention-grabbing or something riddled with keywords for SEO purposes? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both? Gyutae Park discusses this topic in a recent article on Winning the Web and explains how you can actually get the best of both worlds with a simple, yet very effective strategy.
Gyutae talks about how SEO-targeted title tags are generally boring and not very appealing to most readers. Therefore, your article will suffer when it comes to spreading it over the social web. Most of the articles that do best are either about a very interesting topic or have a very interesting title. Here are some funny examples of articles that did well on Digg because they had an intriguing title:
Ok, every article that’s posted online might not have content as interesting as the above two articles do, but this doesn’t mean your title has to be boring. You can’t afford to have a boring title, actually; the numbers support it. According to Copy Blogger, “8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.” Basically, it doesn’t matter how ridiculously awesome your article is if your title doesn’t kick-ass.
On the flip-side, an SEO-targeted title tag means that you might miss out on some of the social media traffic, but you’ll most likely rank better in the search engines because of it. So, choosing a title tag really comes down to preference: social media traffic or search engine traffic? Here’s where Gyutae Park’s strategy comes in as he argues that you can really have both.
To accomplish this, first, go with the idea of creating a catchy title tag that will gain a lot of social media traffic. Use something bold and controversial and then submit it to all the applicable social media sites. This includes Digg, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Reddit, Delicious, etc. What should happen is that you’ll see a crazy amount of traffic for a brief period of time and then it will eventually die down as the buzz from the article dies. It’s at this point that you do the ol’ switcheroo and change the title tag and make it SEO-friendly. This should then increase the rankings in the search engines.
The idea is that you can use this strategy to gain the most traffic possible for an article. Instead of only targeting one traffic market, you can now target both. Thanks, Gyuae Park for the tip!