How to Write Edgy SEO Titles that Go Viral

by Anna McHenry May 14, 2013

Every content provider wants their content to be shared among as many paths as possible. This is the foundation for why content marketers are in the business they are in: to create buzz about what they provide. Achieving this buzz can be difficult and is based on more than simply the general public’s whims at any given cyber moment. There are specific components of content that can be tweaked to make the writing more attractive. One of these concentrations is in the titles of works. Here are six tips for writing edgy SEO titles that go viral:


1. Make it Short


The shorter you can make your title while incorporating the following tips, the better. There are several reasons for this length restriction. First, the attention span of online readers is relatively short and content has only a few words before the reader is hooked or moves on. Short, snappy titles get more attention because the entire message can be taken in at a glance.
Also, shorter titles are easier for readers to share via social media networks such as Twitter. Viral content is easy to share and short titles are easy to pass along to others. Another point is that when search engines display titles, they are of a certain character length, so it is best if the entire title of the piece can be displayed when readers search for the piece.


2. Use Particular Wording


Pay close attention to the wording in titles, especially the modifiers. Adjectives such as “great” and “fun” are generic and will not garner much attention. In contrast, words like “titillate” and “extravaganza” generate more interest because they are not used in general conversation to the point that they are overused, and they still elicit an immediate response of interest in readers. However, when selecting words to use in an SEO title, make sure they are not so obscure that the reader likely does not know the meanings.


3. Upfront Value to the Reader


Show the reader with your title what the piece holds in store for them. Will they learn something new about a topic that is interesting? Is the topic something that many people have not heard about? Readers today have to pick and choose how they spend their time and being able to get some benefit from something they spend this valuable time reading is a priority for them. Offer something valuable upfront for the reader and the piece is more likely to be read.


4. Set a High Energy Tone


The words used in an effective SEO title should convey the tone of the piece so that the reader is drawn in and wants to read the entire work. Titles that paint a general picture of a generic topic that has been overdone will not generate as much interest as an energetic SEO title that offers something fresh and personalized. Get readers excited or angry, even, in order to entice them to read further.


5. Use Your Keywords Wisely


Make sure to do extensive research of the keywords that are relevant to your topic. An SEO title that does not include any keywords may not be easily found by readers who would be interested in reading the piece. Relevant keywords make content easily searchable.


6. Backed Up with Valuable Content


The best SEO title will only go so far. It must be followed by relevant, high-quality content that the reader deems interesting and important enough to share. If there is nothing of value beyond the title that drew them in, readers can feel cheated and used. Provide content that makes the reader feel satisfied once they have gotten beyond the opening hook.

Anna McHenry
Anna McHenry is the Director of Client Services here at McKremie. She tweets from @McKremie so stop by and say "hi" on Twitter.

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