The Art of Writing an Effective Title

This blog is the third in a three-part series examining different, surprising results from a CONTENTgine data science analysis. Check out parts one and two for more.

Titles are one of the most important parts of any piece of content. Not just because a well-crafted title helps your content rank for SEO, but also because it’s the gateway between readers and the content itself. It’s what really convinces readers to (or deters them from) actually click into a piece of content.

Ben Luck, CONTENTgine’s Chief Data Scientist, conducted a deep analysis of the company’s target account lists to see if he could identify shortcomings in clients’ targeting efforts.

What he found was stunning.

Many clients were breaking some of the most basic rules of creating titles; some used way too many buzzwords, others were simply too specific. In both cases, potential readers were overwhelmed and decided to pass over the piece.

See the full results of the case study.

Too many buzzwords scares readers away

Many marketers spend huge amounts of their time and resources crafting and championing new language internally that they’re betting will become mainstream industry terms — which will vastly boost their brand recognition. The problem? It almost never works, and it’s far more likely to scare potential readers — and new customers — away.

When browsing the internet for content, people have literally millions of pieces of content they could choose from, and they have to make split-second decisions about which one to click on based almost solely on the title. If your title is packed with esoteric buzzwords that most people don’t know or understand, they’re going to get confused and overwhelmed and chose another piece with a title that’s more accessible.

Being too specific makes your piece irrelevant to most readers…

Similar to using too many buzzwords, so much content out there suffers from using titles that are way too specific. That is, marketers have honed in on an ultra-specific key point or conclusion and pushed that up into the title.

Of course, good content should always let the reader know what they’re going to get from a piece if they click in. What’s key to remember is that there are so many thousands of potential readers of your content and most of them have different queries, challenges and solutions they’re on the hunt for.

If your titles are too specific, you run the risk of focusing on too narrow a target audience, missing thousands of would-be readers who might have had sincere interest and need of your content but got spooked by titles that seemed irrelevant to them.

…but you also don’t want to get too broad

Of course, the obvious remedy to writing titles that are too specific is creating ones that are broad and all-encompassing. This is definitely the best way to capture the widest audience, but there’s always the danger of getting too broad. If your titles become too high level and capture too much of everything, they start to lose some of their meaning and might actually deter readers based on saying too little substance at all.

That said, our research specifically found that titles that were too specific were the ones that underperformed most. So, even though there is a danger of getting too broad, at the end of the day, it’s better to be too broad than too specific.

Unlocking the potential of your content with CONTENTgine

Many marketers don’t realize it, but the titles they place at the top of their content play a key role in their content actually being consumed. This is just one of the many engagement insights CONTENTgine’s data science can tell you.

We manage the world’s largest database of B2B assets including case studies, white papers, and more. Our methodology processes an enormous volume of data from that content, which gives companies critical audience, page and other user engagement information.

When business leaders work with CONTENTgine, they’re able to gather actionable insights about their potential customers, which they can use to craft compelling marketing campaigns that drive better engagement (and conversions) with their target audiences.

Reach out to see how CONTENTgine can help transform your marketing efforts.

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