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We train businesses on how to make the best of social media, and many people ask me what the most important thing is for Twitter, Facebook, and more recently blogging. While all the answers differ from one platform and one business to another, with blogging my answer is always the same...

The Title!

Having written blogs on topics from local issues to shopping, to the benefits of Twitter, and even technical blogs about manufacturing, I have always had one thing in mind when I write:

“Will people read this blog when it’s shared on social media?”

That’s not because social media is the only driver for traffic to my blogs; I have more organic search results every day. But because I know when they’re shared on the social media waves, the title will carry through and will be the one determining factor as to whether people will read it or not. 

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Twitter

As you can see from the image above, when someone hits ‘tweet’ on your blog, the title and title alone are the only thing left of your post to tempt potential readers to click on to it. The title of your blog post needs to really sell your content. You could write the best post you’ve ever written, but if your title is a bit lame then no one will be interested and it will go unread. 

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Google+

On Google+ the same is true. Only the title carries across on a +1, leaving Google plusers with same decision as tweeters... “is this content worthy of my precious online time?”

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Facebook

On Facebook your post does carry some more information across and a little of your introduction is teased to the Facebook friends of the sharer, but still that title is prominent, and it still needs to grab the attention even though a friend has effectively deemed it a good read.

But social media isn’t everything, right? 

Blogs are online and anyone can find them... well, they can if they’re searching for the subject in the posts and if you’ve optimised your title. Google ranks many things on a page. The structure, the meta, the longtail descriptions, the image names, but also your title. The words in your title not only give your readers an idea of the subject of your blog, but Google also judges your post on your attention-grabbing one-liner. 

What’s more, the title of your blog also becomes the URL of your post. So “My latest blog post” becomes “www.mywebsite/my-latest-post” and Google looks here too. Sure, an amazingly funny title will grab attention, but if it doesn’t contain any of your keywords, or have any words that describe the blog post, then Google won’t send people to your post, even if they want to find it, because it doesn’t deem it relevant to their search. 

Obviously you can’t have the best titles the world has ever seen and then pen the worst tripe they’ve ever seen. Once you have your readers you need to entertain them - but trust me, getting them there is your main battle! My most popular blogs have good titles, they answer questions, offer opinions, make people think, but most importantly, they grab attention and sell my content! 

I’ll leave you with this...

Great films need quirky or thought-provoking titles, newspapers need attention-grabbing headlines, and blogs need search engine optimised, descriptive, attention-grabbing titles that sell your content to people online with many other things to look at. Think about your next post’s title; how would it sell your blog if I hit the social share buttons?

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My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been immersed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.

Find me on Google+

Leave a comment

Posted by Paul Evans on
Glad to read that you mention G+
As I think you know, I'm quite keen on Google plus. My feeling is that the more I've got to know this platform, the more I think that every business should use it as a part of their strategies for their business.
Posted by Warwicktweetup on
I agree Paul. Google+ is a must, even if you don't want it to be. Being a Google product makes it a very tempting platform for SEO searchers. We've had a G+ button on here since it was built by Guy back in 2011 actually. I must look back and see how many plus ones it's had!
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