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Date posted: March 29, 2013

According to Shakespeare, when words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain. Obviously the Bard lived before the age of the blog.

A recent post on blog-trends.com made me think about how many posts are titled haphazardly, spending those few precious words in unproductive ways.

Titles are important— they can draw readers into a blog or send them off to the next one, so they should be written carefully not tossed off like an afterthought.

The author suggest three ways that blog post titles can be crafted more effectively:

Keyword research

Keyword research is a great search engine optimization tool that allows you to find which terms people enter into search engines most frequently. Knowing which terms have the highest ranking and putting them into your post title allows you to have a better chance of improving your own post/ page ranking in a search engine as well. For example, if writing a post about floral tops, you will want to search for similar terms and phrases to see which variations are getting the most search traffic. The search term “floral shirts” gets much more search traffic than “floral blouses”, so you should consider using the first term in your post title. Everyone uses different words and phrases, so it’s important to know your audience. Think of what you would be typing in Google if you wanted to land on a post related to your topic, then see if the terms have good rankings or if a better term would fit. Edit your post title accordingly.

Consider using numbers in the title

People love lists. Post titles such as “5 Ways to Speed your Software Implementation” or “3 Ways to Better Manage Inventory” have a more powerful with the numbers included. Consider, for example, the success of the content on Buzzfeed: a high percentage of their articles use numbers and lists in their titles and are shared thousands of times on social media sites such as Facebook and Stumbleupon.

Use restraint

Two aspects of effective blog titles are the length/number of words— and the words themselves. A title that’s too short can be too broad of a search term to get any benefits Adding more substance to the title, will yield more specific search results. You should also keep in mind that a title that’s too long would make your permalinks look silly, especially if you have the date or something else before the title. Choice of words is critical. Any word that can’t be pronounced or defined by the average reader is going to turn them away from reading your post. As a blogger, it’s good to be creative, but keep in mind you want people to understand what you are posting about.

Whether you’re addressing a broad consumer or specialized business audience, these tips make sense.

As Shakespeare said, “Oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.” As far as I'm concerned, there’s no excuse for weakening your blog post by titling it badly.

Date posted: March 5, 2013

Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, Digital Leader and Crisis, put it this way:

We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it?

Part of the allure of social media is that it “addresses the world,” but when you think of it, you really don’t want to speak to the world— just that part of it that is interested in the things you are; your industry, your products and services, the developments and issues that affect these things.

In a post on businessgrow.com, columnist Srinivas Rao refers to what he calls “Social Media’s Mass Attention Myth” in speaking to how social media users overreach in their use of the tool. He suggests that users throw out these questions—

  • How do I get more traffic?
  • How do I get more eyeballs?
  • How do I grow my audience?

and concentrate on providing exceptional content. “Diminishing those who spend their valued attention with you to nothing but metrics and measurements is tragic,” he says.

Rao’s use of social media started to flourish when he “focused on how to make my content as valuable as possible for the people who were already there, even if there were only a few of them.” This is how to build a community.

Virtualsocialmedia.com recently posted a number of steps to establish and target a niche market through social media:

  1. Conduct some market research focused on defining which part of the market your products and services should be targeting.
  2. Choose the right social media channels.
  3. Create plenty of useful content.

Again, content.

An article in Inc. echoes this further, recommending “instead of reaching the masses with your social media campaign, hone in on your target customers with the content they need.”

The Niche Marketing Blog puts it this way: “The real power (of social media) lies in the niche marketer’s ability to interact, to comment, and to respond to the stream of information in which they are competing.”

By definition, B2B marketers are more targeted than their B2C counterparts, so they should have a leg up in leveraging social media to effectively find the profitable fish amidst the amorphous school.

For years, we’ve been helping our clients do that effectively and efficiently through superior content and writing. If you’re in a technology-related business, we’d love to talk about how we can help you leverage social media to your advantage.