In my last post, I talked about the importance of inserting keywords in the title tags of your blog posts. The title tag is by far the most powerful onpage SEO factor. But what about catchy titles that don’t have many keywords? Is there a place for them in SEO?
The answer is yes and here’s how you can combine catchy and keyword rich titles to improve your rankings.
Catchy Titles are Better at Attracting Links
The main way I use catchy titles is to attract links. For example, I’ll create linkbait that I plan on emailing to other bloggers in hopes that they’ll link to it. In this case, I’ll use a catchy title instead of a keyword rich one because my immediate goal is to attract links not get a high ranking.
Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Title Later
Once I’ve gotten the links, I’ll wait a couple days for the traffic to die down. Then, I’ll change the title to make it more keyword rich.
I like this method because you get the best of both worlds – links and for the long run, a keyword rich title.
Yes, the best titles are both catchy and keyword rich, but creating that type of title is very difficult. It’s takes a lot of creativity and time that many of us do not have. Oftentimes, you won’t be able to come up with a title that’s both catchy and keyword rich. It’s much easier to create two different titles. First, start with a catchy title that is sure to attract links. After you get the links, change the title to something more keyword rich.
A Practical Example from a Respected SEO Expert
Here’s a practical example from my favorite search expert, Aaron Wall. Back in 2006, he published a linkbait with Andy Hagans on his SEO blog. Here is how the linkbait looked when it was first published: 101 Ways to Build Link Popularity in 2006.
As you can see, the title is not very keyword rich. The only real relevant keywords are build link popularity but this phrase does not have a lot of search volume. Still, back in 2006, the title was catchy, relevant, and timely. These factors helped the content get hundreds of links.
Here is how the linkbait looks today: 101 Link Building Tips to Market Your Website. As you can see, Aaron changed the title to include more relevant keywords. Link building tips and market your website are great keywords to rank for. Those keywords have much more search volume than build link popularity. And because he got so many links with his catchy title, the content actually ranks in the top 3 for link building tips and market your website.
If Aaron had not changed the title, he would not enjoy those top rankings.
Also, the linkbait ranks well for build link popularity because of the anchor text of the links. See many people will link to posts using the title as the anchor text and anchor text is big factor in SEO.