Writing articles for submission to article directories used to be a fairly straightforward task. You simply crammed as many keywords into the text as possible, and hurled it freely into the digital ether. However, things have become much tougher, for two main reasons: firstly, Google and the other major search engines have got wise to the use of keywords, and now penalise those who still use anything more than about 1% keyword density.
The second reason is that there are simply so many articles out there. Have a look at any article directory and you’re highly likely to see thousands of articles. Many of the top article directories now have hundreds of thousands of articles – and there are several thousand directories all competing for the top spots. Competition is rife, and to survive it takes more than just a handful of casually thrown together paragraphs interspersed with the odd keyword.
When articles are listed, whether on Google, or on the article directory site itself, the most obvious element of the article is of course the title. Titles are crucial – perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of writing articles. I have seen so many SEO article service providers create articles for clients, and then accompany them with such lacklustre titles that they’ll do very little good at all.
Imagine the following scenario: perhaps you’re looking to learn how to wrap presents properly? I always have trouble with sticky tape, so this might be helpful. I find two articles, one titled ‘Professional Gift Wrapping Service Guide’, and one titled ‘3 Secrets To Wrapping Presents More Easily’ – which one will I choose?
Since the title is the reason why people either click to read your article, or don’t, a great deal of thought needs to be given to how to word and phrase your article appropriately. By all means make sure your keywords are included, or at least one of them, but don’t write your article title in such a way that the keywords dominate.
For example, an article titled ‘Gift Wrapping Advice – How To Wrap Presents Like A Professional Gift Wrapping Service’ may well not receive that many hits. By the time someone’s read the title they feel as though they’ve read half the article. Not only that, but if your titles are bulging with keywords, most people will suspect your article content will also be stuffed full of keywords, and hard to read.
So – the first word not to include in your title is a keyword which is already in your title. In other words – avoid keyword repetition in your title, no matter how tempting. In almost every case you’ll create a title which will read as though written for a search engine rather than a human. But if very few humans bother to click your article title, the search engines will similarly ignore it, since it will seem to carry little importance and generate little interest.
The second type of word to avoid are the enthusiastic superlatives. These might work in sales pitches, but most people reading articles on an article directory want to read articles, funnily enough. If they wanted to read sales pitches they may prefer to go to a sales pitch directory – or the company’s website.
Article titles which include ‘fantastic’, ‘mega’, ‘super’ and ‘unbelievable’ will probably be disbelieved by most people. We’re becoming extremely cynical of web content – and sale pitch phraseology tends to trigger the cynic in many of us these days. An article titled ‘Unbelievable Ways To Supercharge Your Fantastic Gift Wrapping Ability’ may well prove unsuccessful.
The final word you should aim to avoid is the first person pronoun. Talking about yourself right from the title down doesn’t tend to engage with readers terribly well. One of the best ways to attract and maintain the interest of a reader is to make the article relevant to them. The only way this is possible is by relating your content to them, their needs and their situation.
So, for example, the title ‘How I Became A Professional Gift Wrapper’ tends to suggest you’re on an ego trip. Few people will have heard of you, and even fewer will have any interest in your career development. On the other hand, a article titled ‘How You Can Improve Your Gift Wrapping Skills’ is far more likely to engage attention – it’s clearly written about, and for the benefit of, the reader – not you as a writer.
By avoiding keyword stuffing in the article title, unbelievable superlatives and use of the first person pronouns you may well be on your way to creating article titles which help to sell your article. Selling your article and bringing it to the attention of people is the first step to article success.