Title Your Blog Posts Effectively

I’m a regular reader of BoingBoing. Recently they posted on the difference between “headlines” in paper print media and “headlines” in electronic media. In essence, while you can be “clever” with a paper headline, you have to be explicitly descriptive with post titles, etc. Otherwise your content will be invisible to search engines. I found this post to be helpful for my own blogging, so I figured I’d pass it along. BoingBoing also linked Jakob Nielsen’s instructions on “Microcontent: Headlines and Subject Lines.” (Nielsen has been deemed “the usability Pope,” among other things.)

Here’s a quick overview of what Nielsen says makes an effective page/post title or email subject line:

  • ultra-short abstract of its associated macrocontent
  • plain language
  • no teasers
  • no leading articles (e.g., ‘the’ & ‘an’) – don’t get lost in a list of “the” . . .
  • first word important and information-carrying
  • all page titles start with a different word
  • relationship between sender and recipient clarified

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