Updated June 13, 2015.
As journalists, we used to write impacting titles… informative titles… creative title!. Part of your title intended to impress the reader, delight yourself and prove your writing skills.
Now, if you are an online writer, the approach is completely different: When you think about a title, your first thought is “Will someone use this word in a Google search?”
I am sure by now you know some SEO by now, and you are aware that search engines only read the first 70 characters of a title. A big challenge for languages like Spanish, Italian, German, etc. if you are in the multilingual/multicultural media world.
Looks like SEO was built with only English in mind? Maybe. The truth is that 70 characters is the length that a search engine like Google can display in a search results page simply because it is the amount that fits in the screen. If you are mobile optimized, 70 characters may look even too long depending on your design.
We have moved from a writer/media controlled language to a user controlled language. Users are maybe not as sensitive to the quality of writing as to the message itself and what surrounds it (videos, pics). The wow factor is not only in your style but in what you actually write about, what you talk about and how fast those users can find your message, and digest it.
At the same time, there are a looot of users thanks to mobile technology. I can see during my busy commute hours in the train: 99% of people who sit alone are on their phones. Many more people are reading, only they do it in a different way.
Give them information that is:
- Easy, fast to download
- Useful or delightful (well written/produced a must here)
- Shareable (when you love you gotta let the world know it)