Going Viral: It’s All in a Name

by Adrienne Erin. 0 Comments

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Content that you are publishing must be interesting and authentic to even have a chance of being considered share-worthy. But in today’s competitive SEO focused internet market, that isn’t what’s going to make your post go viral.

So what is? What could possibly be more important than solid yet catchy content? The title.

That’s right. If you truly want that polished content your company spent quality time producing to make its rounds and go viral, then the name or title of your post better be top notch.

Why the Title?

Fun fact – 8 out of 10 people will read your headline or title of your post. That’s great news until you consider that only 2 out of 10 people will actually go on to read your content. If they aren’t reading or viewing your post, then they definitely aren’t sharing it.

So you need to strike from the get go with a catchy, specific and interesting title that will draw people in. You have to make readers eager to hear what you have to say and you’ll only accomplish this if you are dedicating enough time to your headline and making as perfect as possible.

What’s in a Name?

While there is no set amount of time you should dedicate to writing a post headline, you should probably stick to a 50/50 rule to make sure you have a thorough list of possible headlines. Spend half of your time crafting the title and then the other half can be focused on the actual content.

Four things to always think about when executing a share-worthy title include relevance, benefit, keywords and tactic. Let’s take a closer look at these so you can get them right.

Relevance

First of all, you must be sure that what you are writing about is relevant. Is your topic and content current or is it related to some sort of breaking news? Does it pertain to your industry? If so, then you are on the right track. Make your title specific about what topic is being covered, and make sure that it isn’t old news that readers could find just anywhere.

Benefit

Next, if you are not providing a benefit to your readers, then why would they bother sharing it? Give your audience a headline that will make them feel like they are going to learn something by clicking on it, and then deliver with great content that educates them on something. That combination right there will get your content going for sure.

Keywords

Keywords are next. Any SEO marketer knows just how important keywords are when it comes to making a post go viral. You need to incorporate keywords and key phrases into your title, as well as your content, to move your piece higher in the search rankings. These keywords are also great when it comes to current events or breaking news, since possible readers will be scanning headlines to see if your content will give them what they need.

One post I recently posted on my personal blog, Design Roast, is called 20 Best WordPress Themes for Google AdSense. It contains a heavy-hitting, long-tail keyword – “best WordPress themes for AdSense” – as well as shorter, more popular keywords, such as “best WordPress themes” or “themes for AdSense.” I expect that over time, this post will bring my blog a decent amount of traffic, because of my carefully-crafted title.

Tactic

Once you’ve got those all figured out, you need to decide on a tactic to use for your title. Don’t go crazy with it, either. It should accurately represent what you want to share with your audience.

Popular options include:

  • Numbered List: “15 Things You Can’t Live Without”
  • How-to: “How to Makeover Your Home on a Budget”
  • Question: “Do You Know What’s really in Your Face Wash?”

You can use any of these options, which tend to be a mainstay for viral content. You can even use a combination of more than one of these tactics, as long as your post accurately represents what you promised in the title.

Go for It

No matter how great of an idea you have, you and your company’s post is never going to have a chance at going viral if you don’t simply go for it. Put in a fair amount of time to your headline/title, since that is what gets people to even look at what you have to offer.

Be creative, be authentic and be informative!

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