When I was in high school, my journalism teacher, Ms. Shumate – an edgy character whom I loved – presented a tried-and-true example of how article titles make an impact. She said that the headline “Dog Bites Man” is boring; it happens every day. However, “Man Bites Dog” is quite interesting and would be more likely to capture the attention of readers.
Newspapers face a slow death these days, but journalism is far from the grave. Today, journalists share most content online, in the form of articles or blogs. The “Man Bites Dog” headline transcends time and would still draw readers, 20 years later. In fact, an article with that title may even go viral, being shared exponentially across social networks, bookmarking sites, and blogs.
Search, SEO, and the Share-Factor
In the past, for a blog post to show up high in search results, it had to feature strategic keyword placement, in the titles, subtitles, first paragraph, and metadata. While these practices are still helpful, they aren’t the primary contributing factors to a blog’s share-factor. Catchy headlines, interesting content, and stories people want to read have rightfully taken the front seat as prime factors in a blog post’s success. If a post interests people, it will probably be liked and shared, and it may receive comments. All of this social activity for a blog post bodes well for website traffic on the site which the blog originated.
In Part One: Sharable Blog Posts and Timeliness, I presented the concept of selecting blog topics based on trending phrases, current events, and seasonal celebrations. Once you find a good topic for a blog post, the next step is building a hot headline.
Flu and semester are two trending topics today. So, if we decide to tie these to dentistry, we could write a blog post about how college students can avoid the flu this semester, right? From there, we need to come up with a catchy title.
- Don’t Start the Semester with an F, as in FLU!
- Spring Semester Starts with Flu Shots
- Don’t Let the Flu Catch Up with You! (5 tips for staying healthy)
- 5 Tips to Keep Students from Passing the Flu Bug
- Do You Have a Cold or The Flu?
- Flu Season Peaks at Start of Spring Semester
How do these topics relate to dentistry? Slip in some information about germy mouths and the importance of brushing teeth twice a day, drinking plenty of water, and washing hands. You could also mention that tossing your toothbrush after the flu is a wise idea.
Tips and Tricks for Titles
Do you know why magazines often feature titles that begin with “10 Tips,” “The Secret to,” or “How to?” Because these phrases capture people’s attention. Use them for blogs, and you may see more traffic.
As your English teacher told you years ago, alliteration can make words interesting. What’s alliteration? Using words with the same initial sound, like Tips and Tricks for Titles or Spring Semester Starts with Flu Shots. Try alliteration on your blog titles to add a little punch of whimsy.
Rhymes are catchy – just look at the success of Dr. Seuss! If possible, toss some rhymes into blog titles, but don’t force it. A bad rhyme is unpleasant. Here’s an example of a good rhyme: Don’t Let the Flu Catch Up with You. Can you feel the rhythm as you read that headline? Each section features four syllables. Very nice.
Blogging Help for Docs
If you don’t have time to think about blogs, search engine optimization, and marketing, turn to the experts at MDPM Consulting. Our team of dental copywriters and website developers can give your entire online image the makeover you need for success. Call us today at 972-781-8861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.