Online Articles Should Have Seven Words Or Less In The Title
Online articles are different from print articles in many important respects. They need to be keyword optimized to be found by more readers, for example. They need to be shorter, to fit the space requirements and short attention spans of the internet world. They need to not only satisfy the reader, but to get the reader to click through to the web sites they are written to promote.
There are "rules," then, that you need to follow to maximize the effectiveness of your online articles. Break them, and you reduce the odds of turning your articles into streams of traffic and income. But not always. Here are some instances when breaking the rules is the smart thing to do.
Online Articles - Breaking The Rules
The Rule: 3 to 7 words in the title.
Short titles format better, and are often "punchier." That is, they grab attention better. The fact that you are reading this article tells us that an eleven-word title can also grab attention. A title should have a decent keyword in it, indicate what the article is about, and be catchy. If it takes more than seven words to do this effectively, break the rule! Shorter words may help if you have ten of them, though.
The Rule: Primary keyword in the title.
This makes it easier for people to find the article in the search engines. When should you break this rule? When you have already targeted the primary keywords for a topic in other articles, and you have more to write. In other words, if you have already written articles using the keywords "skydiving," and "skydiving safety," and any other good related keywords, you can go for a purely "catchy" title on the next article.
"My Parachute Didn't Open" may not contain good keywords, but it will certainly catch the attention of anyone browsing the directories where you have posted the article. This can mean additional traffic to your web site, in addition to that which comes from your optimized articles.
The Rule: Keyword in the "anchor text."
The idea here is to link to your site using keywords you want to optimize the site for. This is generally a good idea, but there are two reasons to break this rule. First, if you don't have the full URL (starting with http://) of the site there, it is likely that some publishers will screw up your link. An article without a link to your web site won't help you much. Second, if the keyword is already in the URL, you are all set. For example, 999ideas.com is already optimizing for "ideas" just by making a link of the URL.
The Rule: Short articles.
Short articles (300 to 800 words) are more likely to be published by others. They are also more suited to the short attention spans online. If your article really needs 1300 words to reasonably cover the topic - break the rule! Know that it will be less likely to be published on other sites, but it will be there for readers in the article directories that you submit it to - at least those that allow longer articles.
Another way to approach this problem, is to split the article into two parts. Post the first part in directories, noting that the article continues on your web site (link to that page in the resource box). This will almost guarantee that it won't be published much, but on the other hand, if it a good article, finishing it is a very compelling reason for readers to click through to your web site.
There are other article-writing rules that can be profitably broken at times. For example, you normally want an article to generate as much traffic as possible for your site, but the nature of that traffic matters too, right? Perhaps getting less traffic, but traffic that is full of buyers, is better. You can see that knowing the reasons for the rules helps you know when to break them. The bottom line when writing online articles? Do what works. If it helps you get more income - break those rules.
About the Author: Copyright Steve Gillman. He lost money on his websites until he discovered the power of articles. Six months later he was making a good living online. To learn how you can do the same, get your free online writing course at: http://www.999articles.com