Legal bloggers commonly put a lot of time and effort into writing insightful posts full of great commentary and analysis, but then they quickly write a short blog post title as an afterthought. As a result, they are passing up a great opportunity to improve the quality of the blog. In this post, I’ll explain why legal bloggers should care more about their post titles and what they can do to improve them.
So, why are blog post titles so important? They are frequently the very first thing that a human reader will see when they come to your blog, so they play a critical role in the reader’s first impression of the site. Thoughtful, well-written titles will give extra credibility to your blog and, as a result, help make your readers take the blog more seriously overall. Moreover, readers like to know what an article is about before they decide to invest their time in reading it. Descriptive titles give your readers a clearer idea as to the subject matter of the posts so they know what they are delving into. And finally, search engines read just like we do: from top to bottom, and left to right. So not only are titles the first things that your human readers will see, but they are the first things that the search engines see, as well.
How do you know if your blog post titles need improvement? Here are some tips to make them more effective:
- Take a look at your titles and ask yourself, “If I wasn’t the author of this post, would I know what it was about?” If the answer is no, then you should add some extra description. For example, if you’re referencing a case in the title, perhaps mention the type of case it is. If you’re mentioning a court, you may want to consider stating where the court is located and what type of court it is. These small details can help add the description that a good title needs.
- Keep it short: You don’t need to be overly verbose in order to make a title sufficiently descriptive. A good rule of thumb to follow is that a blog post title is too lengthy if you cannot read it aloud in one breath. If you need to come up for air midway through, then you know that you should shorten it up a bit.
- Less can be more: Don’t include extra keywords where they don’t belong. Here’s a common example: California Car Accident Attorney Discusses Changes to Texting While Driving Legislation. The phrase “California Car Accident Attorney Discusses…” is unnecessary and can ultimately be harmful to your blog if the search engines deem those titles to be spammy.
- Be natural: If you think the extra keywords in your titles sound unnatural, then listen to your gut and remove them. Although it’s beneficial to have descriptive titles, you won’t want to include any phrasing that sounds odd or awkward.
- Keep it legally relevant: Instead of just summarizing the facts of a current event for the title of a blog post, include references to the legal concepts that you will discuss in the post. It’s a legal blog, not a news blog, after all.
Remember, spending an extra minute or two on your legal blog post titles is worth it. That extra time you take to make your titles as interesting as the content of the posts themselves will help improve your blog as a whole.