Do You know what is the Optimal Social Media Article Title to generate Traffic?

Profound, or superficial, B2B or B2C, social or optimal? Welcome to the analysis of social media article titles!

SEO platform Buzzsumo has compiled more than 100 million articles published on Facebook between March 1st and May 10th, 2017. The goal? To study the titles of these articles by looking at the commitment they generate. From this study emerged some very useful information.

Which expressions and titles generate the most clicks on social networks? What about those that generate the most traffic to websites? Here are some results of this study:

Expressions that spark the most interest on Facebook:

- will make you ("will make you"),

- this is why ("that's why")

- can we guess ("can we guess")

The most effective expressions for starting titles:

- x reasons why (X reasons why)

- x things you (X things you)

- this is what (C, is that)

The most effective expressions for ending the titles:

- ... the world (... the world)

- ... x years (... X years)

- ... goes viral (... becomes viral)


Although these results are still very vague, there are many lessons to be learned about engagement through content. As seen above, why do the words "will make you" rank well ahead on the list? Buzzsumo's conclusion would be that it is a linking phrase. Its effect would be to tease the reader about the impact of the article on their life (for example "10 tips to flourish in the office"). We clearly play the emotion card here. Besides, in terms of emotions, they are all good to play with, including voyeurism and curiosity, which also work very well on social networks.


Google or Facebook, Pick Your Battle!

What emerges from this survey is that between SEO and social networks, it is better to choose one battle or accept the fact of potentially losing both. You will not write an optimized title for Google the same way you would for Facebook.

While the search engine will favour something concise, factual, with the right keywords, you will need to think longer, more sentimental (in the sense that addresses the reader’s feelings) if you target Facebook.

Finally, know that in this case, size matters! Contrary to what some experts say, such as Jacob Neilson who says that a title should not exceed 5 words, or 40 characters, it would seem that the reality is quite different. According to Buzzsumo, a title that includes between 16 and 18 words, or between 80 and 110 characters, will get a higher engagement percentage.


Beware of the Click at All Costs!

What is shown, or rather confirmed, in this survey is that the title remains a fundamental element in terms of traffic generation. It has even become an art, a discipline on its own, a strategic element. Beware of excesses though. Too many highly attractive titles could quickly lead to a drop in the quality of your brand image.


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