Think of your article's title as the reader's first impression of your work, and of Balanced Breakfast's identity. There's a tendency to undervalue a title-- judging a book by it's cover, and such, but one must appreciate what it is that hangs in the balance, a click. Your title may be the only part of your article that a viewer reads before scrolling past. What is it you want a reader to learn about your article from the title alone? Keep that question in mind while we run through some standards for the brand...

Be Creative But Transparent

Your title should be more than a quote or a snippet from the article. Remember, your title is what will appear on search engine results. Generate intrigue with a professionally formatted title that offers a clear idea of what the article contains. As far as the reader is concerned, there should be no surprises as to what lies on the other side of the article link.

Focus Keyword or Keyphrase

A focus keyword or keyphrase should appear in both your title and the body of your article. This is the word or phrase that stands out and summarizes the subject of your article.

Length and Formatting

The total length of your title should be between 65-75 characters. Longer titles will be clipped in search results, and shorter titles do not efficiently use the opportunity to share engaging information about the article.

Use title case for all words, indluding articles (A, The, Of, ... )
When using elipsis ( ... ) please leave a space before and after the dots, with no spaces between dots.
A colon (:) should be used to divide parts of a title, as opposed to a hyphen (-).
Numerals should be used instead of words to represent numbers (14 vs. Fourteen).
Similarly, please use numerals when representing ordinal numbers (1st vs First).

Never Withhold Information

Offer a complete detail or don't. Partially withholding information in your title gives the article an air of clickbait. An example would be,

"SEO Best Practices: This Rule Might Surprise You,"
and here's a better alternative,
"SEO Best Practices: How Social Media Shares Effect Ranking."

The 1st title clearly states that there's a rule, perhaps a lesser known rule, but baits the reader to click to find out what it is. The reader does not know whether or not the article will be helpful. It's an insincere tactic, and it could negatively effect readers' opinions about the type of content both you and Balanced Breakfast produce. The 2nd title is clear about what the article offers, and therefore offers more precise value to the reader.

Do Not Include

When forming a title, do not include the date, author credit, category, or other kinds of "meta" data. Those details will be represented elsewhere in search results and on the blog index itself.