This post is a response to the article by Kimberly Dawn Wells on Squidoo HQ “Five Components of an Amazing Lens Title” posted March 8, 2012. Most of the time, the Squidoo HQ posts are very useful in announcing new projects, or as aimed at beginner lensmasters, but this one in particular left out some crucial information that I thought would be helpful to new and possible experienced lensmasters, so here we go:
Part of the premise of what you need in a lens title is misleading when you read the title of the post. What I mean is that lens titles do not need to be amazing. What they do need to be is specific, focused, and accurate, and using keywords that people search for your topic. This is what will draw in readers and buyers to your lens. And this is not just true of Squidoo lenses, but any writing online.
Here are Kimberly’s points:
Put a number on it.
While I agree that putting a number on a title can add to the interest, I do not agree that it is essential. If you are doing a countdown or a top 10 lens, fine, but otherwise leave it out. I have plenty of lenses that do quite well without any numbers on them.
Readers love to learn.
Kimberly points out here that:
Even experts want to learn new things, especially things only “experts” and “masters” know, so by playing the “learn something exciting here” card, you can engage readers of all levels. Incorporate words and phrases such as “tips,” “things you never knew about,” “secrets,” and “must-have” or “must-know.”
I agree with Kimberly that readers are often looking for information, or how to do various things. Personally, I do not like misleading articles, so I would say that if you really are imparting information, great, but don’t lure them in with “must-have” if it is just a scam. “How to” articles are one of the best ways to impart information and also get sales for the products you are using in the tutorial.
Activate your readers.
This is something that I would do inside the text of the lens, not necessary in the title. Active writing is better than passive, but this doesn’t really affect the title.
I added some emphasis to this point, because it is one of the most important things you should do for your title, and in fact, your lens. Don’t write about Spring Flowers, write instead about Spring Crocus. Be as specific as possible to get better found in the search engines.
Make use of sub-titles.
Subtitles do not really affect the title of a lens, but they do affect the modules. If you have more information that you can put in the subtitles, definitely do so. This will also help your lens get found.
The key point that Kimberly left out of her post:
Make sure your keywords are in your lens title and url.
Every time you create a Squidoo lens, you should put your main keywords in your title and url. This is what helps you get found faster on the search engines, and also in Squidoo. Your other keywords can be put into the module titles, sub-titles, and text. This will help you every single time become a successful writer and earner on Squidoo, because that is how people search online, and that is how they find your article. Keywords are a must. This is the most important point, and should actually be at the top of the post.