Why Misleading Blog Titles Are a Bad Idea

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You could be trying to cash in on a trend, or it may not even be intentional. Whatever the reason, take a good look at your blog posts: are you delivering what the title promises?  You may convince yourself that, sure, the title fits the topic, but will those tips really save your readers an hour every day, or are they just great time-saving tips? That’s still incredibly valuable information; there’s no need to exaggerate.  Sometimes you start a post with one idea… and it ends up in another place entirely. That’s alright, but be sure to change the title to reflect the new topic.

Maybe you think it’s not a big deal, particularly if you see a traffic boost after posting, but using a misleading title to lure people in can affect the long-term growth of your blog in many ways.

It hurts your credibility. The next time you post a really killer blog, people will be less likely to click through. Why bother when they’re not even sure the blog will really be about that topic? You want to build trust with your readers. When they click on content from your site, you’ll deliver the goods and make it worth their while.

It will increase your bounce rate. Sure, your traffic went up because more people clicked on that intriguing title, but what does it matter if people don’t stay on the site to actually read the content? When people click on a page and then quickly leave the site, this is counted as a “bounce.” The higher the bounce rate, the less engaged your readers were with your content.

It can affect reader satisfaction. Remember the goals of your blog. It’s likely a one-time traffic boost isn’t what you really want. In order to build brand loyalty, build up your blog audience, or to achieve numerous other blogging goals, you want to keep your readers happy, so they come back for more and recommend your site to others.

It can affect SEO. Maybe you’re jam-packing your blog title with keywords, so you think that makes it worth it even if it’s a little off. After all, it’s helping to improve your website ranking, right? It might not. Keywords are not the only factor that search spiders use to determine rank. They also look at “linkbacks.” The more people who link to your site, the better. And no one wants to link to a site that feels like you are reading a keyword generator.

Sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of the purpose of your blog when trying to improve your traffic statistics, search engine ranking, and other metrics. But remember, all the clicks in the world are worth nothing if people aren’t building a positive relationship with your brand. Don’t give up on improving your blog titles, but do it in an honest way.