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Choosing titles carefully

Maybe it’s just me, but I always prefer to learn things myself before I get a sales pitch from someone, so I always look at a company’s website before I speak to them.

I just received an email which was about a tool I could potentially use for one of my clients. So I went to their website to find out more about this tool.

As it turns out, I couldn’t find anything about the tool on their site – and I didn’t really like the site much to be honest, but that’s a different story!

Latest news

Spiders and webs over a news key

Old news doesn’t have the power of fresh news – be careful with the expectations you build

Whilst on one page, a comment about them moving caught my eye. It was actually a heading to a news item, showing as a news feed under the title of ‘Latest News’.

Next to the heading was the date of the news item – March 2012. Not exactly a recent move then!

All the other news items in the rotation were older, dating from late 2011 to early 2012.

Staying current

News that is over two years old isn’t fresh or current.

I get that keeping a website/blog/social media platform up to date can be hard work and takes a lot of dedication (hey, I know I haven’t blogged very often this year myself!)

However, it doesn’t look good to prospective clients if the supposedly fresh part of the site is very old. In fact, being years old can look worse than not having a blog or such at all.

The lack of freshness can be minimised though by a careful choice of title.

‘Latest news’ leads people to expect current stories – two year old stories looks unprofessional and made me wonder if the business could deliver promised digital solutions.

Some better titles may have been:

  • things of note
  • points of interest
  • our news archive
  • our blog posts
  • {company name} updates
  • {company name} news

Although the news and updates titles still give some expectation of fairly current stories.

My next blog post will give other suggestions for improving such a situation, but in the meantime, what other titles can you think of for an old news feed?

How would you react to such old news when assessing a potential supplier’s website?

6 Responses to Choosing titles carefully

  • Sharla Shotwell

    Hi, I am a long term SEO writer and one of the most difficult task at times is coming up with not only a main title but additional titles for future articles. Extra titles for my job are often in 25-50 title increments. As such, I have found your post quite useful. So, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate this blog and all postings though especially this one as it will no doubt help expedite my writing process.

    All the best.

    • TashWord says:

      Hi Sharla, thank you for such lovely words – it is always nice to be appreciated 🙂 I’m glad this post helped you – and I agree that choosing titles can sometimes be tricky (enticing in an honesty way in limited words can be a challenge!)

  • wameyo says:

    A blog with the “latest news” being over two years old is definitely a turn-off. That means that the blog is inactive and nobody wants to engage inactive blogs. If you have a blog then updating it is key to bringing in more traffic. If time is what you don’t have then outsource a few writers.

    • TashWord says:

      Yes, outsourcing to writers can make a huge difference. But I also think you can change people’s expectations in easy ways like not having a heading ‘latest news’!

  • Pingback: Managing expectations

  • sonu says:

    As I am a short story writer and I can uderstand the importance of title selection. Title selection is always a difficult task because thats the first thing a reader see in your content. Your blog post is very interesting and helpful for me in writing process and it would help me in future as well.

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