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The current theory is that you have five seconds to convince a web surfer to click through to your content. That’s the average time it takes a web surfer to read your title and decide whether or not it’s worth going deeper.  We often spend a lot of time talking about page titles on our websites or blogs, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.

Consider where you interact. Email, Facebook, and Twitter are social examples while pay-per-click marketing and search engine descriptions (either page or your local search listing) are important search marketing channels. Almost all of these channels have a size limitation when it comes to titles, descriptions, or content (Twitter, for example, limits your tweet to 140 characters), yet your marketing campaign (search or social) will depend largely on how well you can write them.

That will be the essential factor to successful marketing in 2011 – catching someone’s attention in as few words as possible. People receive a lot of emails in their inbox each day – your subject line has to convince them to open that email. The same is true of Twitter. Users are receiving hundreds of tweets each day, some hundreds each hour – can you catch their attention with 140 characters?

Being able to write short titles or descriptions that are catchy is not easy. At least, not if you have to do it every day.  One approach that is now worth considering is to push less often, but when you do to make it really count with a great title backed up by better quality content. Offline marketing has often demanded the creation of something catchy in as few words as possible. Offline, the limitation was size for print media and time for audio/visual. Online, when it comes to social media optimization – it’s the first five seconds that can make or break you – be sure to use it to advantage.

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