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Should Instructables titles begin with "How to..."? Answered

I tend to write the titles of my 'ibles as if the phrase "How to..." was already there. Thus: Get Any Information... Knit replacement pads... etc.

I notice, though, that most of the Burning Questions begin with "How to..." This suggests that people are searching using those words.

So, should I change all my titles to start that way, or just leave them as-is?

Discussions

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Yonatan24

1 year ago

It hurts only if your title is too long. If you can add it and it sounds good, great.

ʸᵉˢ ˢᵉᵃᵐˢᵗᵉʳ, ᴵ'ᵐ ᵗᵃᶫᵏᶦᶰᵍ ᵗᵒ ʸᵒᵘ

And djpolymath.

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killerjackalope

8 years ago

I modify titles so they sound right, with a how to or without, or make them interesting, maybe even intriguing, really just whatever works... If you type in how to in google then instructables without a how to will come up just the same, in fact in a quick test I can modify the search quite a lot with zippo tricks and still get my 'ible as first result as long as zippo tricks is mentioned... Granted that's a lazy example since it has so many linkbacks

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Kryptonite

8 years ago

As Kiteman says, it depends on what market you're aiming at, the wide internet or Instructables. I prefer not to have it, but others like it as an addition to their titles.

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Kiteman

8 years ago

"Burning Questions" has a specific history.

It was originally used to help bring traffic via search engines by creating content that matched common searches.

If lots of people are searching for "How to eat a banana", then you create a project called "How to eat a banana".

That means that people using a search engine will be more likely to actually come here, and, once here, stay.

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ZansionKiteman

Reply 8 years ago

I never thought of it that way, though it makes perfect since. Thats how I found Instrucables, after all.

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Robot Lover

8 years ago

whenever I type in something in the search bar and press enter, it put  'how to' in the front of it.

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nickodemus

8 years ago

Not necessarily. For short Instructable titles that don't take long to say.

E.G. "How to make a Car" is a good title.

"How to make an oil-powered automobile" is a bad title.
If you wanted to leave the words "Oil-powered automobile" in the title (No matter how redundant), you could shorten it to "Make an Oil-powered automobile" without the "how to"

That probably wasn't the best example, but you catch my drift.

You still want to have a descriptive title that sums up your project. If it ends up being a short title, try adding "How to make a", or "Make a".
Just think about how you want it to sound, and choose accordingly.

(PS I looked at all of your titles, the only one that seemed slightly cumbersome was the one about the bike rack, you could try changing it to something like "Make a Bike rack with reclaimed materials" or "Make a rear bike rack". Other than that, they all looked pretty good.)


Hope this helps out a little.