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Titles

Grab attention with an episode title

Submitting a great episode title is one of the best things you can do to get your programme heard.

There are two reasons why episode titles are import:

  • Firstly, for potential listeners, they’re prominent advertising about the key theme of your show, as they’re browsing your station’s website or iPlayer. 
  • Secondly, Google loves episode titles. They really stand out when the search engine is indexing pages – much more so than the same text in your main description.

All of our programmes have 'episodes', even if you're not used to thinking of them in that way.  So this morning's Chris Moyles Show, yesterday's Morning Reports on 5 live or even the latest Asian Network Reports are all 'episodes'.

Jump straight to - Writing a great episode title | Magazine Titles | No Episode Title


Writing a great episode title

Consider your potential audience

What will they be searching the web for? What would make them want to listen to your show? It might be

  • your main guest
  • the lead item on a magazine
  • the overall theme of the episode.  

Be brief

Don't exceed 50 characters for a title.
Any more than 34 characters and the end of your title will be cut off on some platforms. In some places only 25 characters will be displayed - make sure the interesting words are at the beginning. Save the detail for your programme description.

Be consistent

Either edit all your episode titles consistently, or only edit them when you want a particular episode to really stand out from the rest.

Don’t be too clever

Search engines don’t understand clever cryptic titles that exclude key search terms. Listeners might not either.

web-titlefearne.jpg

Don’t be too clever or alienate new audiences
 

Don't repeat

Avoid repeating the 'Brand Title' in the episode/series title:

web-titlerepetitive.jpgDéjà Vu: Repeating your titles is unnecessary and looks clumsy

 

DO

  • Write in title case
  • Mention interviews
  • Name guests (if they are important)
  • Include guest mixes (if relevant)  

DON'T

  • Mention the date if you don't have to
  • Mention the day of the week if you don't have to
  • Use long sentences (about 34 characters is enough)
  • Repeat the name of the show in the title

Magazine Programmes

Always include the lead item.

Don't use "/"s to separate items; use either commas or semicolons:

web-titlemagazine.jpg

Big names: Culture magazine Front Row flags up a packed show in its title


No Episode Title

Episode titles might not be suitable for some types of programme. Examples include the ‘Six o’Clock News’ on Radio 4, or ‘Through the Night’ on Radio 3.

If you don't enter an episode title, then a default title will be displayed instead. Here's how it looks:

When a series with a set number of episodes has no title

The episode number is displayed:

web-titledefaultsaving.jpgNo title: Episode titles were an endangered species in this nature series


When an ongoing brand, with no set number of episodes, has no title

By default, the TX date is displayed:

web-titledefaultarchers.jpgJust a date: The default episode title for an ongoing series is the TX date

Think carefully before you decide not to submit a title. You're missing a chance to boost your programme's spot in the search engine rankings.


Next: Programme Description

The BBC Radio business, legal and rights requirements
How BBC Radio commissions programmes
Contact Information and Archives for programme research

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