The hard work that you put into crafting informative blog posts only pays off if you get eyes on them, and nailing the blog post title is the first step to making sure that you’re capturing the attention of as many readers as possible.
A good blog post title makes all the difference in the world. It can be the difference between having your post widely read and shared across the internet and only getting a small amount of traction. The main purpose of a title is to garner attention and entice people to start reading your post. This is why the words that you use and how your craft your blog post title are vital to the success of your post.
You can have the most insightful post in the world, but if your title doesn’t incent people to click on your article, no one will ever discover your wonderful post and the wisdom that is contained within. A great blog post title will sell your post to readers and get them to click. An average title that lacks engagement will be overlooked and get lost in the sea of information online.
Your blog post title is a marketing tool in itself. It is what will appear in search engine results, links, archives, and on social media sites. This is why it is important to spend some time working on your title. It is the first thing that readers see and we all know what they say about first impressions – you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Ready to up your blog post title game? Here are our top tips for writing effective blog post titles that will be irresistible to your website visitors.
10 Quick Tips for writing engaging blog post titles
TL:DR: Here are 10 quick, effective tips for creating engaging blog post titles.
- Make it attention-grabbing
- Include SEO keywords in the blog post title
- Be short and to the point
- Deliver on your promise in the body of the post
- Be controversial from time to time
- Use the list approach (10 top, 5 benefits, 3 reasons, etc.)
- Include a benefit in the blog post title
- Pose a question
- Use emotional triggers
- Use power words
Now, let’s break down some of these ideas and dig further into what makes a blog post title enticing, clickable and effective.
Keep Blog Post Titles Short and to the Point
On average, 80% of your website visitors read your blog post title, but only 20% will read the whole piece. These days, attention spans can be short. If your blog title is long and doesn’t tell the reader what’s in it for them, your blog readership is only going to deteriorate.
Create short and precise blog post titles. In other words, use the fewest words possible to let the readers know exactly what the blog is about. Content marketing experts recommend blog titles with no more than ten words. This opinion isn’t driven by intuition; according to one study, keeping your blog title to 6-8 words can increase the click-through rate (CTR) by 21%.
The blog title should also be to the point. However, even though you’re shooting for brevity, don’t give away too much information. Disclose just enough details to explain what the blog is about while sparking curiosity in the reader to want to open the blog and learn more.
Use Descriptive Language and Imagery in Your Blog Post Title
Descriptive language and imagery are the best hacks to add punch to your blog post title. Let’s say you have created a comprehensive guide on how to avoid incompetent marketing agencies. Which of the two blog titles would grab the reader’s attention?
- How to Avoid Incompetent Marketing Agencies
- Tangled Up with Incompetent Marketing Agencies? Here’s How to Avoid That.
The use of imagery in the second post title makes it clear what type of problem you’re trying to solve with the blog. It adds clarity, letting people know that if they have experienced this issue, then this blog post is for them. For this reason, there’s a high possibility the second blog title would garner a higher CTR than the first one.
Pose a Question in the Title to Spark Curiosity
Let’s use our previous example. The second blog post title poses a “yes question.” Yes, as in, if a brand is struggling with incompetent agencies, the owners would say ‘yes’ to the question in the title.
Now, asking a question is a nice way to spark curiosity in the reader, and it often leads to a higher CTR. After all, who doesn’t want a remedy to their most pressing problem? Asking an intriguing question compels the reader to consume the content on offer in pursuit of the right solution to a problem they’re currently facing.
However, for the question to be effective, you have to get to the bottom of the problem your target audience is facing. So, double down on audience research. In addition to helping you create effective blog titles, audience research helps you create content that solves the readers’ issues, which will make it more likely that they will return to your blog again and again.
Use the Blog Post List Approach (10 Top, 5 Benefits, 3 Reasons, etc.)
Another way to ignite curiosity is to use numbers in the blog post title. If you’re writing a listicle, include the number of hacks, benefits, problems to avoid, etc., in the headline. For example, “5 qualities of a competent marketing agency.”
Such titles draw the reader’s attention because they promise multiple solutions to a problem. If someone is struggling with an incompetent marketing agency, they’d want to know these qualities and use them to vet their next agency. Moreover, adding numbers to the title lets the reader know that the structure of the piece is going to be straightforward and easy for them to digest.
Optimize Your Blog Post Title for SEO and Readability
This may seem obvious, but it’s interesting how many marketers overlook it. Don’t optimize your blog title to just draw the attention of the reader. Remember: for the reader to find that blog on Google or other search engines, it must be search engine optimized. Include your targeted keywords in your blog post title. If you’re publishing content using WordPress, the Yoast plugin can be helpful for crafting SEO titles (and the rest of your blog content as well).
Try Various Tactics
Scott Lieberman from Touchdown Money likes to try various tactics, like A/B testing as email subject lines or using Thrive Headline Optimizer for his WordPress site. “Ideally, headlines are specific, convey urgency, and make a promise to remove pain, gain something, or satisfy a curiosity.”
Make SEO Part of the Process
Sophia Solanki at Narrato states that SEO is part of their content creation process. After picking a topic, they carry out keyword research for the post. They use Narrato’s SEO brief generator by entering a key phrase or the topic itself, and the tool scans the web for related keywords, topics/questions to include, references/competitors, ideal length, an optimal number of headings, etc. This tool saves them a lot of time and helps ensure their blog titles will rank well.
Don’t Forget to Track
The only way to know which blog post titles are working and which ones are not is to track them. This will help you refine the titles you use overtime to make them more effective. It also helps you narrow down which topics and posts your audience prefers, which words, and which type of titles get the most clicks.
To track your blog post titles it is important to make note of the following:
- Views. This is a good indication that the titles you are using are in tune with the content your targeted audience is looking for. It also indicates that the words and style of titles you are using are effective and getting users to take action.
- Shares. If people are sharing your posts, this is an indication that you are providing value to readers. It also signifies that you are delivering on the promise you make in your title.
- Comments. Getting someone to comment on your post shows that you are onto something and have engaged them in the conversation.
This information will provide you with some great information about where you need to focus your content strategy now and into the future.
How much time do you put into your titles when you write blog posts? Do you just write the first thing that comes to mind? Or, do you take time to craft your blog post titles carefully based on previous posts, keywords, and other information?