Great title is not the most important ingredient of a successful blog post, but if we consider the current reading habits of online users, it often determines the destiny of the whole piece. Based on the title effectiveness readers will decide whether to continue further or immediately bounce off your blog. Your post titles are often people’s first impression of the content you share, since they are part of almost every social update. So if you want people to click the links and get on your pages, your headlines need to be very good.
What’s kind of tricky with writing great titles is that they need to be both, search engines-relevant, and compelling enough to attract human readers’ attention. Following are few guidelines to help you through the process. Also see if you are making these title mistakes.
Do not rush into posting the first title that pops into your mind. You want people to like it, and click it, so you need to put some effort into creating the headline. Copywriters spend even half of their time just on the title. This is a lot for blog posts, but it lets you see how important attractive headlines are.
Great titles are clear about the content that follows. They are not trying to confuse readers, or sound too clever.
Shorter headlines are more effective and easier to share on social media. Keep them up to eight words or 70 characters as a general rule.
Include a keyword or two, possibly at the beginning of your title. They tell search engines what your blog post is about and help your on-page SEO. Be careful not to sound spammy, but keep it readable and understandable by humans.
These were the basics of good quality headlines for your amazing blog posts. To make them inviting to readers and attract their attention you can try some of the following techniques:
Offer a solution.
As bloggers who know their niche you certainly understand the common challenges your audience is facing. Or you can ask your blog readers, and then offer the solution in a strong headline of an article that addresses this need. If you are going to use this strategy, make sure you are not overpromising since you’ll only end up disappointing your visitors.
Ask a question.
Question titles not only grab readers’ attention, but they also invite them to communicate and leave answers in the comments. Go with questions that inspire lots of different opinions and answers – What Makes a Blog User-Friendly? – and avoid asking rhetorical or yes/no questions in post titles.
Make numbered lists.
As Brian Clark from CopyBlogger says, list posts will always work in large part due to the attention-grabbing power of the headline. This type of posts are read more frequently, so try to use numbers in titles whenever suitable, and add catchy phrases like “tricks”, “easy”, “top”, “secrets”, to draw in readers even more. Still, as with everything else, make sure you are not overusing these headlines; they won’t be as effective if they are too common.
Be controversial. But mindfully.
Sensationalistic titles are great to pull in readers to blog posts, but you need to make sure to back up whatever statements you make with solid logical arguments. If covering sensitive issues strong negative reactions are also possible. Know how to deal with them. Again, don’t exaggerate – if you are controversial all the time, first it’s not attractive, and second, it could earn you the reputation of “the boy who cried wolf”.
Play with humor.
It’s risky, and you may end up confusing your blog readers if they don’t get the “joke”. Search engines are also weak when it comes to understanding humor so your performance may suffer too. However, if you know your audience well and play carefully, a funny title can definitely help you bring more eyes to your unique content. And if they like it, you can be certain they’ll share it.
How much do you work on your blog post titles? Do you think you can do better? Let us know your thoughts below!