It doesn’t matter if you’ve written the best article on this side of the Mississippi if no one ever reads it! One of the most overlooked aspects of mastering a great blog is crafting post titles that grab the attention of readers. Coming up with these titles, however, isn’t an easy task. But, with these tips, you can come up with titles that will engage your readers and increase click-through rates.
1. Use 9 words. Max.
There’s no need to write a novel in your title. That’s what the body of your post should be. Most of blog posts today are circulated through social media where there is often a 140-character max for posts. With so many different articles, ads and posts bombarding users on a daily basis, short and sweet titles are appreciated and better for sharing across social platforms.
2. Be clear and concise
Going off of tip #1, the copy of your blog title should be clear and concise, leaving no room for ambiguity. You should craft a sentence or phrase that will give readers a glimpse of what your post will be about without revealing too much.
3. Solve a problem
These titles are best suited for blogs targeted at engaging how-to readers. In this DIY age, people are always looking for an easier way to do anything from building computers to folding fitted sheets. If your post is targeted for a specific reader community, don’t be afraid to convey that in the title. When communicated that your post is a problem solver, you can easily improve your click-through rates.
4. Fulfill your title claims
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened an article because I was promised to be “shocked by Miley’s new tattoo” only to be disappointed because it was a henna. When crafting a good title, avoid making promises to readers that you can’t fulfill. You might get more traffic to the post, but the negative feedback can be overwhelming.
5. Use catchy phrases
There are a few catch phrases that really entice readers to click on a post. According to BrickMarketing.com, some of the most click-worthy phrases were: “How To”, “Top 10 Ways To”, “Tips For”, and “Top 5 Resources For”. Something about these phrases really piques readers’ interest. You clicked on my post because of this very tip, didn’t you?
6. Provide worthwhile content
This goes without saying while blogging, but poorly written titles or content can severely damage the reputation of a blogger. Don’t just blog to blog- have a clear purpose and goal in mind for your posts. Be sure to proofread, edit and fact check your copy before publishing.
7. Incorporate target keywords
Be sure to include targeted keywords in the titles of your blog posts. Post titles are typically used in URLs and keywords can hugely impact search engine rankings. Another way keywords impact traffic to posts is that web searchers view a huge amount of content when searching. These people are more likely to click on a post with keywords directly relating to their topic.
8. Don’t overstuff with keywords
On the flip side, don’t overstuff your title with keywords. Readers will be able to tell when a title doesn’t flow naturally, and forcing too many buzzwords into a sentence is an easy way to detract from your post. Use one or two to boost your post, but don’t drown it.
9. Don’t be afraid to create controversy
People. Love. Drama. If you have a post that can trigger an emotional response, use this to your advantage! People will be genuinely curious to read about anything over the top or controversial. If you have an opinionated piece, share your side in your title. Be sure to back your title up with well-crafted content, however, so it doesn’t come across as fishing.
10. Use sensationalism to your advantage
When writing about anything over the top, be sure to incorporate that into your post title. HubSpot.com says that wacky titles, and off the wall topics will really grab the attention of potential readers and lead to more open rates.
Even the most compelling, informative, brilliant blogs in the world would remain undiscovered if they had lackluster titles. You need to draw readers in with carefully (and cleverly) crafted blog titles and hold their attention with substantial copy.
With these 10 tips, you’re well on your way to creating posts that will reach more readers and increase the amount of click-through you receive. Make title writing a priority, not an afterthought.