Do you find catchy blog titles, like the ones mentioned below, fascinating and compelling?
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Psychological studies and data suggest you do. Your audience will react similarly when you apply our tips and techniques to your blog post titles. I know you are craving to learn the art of writing catchy blog titles that engross your audience. Aren’t you? If you have a genuine interest in writing gripping, awesome, catchy and better blog titles for your already great content, you have visited the right place. Remember that writing great content is one thing, but getting your content read and ranked is another. This is where nailing the title is so crucial.
To be honest, titles sell your content. Titles represent your content in email, search engines and on social media. An eye-catching and entertaining blog title can go a long way in assisting a blog post get thousands, or even millions, of social shares, a boost in Google rankings and hundreds of comments. Without a compelling title, even a great blog post may go unnoticed, leaving you dazed and confused.
Qualities of Effective Blog Post Titles
Before we start doling out tips on writing catchy blog titles, we need to answer a fundamental question: What makes a blog post title effective? So, let us start here. An effective blog post title has the following 4 characteristics or qualities:
- It must be eye-catching. This is the first thing a blog post title has to establish, whether it is in a Tweet, email or Facebook feed. Believe me cutting through all that noise is difficult.
- It should secure a click. This is the next important thing, getting people to click through to read it. And it is more difficult than it sounds, you will be astonished to know that some formats have click through rates which are as low as 0.5%. Reality check!
- It should trigger an action or engagement on the part of the reader. People tend to like or share articles simply because their friends or peers like the article’s title. Ideally, the title of your blog post should persuade your audience to go through your content and take the action you desire. Getting people to take action is a completely different ballgame and requires persuasion and convincing.
- Finally, it should improve your long-term Google rankings.
Writing Effective Blog Post Titles
Let us start by admitting that writing a good blog post title is no easy task. Most of you probably know that already. It needs tons of practice with plenty of testing to figure out exactly what works and what kind of tiny variations and changes are needed to elicit a huge change in performance. However, do not fret as there are a bunch of things you can try every time. They work like a routine, to improve your chances of success.
Our suggestions are not a mathematical formula that will work in every situation. Rather they are guiding principles that can steer you in the right direction if you follow them closely. Hopefully, you will find them valuable and useful. So, let us delve deep in the world of writing effective blog post titles.
Always Keep Your Target Audience in Mind
This should be your preliminary concern. Before penning a title for your blog post, think carefully about your target audience. There are several questions to consider about your audience, like the following:
- Who are they?
- How old are they?
- What do they do?
- What is their lifestyle?
- What are their preferences and interests?
These crucial questions can shape the title of your blog post and have a major impact on its form. And, do not worry, we have not overlooked the most important question: what problems do they have? If the title of your blog post manages to tap into that anxiety or dilemma, or perhaps solve it, your engagement rate will soar through the roof.
Always keep in mind who you are writing for and what specific problems and issues these people are facing. Successful websites that are geared towards professional or corporate people feel different to movie or music websites for teenagers. Remember its importance.
Begin With a Working Title
Before you plunge into the micro details of coming up with a perfect title, commence with a working title for your rough draft. Many people have the tendency of confusing and conflating working titles with topics. Let us clear that up right off the bat.
Topics are general and common and can yield numerous disparate blog posts. Good examples of this are kitchen storage and raising healthy children. A writer can look at both these topics and may choose to steer them in different directions. On the other hand, a working title is specific and precise and tends to guide the development of a single blog post. If you consider the topic raising healthy children, you will end up deriving or generating many working titles like the following:
- How Good Nutrition Can Strengthen Your Children’s Bones
- A Parental Guide to Improving Your Child’s Emotional, Social and Behavioral Well-Being
- Healthy and Quick Recipes for Lunch Your Children Will Gobble Up
Notice how precise, specific and different each of those is? This is the difference between a working title and an overarching topic. It is also worth mentioning that none of the above titles are perfect, all they have to be is precise enough to guide your blog post. First come up with a working title, and then worry about making it search-friendly and clickable.
Accuracy is crucial when attempting to refine a blog post title as it helps in setting clear and realistic expectations for your blog readers. While there is no denying that plenty of people would be to tempted to click on a blog post with a title 5 B2C Corporate Organizations Killing Facebook so Hard They Don’t Require Other Marketing Avenues…. sounds a little long-winded and bombastic, don’t you think so?
Unless, you actually found 5 B2C corporate organizations rocking Facebook that hard, and more importantly you genuinely confirmed that all 5 of them had given up other marketing channels, the title comes off as pompous. Your title has to accurately portray the content that follows. The most important lesson we want to impart here is that the title of your blog post has to respect the reader experience. By setting high and unrealistic expectations in your title that are difficult to fulfill in your blog content, you are setting yourself up for a fiasco where your reader’s expectation will come crashing down and you will lose their trust for good.
Accuracy encompasses and demands much more than just hyperbole. In our example you need to ensure the 5 entities are actually corporate organizations, they follow a B2C model and rely exclusively on Facebook for their marketing initiatives. Get your information from reliable and credible sources and cross check it to ensure accuracy, don’t just spew out lines that sound fancy or attractive.
Make it Appealing
Being accurate does not necessarily mean that you cannot come up with ways to make your blog title pop. There are numerous ways of making your title more appealing and sexier. It may sound a little obvious, but this hinges on how well you understand your core buyer persona. You have to use language that resonates with them and have to be fully aware of what they find valuable.
When you are equipped with pertinent information about your buyers’ persona, test a few of these tips to make your titles more appealing:
- Try having some fun with alliterations. For example, the use of a phrase like Foolproof Formula in a title can make it Alliterations can be used as a device for making something a tad lovelier to read, and it can have a strong and subtle impact on your reader.
- Try using strong language in your title. Strong phrases such as Things People Hate or Contrived Cravings pack quite a punch. But use them in moderation as it is often said that “If everything is bold, nothing is bold.”
- Make use of visuals in your title if possible. If you get the opportunity of including visuals within your blog post clarify that in the title. Some studies have repeatedly revealed that titles that feature the word photo(s) tend to perform nearly 40% better compared to titles that don’t use this word.
- When penning titles concentrate on whom instead of why if you are looking to intrigue your audience. Titles that use this word go on to generate about 22 % higher click-through rates.
Let’s drive this point home using a simple example. Suppose you are writing a blog post titled Our 10 Favorite Brands on Snapchat. You can spruce up this accurate-but-boring title by rephrasing it in the following manner:
- 10 Superb Brands Who Are Rocking It on Snapchat
- Snapchat Success Stories: 10 Inspirational Brands Who Nailed it
- 10 Must-Follow Brands That are Witnessing Phenomenal Snapchat Success
Keep it Short
In terms of title length, you won’t find a one-size-fits-all answer; instead it will rely heavily on where your title will appear and precisely what your goals are. Try to keep your title under 70 characters, it will ensure your title does not get chopped off in search engine results. Research indicates that titles between 8–14 words in length are shared most on Twitter on average. On Facebook, titles with 12 to 14 words have the most likes.
Well, the lesson is pretty simple. Running a couple of tests in advance to figure out what works best for your target readers is always a good idea. Suppose I am writing a blog post titled Do You Think Social Media Is Just for Teenagers? Here Are 15 Reasons Guaranteed to Prove You are Mistaken. To make it concise, all I need to do is rephrase it by eliminating extraneous words. My final title could end up looking like: 15 Reasons That Prove Social Media is Not Just for Teenagers.
Notice how I managed to cut it short without compromising the essence of the title. It is just that simple; all it needs is practice and testing. Try to sound out the blog title in your head to ensure it is digestible for your audience.
Try Optimizing the Title for Social and Search
Noticed I said try? It is because, when you devote too much effort and time (trying too hard) on optimizing your title for search and social you will realize that your title will end up sounding strange. Keep in mind that the more important thing is to optimize the title for your readers above all else. However, if you can manage to optimize it for both social and search, you have struck gold.
There is a secret to considering all these 3 aspects at once. This entails focusing on keywords and phrases that you know your potential readers are already searching for and looking into search volume for those phrases and keywords. Once you come up with the most suitable keyword, try placing it as closely as possible to your title’s beginning to capture your reader’s attention.
Another crucial consideration is to make your blog title tweetable. If you are aiming for high click-through rates, remember the sweet spot is 120 to 130 characters. Let’s wrap it up with an example; suppose I am penning a title 5 B2C Companies Using Facebook in Cool Ways. Notice there is enough wiggle room for optimization without sacrificing clarity. If your aim is to rank for the phrase Facebook Marketing, try something on these lines:
New to Facebook Marketing? These Are 5 B2C Companies Doing It Right”
The above, more refined, blog title will work because it is 57 characters long meaning it hits our sweet spot in terms of length. In addition, the keyword is at the beginning and the title has a human touch to it because it presents a problem and a solution all wrapped up in one.
What tools do you use to create your blog titles?