Many factors influence the success of your blog posts, including the value of your content, your writing style, and the strength of your call to action. But no matter how great your post is, you won’t get results if nobody even reads it.
Your title, or headline, has a very important role here. Its main purpose is to spell out what people can expect to read about, in a way that gets them to click through.
Brian Clark of Copyblogger estimates that only 20% of the people who read a title will continue reading the rest of the piece. Often your title is all they have to go on, whether they see it in search results, in their Twitter feed, or somewhere else, so it’s super important that it grabs their attention, or all that time you spent writing an awesome post will be wasted.
Here are a few factors to consider when you write your blog post titles.
What makes a good headline
Certain words are more appealing to readers than others. One of the most compelling is the word YOU.
Other than YOU, words that tend to encourage click-throughs and sharing include: new, now, free, secrets, easy, and surprising. There are many others, if you wish to explore this further.
Using sentence case rather than capitalizing every word makes it much easier to read. This is a good thing to keep in mind, especially if your heading is long, or if you’re using an app or plugin to automatically send your post titles and links to social media.
Use of Keywords
Potential readers have to find your post before they click through to read it, so don’t underestimate the value of using the right keywords or key phrases in your post title. Ideally, these terms should appear near the beginning of your title, especially if your title is long. This signals to the search engine robots what your post is about, so when someone searches on that phrase, your post is more likely to come up in the results.
Use of Numbers
People seem to like numbers, especially odd numbers – and especially if they’re written in numeric format rather than spelled out.
It’s a good idea to keep your titles straightforward. A wacky title might be fun, but if someone clicks through and it’s not what they were expecting, they’re probably not going to say, “This isn’t what I came here for, but I might as well stick around.” They’ll probably just leave.
The other side of that is that someone who needs the information in your blog post might not click through, because they had no way of knowing from your title that it was relevant.
It’s also helpful to make your title specific. So instead of something general like How to get better at organizing your day, try The 5-minute guide to organizing your day for more focus and productivity.
On the other hand, don’t supply so much information in your title that they don’t need to click through!
Test your blog titles
When I sat down to write this post, I wanted a title that would attract your attention. Fortunately, there are free tools to help with this process.
Co-Schedule’s Blog Post Headline Analyzer analyzes your title for structure, readability, length, and other factors, and offers actionable tips to help you improve it.
Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer measures how well your headline reaches readers emotionally, on one or more of three levels: Intellectual, Empathetic, or Spiritual.
I tested a straightforward title, How to write blog titles that get results, which scored 75 (out of 100) on Co-Schedule, which isn’t bad, but only 25% EMV on Advanced Marketing Institute. Most professional copywriters will have 30-40% EMV words in their headlines.
When I changed it to How to write blog titles that get the results you need, my score increased to 76 on Co-Schedule and 36.36% EMV, so I decided to run with it.
You can also test different titles on Twitter by entering various phrases as a tweet, along with the link to your post, and seeing which one gets the most click-throughs. You can always go back and revise your title later.
It’s worth taking a bit of time to experiment with variations on your titles! Please note that I’m not always this thorough in testing and tweaking, but for this post, I wanted to demonstrate the process.
Photo © Wavebreakmedia / depositphotos
Want to learn more?
Sign up for my online course, Writing Amazing Blog Posts and access all of the following resources:
- How to Brainstorm Blog Topics that will Wow Your Audience
- Writing Titles that will Attract Readers
- Writing Your Blog Posts
- Reviewing Your Blog Posts
- Using Visual Elements to Enhance Your Blog Posts
- Writing a Powerful Call to Action
- Blog Post Checklist [download]
- Promote your blog post – and encourage your readers to share it too!
- Additional Resources for Writing Amazing Blog Posts
- Membership in Maximize Marketing Club private Facebook group
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