If you want people to read your content and click on your blog in Google’s search results, learning how to write catchy blog post titles is key.
Fortunately, there are several best practices you can apply to your headline creation process to make the most of your titles. When crafted carefully, your post titles can take your blog to the next level when it comes to attracting readers.
By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of why blog post titles are important. You’ll also learn six tips for improving your headlines. Let’s jump in!
The importance of blog post titles
First impressions are important, and your blog post titles are your readers’ first impression of your blog. You could have valuable long-form content in each and every post you write, but it won’t matter much if no one ever reads them.
Titles are what enable readers to find your posts, and make them want to click through to read more. Creating headlines that catch visitors’ attention and spark their curiosity will encourage them to stick around longer and come back for more.
Plus, titles play an important role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), too. A carefully crafted headline will include elements to help your post rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This could help drive more organic traffic to your site.
How to write better titles for your blog posts (6 tips)
An ideal title includes a blend of concrete information, intriguing hints at what the post contains, and qualities search engine algorithms like. Striving to achieve a balance of these elements will make for clickable, optimized blog post titles.
1. Tell readers what to expect (and deliver it) to prevent confusion
The internet is full of content, which can lead to information overload for readers. When hundreds of results come up for their search terms in Google, they don’t have time to casually peruse every article on the results page.
Readers want to know what they’re getting into before they click on a headline, which is why you want yours to clearly state what your posts are about. Then your content should deliver whatever your blog post titles have promised, so your readers don’t feel they’ve wasted their time.
Take this Buzzfeed article, for example:
Anyone who clicks on the headline can feel confident about what they’re getting into. People who aren’t interested in Big Little Lies know they don’t need to read any further, while those who are get exactly what they’re looking for by clicking through: the trailer, the release date, and a few comments on the upcoming season.
When writing your titles, try to be specific. A vague headline such as “Big Little Lies Season 2” would be less effective than the example above because it doesn’t promise any benefits to the reader. Telling readers to expect the trailer and release date will get them excited.
2. Share a story to make readers want to know more
Everyone loves a good story. If your blog post titles can convey one without giving too much away, they’re sure to catch readers’ eyes. Even if they’re only loosely interested in the subject, a reader may be willing to click on a headline just to learn what happened.
Consider this recent headline:
If the title had been something like “Relics Saved from Notre Dame Fire,” the post likely wouldn’t receive as much attention. For casually interested readers, everything they need to know is in the headline – the relics are safe.
However, in the actual headline, a hero is introduced and details of his heroic acts are promised. Even if readers know the relics are safe, they may be interested to know more about this central character, and the human chain that helped him rescue the artifacts.
Writing these types of headlines requires careful thought. You don’t want to give too much away, but you also want to share enough to draw readers in. Try introducing an important character or object, and sharing a little about why they’re important.
3. Provide useful information that solves a problem
As you may know from personal experience, people often use to search engines to find information on how to do things. People have problems, and the internet has solutions. If your articles include solutions to common problems, you should make sure your blog post titles reflect this.
For example, here are a few headlines from wikiHow:
Note that they all start with “How to.” This isn’t just a stylistic choice on the part of the website. Searchers often use terms such as “how,” “why,” and “what” when looking up information in search engines, which makes these titles ideal for top ten spots on SERPs.
Optimizing your blog post titles for search intent by using these terms is a solid strategy. Showing that you have a solution to a problem makes your blog a valuable resource for readers.
4. Use numbers and statistics to provide clarity
Many online content creators have noted that including numbers or statistics in their headlines brings in more traffic. It’s difficult to pin down why, but it could be the appeal in the clarity numbers provide. If a headline reads “25 cute pictures of kittens,” you know what you’re in for.
Here’s a better example from Buzzfeed:
Numbers are a fast way to give readers an idea of how long a post will be – in this case, at least long enough to list 31 scenes from television shows. They can also spark readers’ curiosity. People may not want to read an article about stressful moments in TV shows, but they might want to know how many of these 31 scenes they’ve watched.
While you certainly don’t want to start stuffing numbers into every one of your blog post titles, using them where they make sense is wise. If you’re going to offer any kind of list within your post, adding a number to the headline is an easy way to increase your chances of getting more clicks.
5. Include your chosen keyword so your title ranks well
Titles are a key factor in your posts’ SEO. For starters, your title and your meta description are all potential readers will see of your posts on SERPs. It’s important that these elements are optimized to get readers to click through to the full article.
However, it’s also important that your title includes the keyword you want your post to rank for. Take this Buzzfeed post:
We can’t be sure exactly what keywords Buzzfeed was targeting here, but we can make a pretty good guess it was something similar to “Beyonce’s Homecoming Documentary.” Sure enough, this article makes it onto the first Google results page for the search term:
According to Moz, titles still play a role in SEO. Including your keywords, especially towards the beginning of your blog post titles, can help your content rank better for related searches. If you’re using an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, you’ll notice this is a common suggestion.
6. Optimize headline length for readability and SEO
Another title-related aspect of SEO is your title’s length. Titles that are too short run the risk of lacking the information necessary to get the attention of both search engines and readers. On the other hand, readers may lose interest in lengthy titles.
Plus, long titles won’t fit within the character limit set for SERPs. If your blog post titles are too wide, readers won’t even be able to see the entire headline when browsing search results.
Here are a few blog post titles from our own site:
While it’s hard to set a defined character limit on headlines, it’s generally best to keep them around 60 characters long. This should give you enough space to provide adequate information to entice readers, but still remain readable (though there are always exceptions).
Start writing better blog post titles today!
Enticing, optimized headlines are a key ingredient for any successful blog. Hobbyists and professionals alike will benefit from writing intriguing blog post titles designed to rank well with search engines.
When you’re working on your next blog post, remember these tips for creating better titles:
- Tell readers what to expect (and deliver it) to prevent confusion.
- Share a story to make readers want to know more.
- Provide useful information that solves a problem.
- Use numbers and statistics to provide clarity.
- Include your chosen keyword so your title ranks well.
- Optimize headline length for readability and SEO.
Do you have any questions about how to write better blog post titles? Let us know in the comments section below!