Learn how to write eye-catching blog titles that both search engines and readers will love
Blog headlines are vitally important—maybe even more important than the blog itself. If the headline is stale, no one will bother reading the rest of the article. While as many as 80 percent of people will read a headline, on average, only 20 percent will click through to read the article. Finally, with the importance of blogs to organic search, a blog’s title can even affect whether or not the content is delivered in the search results. This gives headlines the potential to make or break a post’s success. So we asked ourselves, what’s in a powerful headline? Check out the following blog headline tips to help your next title stand out above the noise.
The Anatomy of a Successful Headline
1. Easy to Understand
A great headline is always easy to understand. In about 62 characters, a headline needs to explain what new information the reader will get out of the article—and why reading it is worth their time. Using numbers in the headline helps signal an organized, easy-to-read blog with clear takeaways. Not only does the brain love numbers but using a number also helps define the structure of your post. Data shows that odd numbers perform 20 percent better than even ones because they come off as more trustworthy. Whether you’re giving “5 Content Marketing Trends to Plan Your 2021 Strategy,” or “5 Brand Refreshes We Love,” the reader now knows exactly what they will learn and how they will learn it. Finally, including dashes or colons in a title also increases the click-through rate by making content scannable and digestible.
Make your headlines relevant to your audience and search engines in two easy steps. The first is keyword alignment: Whatever you write about should have a direct correlation to your website or business. Incorporate keywords into your headlines that readers and search engines can easily relate to your products and services.
The second step is to talk directly to your end consumer and target audience. We recommend getting to know your audience by interviewing ideal customers to better understand their wants, needs and values. Throw in the word “you” to speak directly to them. Never feel like you might alienate someone by being too specific—that’s the beauty and value of writing to a target audience.
Use unique and interesting adjectives in your titles. Every internet user has become accustomed to the same old clickbait words that pop up in headlines over and over again. Learn what these words are and dare to be different. Come up with less common adjectives that are compelling to the reader. Before publishing or even settling on a headline, do a quick Google search with double-quotes around your title. Make sure this very headline hasn’t been used before. If so, go ahead and tweak it.
We all grew up with the advice to “never judge a book by its cover.” If every book was only 500 to 1,200 words, it might cross your mind that if the headline doesn’t catch your attention, how will the remaining words? Don’t be afraid to write multiple headlines for a specific piece of content, split test to gauge their effectiveness and optimize headlines for the channels the piece of content will be promoted on. Continually analyze the headlines you’ve had success with in the past and apply what you’ve learned about those successes to future blog post titles.
Effective and compelling titles are the secret sauce to getting readers and customers to engage with your writing. Follow these blog headline tips and don’t let these invaluable blog visitors pass you by. Check out the following blogs if you are interested in learning more tips on writing effective content or more specifically, writing a great blog.
Updated May 2021