If you want your blogs to perform well, you need great titles and headlines.
Titles and headlines introduce your blog to your audience and lets them know what they can expect to read about. No matter how well your blog is written, you won’t get many people to read it if the headline doesn’t get their attention. Research shows that around 80% of your audience will read your headline, but only 20% will read the content. (CopyBlogger)
So, what makes an effective title and headline? Essentially, it should act as a magnet for a potential reader, compelling them to investigate the content within. In addition, your title should accurately reflect the blog content. Creating a catchy title for link clicks if the content is not relevant can significantly damage your reputation.
The following are some basic rules and guidelines for great title and headline creation.
Learn Popular Title and Headline Formulas
Bloggers and marketers have been experimenting with title and headline formulas for years. Now you can stand on the shoulders of giants by incorporating what they have found into your headline creation.
Blog title and headline examples that frequently perform well are:
- Number headlines (headlines that include numbers and data)
- How-to headlines (for simple, instructional blog posts)
- Scarcity headlines (for underrated or little known tips and tricks)
- Promise headlines (for comprehensive guides with a lot of information)
Keep It Short and Simple
Keep your titles short, simple, and direct and avoid complicated language in your title – keep the technical details for your content. The title should let the reader know what to expect without boring them with unnecessary jargon. HubSpot reports that the most successful blog titles are around sixty characters in length. (HubSpot)
Use Numbers and Data
Research shows that using specific numbers and data in your title can boost engagement by up to 73% (OrbitMedia). List posts are a popular blog type because they let the reader know how much information they can expect. Instead of typing the number as a word, use the number itself. For example, if your blog includes seven ways to improve your search engine optimisation, a good title would be ‘7 Ways To Boost Your SEO.’
Optimise for SEO
Consider the user’s search intent, and write your title accordingly. People tend to search with words such as ‘how?’ and ‘why?’, so include these in your title to match the user’s search terms. Examples of SEO optimised titles include:
- How To Change a Tyre
- Why Is My Phone Screen Black?
Many users will begin their search with ‘how to’—as such, beginning a blog title with ‘how to’ is a great way to appear in their search results and encourage engagement. ‘How To Fix Your iPhone Screen’ is a direct yet straightforward title that lets the reader know exactly what your blog will be about. Phrasing your title to closely mirror how it would be typed into a search bar improves your chances of ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Superlatives are comparative adjectives, such as ‘best’, ‘greatest’, and ‘easiest’. Users often include superlatives in a web search to find the best answers to their questions, so using superlatives in titles and headlines to match users search terms, such as ‘best lasagna recipes’ or ‘easiest way to remove wallpaper’ is another great way to increase the likelihood of engagement.
A/B Split Testing
When it comes to titles and headlines, the best way to find out what works and what doesn’t is to try a few different approaches and see how your audience responds. Audience engagement can vary depending on different types of headlines. To figure out what works best for your target audience, you can use A/B split testing.
One way to do this kind of test is to send one potential blog title to half of your email subscriber list and its contender to the other half, then see which title receives the highest open rate. (CXL)
Ultimately, the effectiveness of your titles and headlines comes down to what your audience most enjoys. If your audience enjoys list posts, then numbers in your headline will work well. If they like instructional posts, such as how to use one of your products, make sure to include ‘how to’ in your title. Regardless of your topic, remember to keep your titles compelling, short and to the point, and make your audience curious.