How to Create Good Blog Post Titles that Drive Traffic
How to create good blog post titles that will drive traffic and increase customer engagement? There are several ways to achieve such a goal for your blog and blog posts, which this post seeks to cover.
First, your blog titles are crucial components of your site. With these components, you do not only stimulate interest in your readers reading on your blog. With the help of powerful and stimulating blog titles, you can also rank your blog pages high in search results.
With your titles, use power words that pique the interest of your audience, as well as highlight specific benefits in your titles. Keyword inclusion also works great, but should not substitute for creating relevant content that Google will love displaying in front of your target audience.
Having no-nonsense titles that feature your target keywords does not only work great for SEO. Using relevant and easy-to-understand headlines is a sure way to tell your visitors early on what they can get from your blog and help them decide whether to continue or not to continue their engagement with your site.
So, what are the steps in optimizing blog titles for SEO and engagement? Start with these tips.
How to Create Good Blog Post Titles Use Power Words
Use catchy words when writing your titles. Catchy words and phrases grab readers’ attention right away and trigger particular effects in them (sense of urgency, curiosity, a feeling of happiness or anger, etc.).
For instance, the title 5 Simple Ways to Get That Web Traffic Fast (versus Ways to Increase Website Traffic) is powerful in that it can pique the readers’ curiosity or develop in them a sense of urgency.
The words simple and fast are the power words used in this title. Fast is a power word that promises that a solution is quickly obtainable. On the other hand, the word simple delivers the idea that obtaining a solution is not difficult at all.
Here is another example illustrated by Ellen Langer, an expert in social psychology. She used three sentences in a situation where she asked to queue jump at a copy machine shop.
60% said OK when she used the expression: Excuse me. I have these five pages to copy. May I ask to use the copy machine?
94% said OK when she used the verbiage but adding the reason that she is in a hurry.
93% said OK for the same verbiage plus the reason that she needs to make copies.
This study shows how a single word (i.e., because) can impact results.
Bank on Something Readers May Not Know About
Evoke curiosity in your audience, and one of the ways to do that is to use “no one will tell you” titles.
Such titles work because they signal a promise to the readers. It promises that, once they click through, they will discover something that they did not know before. Also, by knowing what they still do not know, they will no longer be “out of the loop.”
Below are examples:
X Things No One Has Told You Before
X Secrets No One Has Told You About
The Advice No One Has Given You
So, tell people something that they do not know yet and create in them FOMO (fear of missing out) from the start, and that is through your title.
Build Titles for SEO Purposes
Include your keywords or relevant keywords in your titles. Experts found that 53% of the search results contain keywords in the title of posts or web pages. That is a 50/50 chance of getting your posts in top of search rankings if you include keywords in your titles.
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However, make sure that you are not keyword stuffing in your content and also your headers. Use relevant keywords as well to provide variation. That is because your pages can get penalized by Google if your keyword appears too much and makes your pages look spammy.
Keep in mind not to be overly obsessed with keywords and how they can help with SEO. Because of the latest tweaks in the Google algorithm, there is now a lesser focus on keywords.
Recently, Google has shifted its focus on content, which means, for now, content is primary and keywords secondary in terms of importance. So, work with keywords sparingly and give more focus on providing helpful and relevant content.
Use keywords and relevant keywords in the meta-description, title, and URL. That is enough for your web pages to be considered by Google for particular search terms.
In summary, use keywords in your blog titles, but do not overpopulate them with keywords. Try to include only one keyword or relevant keyword every time.
Make Your Titles Representative of the Content
Once your keyword appears on the title and your content covers things about your keywords, it is time to give your title one more look.
Now ask yourself: Is the title off-topic? If Google becomes confused because the title seems not to represent the ideas presented in the blog, it will ignore your page and never come back again. So, keep it relevant.
The requirement about relevance does not only apply to titles and blogs. It also applies to every element you have there on that particular page.
Your subtopics must follow and discuss the main target keyword. Along with that, make sure that images, tables, and descriptions do not confuse Google about your overall content.
Keyword variation also works. So with some of your titles, use keyword variations as long as it sounds natural and relevant. If possible, use different target keywords from time to time so long as they are relevant to the main keyword.
In terms of relevance, here is a good example:
In one recent article that we have read, the title was: 8 More Ways to Monetize YouTube Videos in 2020. The title targets:
Audience who are looking for ways to monetize their videos, and Audience who are looking for relevant tips for 2020, not 2004 or 2005.
The author then proceeded to present the article reflecting those types of search terms. The result was a #1 ranking in Google for the blog post and the webpage.
However, SEO is not a forever thing cut in stone. You may see your article at the top of the first results page today, but in time, you will also see your rankings drop in favor of newer articles. That is the way it goes with SEO, and that is why you need to keep on writing.
Be Brief but Concise with Your Titles
If you go by the strict guidelines set by SEO experts, the limit of characters for titles is 60. The reason for that is that only the first 60 characters are shown on search engine results pages.
Now, what is the optimum length to use as your standard? The standard is this. As long as the intent has been conveyed through the title, then that particular title has achieved its optimal length.
You can be brief or a bit lengthy, but remember that the first few words are the most important. If you can convey your message in the title in 5 – 6 words, then maybe the length is already enough.
The search engines can only show a particular number of characters at the most, but that should not limit you in stating your objective. As long as the title represents your content, you are fine. So, do not be concerned about being penalized by Google regarding this.
If you need ten words to express your objective and your title is relevant, you have no problem at all. Keep in mind, though, that keyword stuffing is a sore in the eye of Google. Besides that, there should not be too much concern as to the length of your titles.
Use Varying Approaches to Creating Titles
Using various approaches to creating titles, creating fresh content regularly, and using different styles can keep your bounce rate low. The goal is to make your site’s visitors stay longer, browse longer, and read longer.
The longer your visitors stay on your site, the higher is your site’s ranking with Google. That plays a crucial role in SEO as well.
Concerning this, it is important to use variations in creating your titles. If your readers see the same style all over, they might feel bored and bounce away from your site rather than stay for longer.
Think about various subtopics within your niche and devise different ways of creating titles for your posts, including:
“How-To” titles – “How-To” titles send the impression that they can learn new skills from your post.
Listicle titles – Listicle titles are catchy, and they send the impression to readers of organized information. Readers are informed upfront how long the post will be and how many things they can learn by reading.
Question titles – ‘Where, What, and Why” articles give the impression of sharing information, advice, and solutions to readers about their problems. Learn more about blog post types to engage you readers
Some more variations include:
“Here’s Why” titles
“All You Need to Know About” titles
“Tips and Tricks To” titles
However, with all the variations for making titles available, you may run out of ideas on writing content. If you do run out of ideas for content, there are several channels you can tap.
Your favorite blogs – To stay on top of content published, compile the latest post from your favorite blogs. Scanning the titles of fresh content in your niche can inspire you to create evergreen blog post ideas.
Q&A Forums – Know where your audience hangs out and meet them there. Two popular forum sites are Reddit and Quora, where small and big business owners hang out and get ideas to improve their marketing strategy.
With keyword research, you can also find the most relevant keywords in your industry that you can work around to build fresh content. Just make sure that, with your content, you always use titles that inspire your audience to engage.
Modify As You Go Through Your Content
Sometimes, the title comes first; other times, it is written after creating the content. While it depends on the preference and creative nature of the blog writer, there is no clear-cut rule as to when a title should be written.
For most people, however, the title comes first. As writing progresses, the writer revisits the title time and again to check for relevance and emphasis. The writer may even make more changes as he wraps up his post.
Whatever your style is, make sure that you do not mistakenly use a title foreign to the content of your post. There is something awry with a title that sounds like “The Ultimate Guide for…” when, in the content, the author shares only two or three tips or items in the list.
Make sure that you deliver the promise explicitly or implicitly expressed in the title with your content. So make sure that your headlines run in congruence with your content.
Also, use power words that pique the interest of your audience, as well as highlight specific benefits in your titles. Keyword inclusion also works great but should not substitute for creating relevant content that Google will love displaying in front of your target audience.
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