Catch the reader’s attention; tell them what the post is about; make it easy to share; and pander to Google. These are the 4 main things that make a great blog title.
The title of a blog post represents that post and it’s the first line of defense...I mean offense. I’m not quite sure. This was a bad choice of metaphor.
What I mean to say is that without considering anything else, the title is your way to capture the reader’s attention while giving them an expectation of what they are about to read.
Most of the time you get a little boost by a social media share or a Google search. If your friend shared a post on Twitter, you would be more likely to read it than if you just came across it randomly. If you search something on Google and a post showed up in the results, you would trust that Google thinks that post is relevant and worth reading.
But without either of those boosts, the title is all the information the reader has to help make their decision: to click or not to click.
To help you create the best possible title, here are 4 things to always keep in mind:
Make it impossible for your readers to scroll past your post by catching their eye. There are many ways to do this. Some are simple, like using fun and unique adjectives or adding numbers (never spelling it out; use 5, not five). Some are a bit more complex.
When searching for information, what do people want to see? That’s actually pretty easy to answer: they want new information, exclusive information, scarce information, valuable information, and they do not want to miss out on anything.
So when creating a blog title, read over your content and think about what you are offering your reader. Is it something new? Is it something they can only get from you? Is it little known? Does it offer them value? Is it something popular that they might be missing out on? Then capitalize on that.
Clicks are important; I won’t deny it. But at the end of the day, the click doesn’t matter if the reader is let down by the content of your post. They will leave and never come back. That kind of click is not valuable.
That’s why it’s so important for the title to be accurate to the content of your post. Don’t trick your readers. They won’t appreciate it and your blog will fizzle before it even gets off the ground. Make the title catchy, but never at the expense of accuracy.
If you want people to share your posts on social media, then you want to be mindful of the length of the title. Twitter only allows 140 characters and after your handle and the link, you’ll only have about 115 characters left.
That might seem like more than enough for a great title, but keep in mind that people are more likely to share your posts if they can add a personal comment as well (this will also lead to more retweets). So makes sure you leave enough room for them to say something too!
Do you want your blog posts to rank on Google and other search engines? While there are many other factors that go into pandering to Google, length and keywords are important when it comes to titles.
Google will cut off any title longer than 60 characters, but it’s also beneficial to give Google as much information as possible in the title. So my advice would be to get as close to 60 characters as possible without going over (like the Price is Right)!
Also think about what keywords you want to rank for. What will people be searching for that leads them to your article? Include those keywords in your title if at all possible.
Some bloggers have tunnel vision and think their blog post titles are the most important thing. I would argue that strong content matters more when it comes to retaining visitors and increasing your social media presence. But titles are not unimportant. They can play a big role in that initial question: should I click?
Do your best to grab the attention of your potential readers while staying true to your content and you can’t go wrong!
Did we miss something? Have more questions? Leave them below in the comments!