After you start your blog, one of the first things you’ll have to do is come up with your first post titles. There’s a lot riding on these few words, as they’ll influence readers’ impressions of your site as well as how high you can rank in Google.
Fortunately, once you know the do’s and don’t’s of writing blog post titles, you can craft optimal headlines for your content. All it takes is a little careful thought and practice.
This post will offer a short guide to creating titles for your blog posts, including six key tips and tricks. Let’s get started!
Why Your Blog Post Titles Matter
In many cases, your blog posts’ titles are readers’ first impressions of your articles. Whether they stumble across your content on your site, in Google results, or even on social media, your headline will be the first text they see.
A title is an opportunity to catch readers’ eyes. It’s highly important to use this small space wisely, as a generic headline is a missed chance for more blog traffic.
Additionally, title tags factor into how search engines index your content. In some cases, your headline could also influence your actual search engine ranking if:
- You use keywords in your title that indicate relevance to a particular subject.
- Your title is an exact match to searchers’ queries.
While your headline alone won’t necessarily get your posts onto the first page of Google results, you certainly don’t want to overlook it as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) opportunity.
How to Create Blog Post Titles (6 Tips and Tricks)
In order to maximize the appeal of your blog post titles for both readers and search engine bots, there are a few guidelines you should follow. Here are six you can put to good use.
1. Tell Readers What Your Post Is About
The primary job of any title is to give readers an idea of what the piece is about. While it may be tempting to try to create an air of mystery in your headline, it’s usually more productive to make it perfectly clear what to expect.
For instance, a title like “How to Start a Blog” might be more effective than something like “So You Want to Be a Blogger?”. The former lets readers know exactly what they’re in for, while the latter could cover a variety of specific topics such as the pros and cons of blogging, the financial aspects of maintaining a site, creating a posting schedule, and more.
2. Create a Sense of Urgency
Emphasizing the importance of the topic your post covers can help encourage readers to click through for more information. For example, “Serious Mistakes New Bloggers Make (And How to Avoid Them)” taps into readers’ desires to sidestep trouble.
That said, it’s important not to set off false alarms. Clickbait titles that make your subject seem more frightening than it really is can harm your credibility and cause you to lose readers’ trust. Plus, don’t forget lesson Number 1: accurately describing what your post is about.
3. Do Keyword Research
Keywords are an important part of SEO. Ideally you should include yours in your title so that search engine bots recognize your content as relevant to your subject when indexing your post.
Keyword research is the process of looking up the search volume for variations of terms you want to rank for. This can help you find the most popular combinations of words and phrases to include in your titles and signal your article’s relevance.
There are many tools out there for conducting keyword research. Moz’s Keyword Explorer is a popular free solution.
4. Mimic Search Query Language
When people take to Google to search for information, they often type questions into the search bar. Using “query language” in your titles can mimic readers’ exact searches so your post has a better chance of ranking high.
Query language includes words and phrases such as:
- How to…
- Why does…
- What is…
If you write a lot of tutorials and walkthroughs, this type of language can be especially useful for your blog post titles.
5. Incorporate Numbers and Lists
Have you ever noticed how many Buzzfeed headlines lead with a number? There’s a reason for that trend. Lists are a popular structure for blog posts, and telling readers ahead of time how many ideas you plan to cover promises thorough, well-fleshed out advice.
Not every post is well-suited to a list structure. However, when the opportunity presents itself, pounce on it and be sure to include the number of items somewhere in the title (preferably at the beginning).
6. Consider the Length of Your Titles
When you’re trying to fit all of the elements we’ve discussed so far in this post into one title, it can easily start to drag on. However, it’s important to keep them relatively concise.
Google has a limit on the number of pixels it will display for your titles and meta descriptions. If your headline is too long, it will be cut off in search engine results and your optimization efforts may go to waste.
You can use To The Web’s Title and Meta Description Visibility Checker to preview how your titles and meta descriptions will look before you publish your posts.
Writing blog post titles is an important part of the content creation process. They have a huge impact on how readers perceive your site, as well as your SEO.
The next time you start working on a new post, remember these six tips for crafting quality titles:
- Tell readers what your post is about.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Do keyword research.
- Mimic search query language.
- Incorporate numbers an lists.
- Consider the length of your titles.
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