25 Steps to Crafting a Catchy Blog Title (Proven).

If you want to increase the traffic to your blog, you must give it a great title. We will discuss what makes up a compelling blog post title and provide examples of some good ones from popular blogs.

Copyblogger says that only eight out of ten visitors will read your headline, but only two will read your blog.

Furthermore, the average blog takes 3 hours and 55 minutes to write, and 20% of bloggers spent 6-hours on a blog in 2020. (Orbitmedia).

It’s a competitive space, and a blogger must be willing to spend more time creating quality content and compelling headlines.

The title is one of many factors that lead to success. While it won’t be the “be all to end all,” it can increase your clicks, which generates traffic, hopefully leading to conversions.

Many factors go into crafting a blog post title, but there are 25 tips in this article on how to create the perfect one.

#1 start with Keyword Research

If you have SEO in mind for ranking on the search engines, you’ll want to start your blog by performing keyword research.

While Google is smart enough to know what your blog post is about, it’s a best practice to include them in your blog post without adding keywords.

New bloggers generally start with low competition keywords and work their way up to more competitive keywords as their domain authority increases.

Once you have chosen your focus keyword, you can add it to key places throughout the blog for on-page SEO.

And that’s a perfect segway to tip number 2.

#2 Front-load your Title with your Keyword

SEO bloggers will often agree that keyword positioning in your headline can make a difference in ranking.

Ensure that your blog title includes the keyword toward the front of the headline. The title should still be readable and not too long.

You’ll learn more about word count in the title later in this article.

For example:

  • Best Meal Ideas for Busy Dads
  • How To Draw A Turtle With Simple Step By Step Instructions.

While this is only one small part of the on-page SEO process, following best practices can help.

A few other critical placements for your keyword are in the first paragraph, in your paragraph headings, your meta description, your image titles, image alt tags, and the URL.

#3 Add a Number to the Front of the Title

This one strategy can make all of the difference in your click-through rates. Numbers attract attention.

Example:

Google Search: “Best Microwaves For The Money”

  • 7 Best Countertop Microwaves for 2021
  • The 9 Best Microwaves in 2021 — The Spruce Eats
  • Best Countertop Microwaves | 6 Best Microwaves 2021

It’s worth noting that all of the results in this search also end with the year modifier, which we will get to in a bit. Also, they have word counts of 7 to 9, which is another suggested strategy in this guide to creating the best blog headlines.

Adding a number to the front of your title will grab attention and increase the chances people will click on your blog post.

This tactic also works well for list posts, like “100 Best Places to Work.”

The numbers act as a guidepost that readers can use while scanning through content lists.

Another example of where we see this working is with the Google search phrase “what is the best way to lose belly fat”.

The #1, #2, #4, and #5 results all start with a number.

  • 20 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science)
  • 20 Tips and Tricks to Get Rid of Belly Fat Quickly — Byrdie
  • 15 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat — How to Burn Belly Fat Fast

What’s more is that the featured snippet (the 0 position, we call that) also starts with a number, and part of the list is appearing: 20 Effective Tips to Lose Belly Fat (Backed by Science).

Observation: Normally, when a page earns a featured snippet, they don’t also rank on page one of google in a natural position.

In this case, Healthline earned the featured snippet for their blog offering 20 effective tips to lose belly fat, and then made the #1 organic ranking position for 6 simple ways to lose belly fat, both with the ending “backed by science”.

Kudos to Healthline on that one!

The easiest way to determine if your blog post should be a listicle, or start with a number, is to perform a search (query) on Google for your target phrase.

If most of the pages start with numbers, you probably want to do the same.

#4 Use Six to Thirteen Words in your title.

Titles with 6–13 words attract the highest and most steady traffic volume. (Optinmonster)

CMI reports that their studies show 8 words get a 21% click-through rate improvement.

Hubspot reported that blog titles with at least 8 words and no more than 12 words got the most Twitter Shares in their analysis.

Facebook winners had between 12 and 14 words per headline.

Therefore, 8 words in a blog headline is the sweet spot.

On my computer, I searched Google for the phrase “Best Dog Food”. I then counted the words in the headline (before the domain name), and this is what I found.

  • Best Dog Foods 2021 | The Dog Food Advisor (8 Words)
  • The best dog food, according to experts and veterinarians (9 words)
  • 10 Best Vet Recommended Dog Food Brands — 2021 (8 Words)

Notice also that 2 out of those 3 included the year modifier — more on that in a bit.

#5 Use How-To Headlines

Optinmonster reports that The “how-to” headline, similar to a listicle style blog post, is the 3rd most popular title preference at around 17%. Choosing the proper blog framework before you begin, will help decide your post type and title format.

Anytime you create a tutorial or instructional style post, you’ll want to include ‘How To’ in the headline.

Take a look at the keyword phrase: “How to Invest in Stocks”. You’ll notice that the ranking pages start with “How To” and then add a colon with a 2nd part to the title. It’s similar to book titles these days.

  • How to Invest in Stocks: Quick-Start Guide for Beginners …
  • How to Invest in Stocks: Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide
  • How to Invest in Stocks: A 10-Step Guide to Master the Market

The how-to headline is a great way to get people interested in the post because they are looking for information on doing something.

Including this in the title gives the user exactly what they want.

Essentially, any blog with steps can be a How-To headline. Examples include recipes, DIY, craft making, a process (like buying a house), an exercise or diet, and so forth.

#6 Add a date modifier to the title.

When researching information, most people want to find current information. Having a date in your title can increase your chances of getting clicks.

However, having an old date in your title can lead to drops in rankings because of the low click-through rate.

You’ll want to identify the blog titles that you use dates in and update them annually. You can do this by sorting your blogs in your content management system, like WordPress, or list them on a simple spreadsheet.

If you are using YOAST or another SEO plugin like All in One SEO, you can set a date that will update annually.

This strategy is applied n the search appearance tab, and you’ll use the %%currentyear%% variable.

The best way to determine if you need to use a date modifier is to search on Google for your target keyword.

If the top results include a year modifier, you’ll want to do the same.

For example, when we search Google for “The Best Running Shoes for Women”, she returns the following pages:

  • Best Women’s Running Shoes 2021| Fleet Feet
  • 16 Best Running Shoes for Women in 2021: Comfortable.
  • 11 best running shoes for women in 2021, according to a runner

The takeaways from these top rankings are:

  • Use a number towards the front of the title
  • Use the keyword “running shoes for women”
  • Include the year modifier

#7 Use a colon or hyphen

Blog titles with hyphens or colons generate 9% more clicks. [Outbrain]

Let’s use the phrase “how to do SEO” for our example on this one. In the number one position is Moz with the headline:

Beginner’s Guide to SEO [Search Engine Optimization] — Moz

While they didn’t use a colon, they used brackets, which I’ll cover in a bit.

Their title is also eight words long, proving the theory mentioned earlier that eight words in a headline are the sweet spot.

The number 2 position is currently held by AHREF’s with the headline:

SEO Basics: Beginner’s Guide to SEO Success — Ahrefs.

They include the colon and also have eight words. They include a value proposition as well, mentioning “The Beginner’s Guide”. More on that later.

Using a colon in a headline is an easy way to help people know what they’re about to read. You can front-load your keyword and then include the description after the colon.

#8 Write 7 Draft Headlines

Orbit Media reports that only 1 in 10 bloggers writes 7+ Draft Headlines. This part of the study focuses on the 1 in 10 bloggers that are successful and making money with their blog.

When it comes to blogging, you want to be the 1 in 10 doing things differently to increase your chances of ranking on Google and generating a following on social media channels and Youtube.

I use Conversion.ai to create multiple draft titles.

I enter the first paragraph into the headline generator and then allow the AI writing assistant (Jarvis) to create drafts. If I don’t like them, I can request more.

Thrive Themes also has a headline generator, as does CoSchedule.

I always do a google search to see what the page 1 rankings have in common. If they start with numbers, I’ll add numbers. If they use a year modifier, I’ll add the year, etc.

Here’s an example of drafts for this blog post.

  1. How to craft a blog post title that converts
  2. 25 Tips for writing the perfect blog post title
  3. A guide to crafting the perfect blog post title
  4. Writing a compelling headline for your blogs
  5. How To Write The Perfect Blog Post Title
  6. 25 Tips to Create the Best Blog Post Titles for Your Blog
  7. How to Get More Traffic From Your Blog Posts

And there are many more variations. It’s worth noting that in this study, using a variety of keyword phrases related to blog headlines and blog titles, the year modifier was rarely found at the top of page one, even when it was added.

Most, however, include the phrase “How-To”, are Listicles, and include a number towards the front of the title.

#9 Add Brackets

Another excellent strategy that I have tested myself over the years is to add brackets containing a value proposition, year, or emphasis.

In the example we used previously: “How to do SEO”, we see this title in position #1:

Beginner’s Guide to SEO [Search Engine Optimization] — Moz.

In this case, the target keyword phrase is in brackets. This title includes two target keyword phrases, as I’m sure they were aiming to rank for “Beginners Guide to SEO”.

I verified this by performing a search on Google for that phrase. Indeed, the same page ranked in the #1 position on Google.

In addition, this title has an 8-word sweet spot.

#10 Use Action Words

ResumeGenius.com published an extensive list of action words to use in your resume. This list lends nicely to blog content and headlines as well.

Examples are:

  • Maximize
  • Expand
  • Generate
  • Outpace
  • Boost

Using action words in a blog post title can give your blog content a sense of urgency and an appeal to action.

I did a quick search for the phrase “how to get ads on your blog”, and was surprised to see that 4 out of the ten results have the action verb phrase: “Make Money”.

The #1 headline: ‘4 Easy Ways to Get Advertisers on Your Site — Entrepreneur’ includes the verb “Get”.

It’s also worth mentioning that it starts with a number and is ten words long (8 in the main title before the website is added).

The #2 ranking page has the headline: ‘You Don’t Need Ads on Your Site to Monetize Your Blog …’ which has the action word “Monetize”.

This title has a total of 10 words.

It’s also interesting that when I search Google using the phrase: “Where is ads manager on Facebook”, that the number one organic position ranking isn’t Facebook.

The winner is Buffer with the title: ‘How to Use the Facebook Ads Manager.’

In their guide, they offer a step-by-step process. The title includes the suggested “How-To” and the verb USE.

#11 Use Trigger Words

Neil Patel published an article about trigger words, claiming that the following words generate more conversions:

  • Free
  • If
  • Convert
  • Proven
  • Imagine
  • More
  • Secret
  • The
  • Easy
  • Never
  • New
  • Yes
  • Instant

Using trigger words in a blog headline will increase the odds of people clicking on your blog and reading more.

You’ll find the trigger word ‘EASY’ often appears in recipes.

When I search: “How to make asparagus in the air fryer”, for example, half of the organic ranking positions (organic meaning not paid ads, but instead earned in rankings) have the word ‘easy’.

Example:

  • Quick and Easy Air Fryer Roasted Asparagus + {VIDEO}
  • Easy Air Fryer Asparagus Recipe | MyRecipes
  • Air Fryer Asparagus {Quick & Easy} — Spend With Pennies
  • Air Fryer Asparagus (So Easy) — Momsdish

It’s also worth noting that three of the ranking pages included brackets or parentheses, which we suggest using in great blog titles.

#12 Use Adjectives

Econsultancy shared their favorite adjectives to use in a blog headline to invoke emotion.

Here are some to consider:

Amazing, Bizarre, Incredible, Challenging, Dangerous, and Fascinating.

Using adjectives in a headline can help your blog rank better on search engine results pages (SEO).

If more people click on your blog title over other headlines, it can signal to Google that your blog is more valuable in response to the searcher’s intent.

Adjectives can also make a headline much easier for readers to identify with as well.

For example, when I searched “Do Aliens Exist” on Google, one of the ranking positions has the title:

Extraterrestrial evidence: 10 incredible findings about aliens …

“Incredible” is an adjective.

#13 Use the Word You in the headline

While we have merge fields in emails, the best way we have to address someone in a blog headline is YOU. And it works.

The word “you” or “your” will make the blog post more personal and engaging. Using the word YOU in a headline will make the blog post stand out to a reader.

Here are some examples:

  • How You Can Increase Blog Traffic (with SEO)
  • The Top 13 Ways You Can Use Social Media for Your Business
  • Top 20 Tips To Boost Sales of Your Product with Email Marketing

Notice, these titles also include various numbers and parenthesis, which this guide also suggests.

To further this point, here are some blog posts that use the word YOU in their titles:

  • You Got Your COVID Shot: What to Do With the Vaccine Card
  • Learn what documents you will need to get a Social Security
  • Free File: Do Your Federal Taxes for Free | Internal Revenue
  • Moving To Chicago: The Best Chicago Neighborhoods For You

#14 Use the “W” Words in your title

Who, What, When, and Where are great words to use in your blog headlines.

There are obvious times when you would use W words, such as “When is Superbowl”

#15 Use an Example of Success

You can cite a person, study, topic or brand for use in your success story.

It’s worth noting that these 3 examples include a variety of numbers, action words, and “W” words.

We are in a social media age, and people are always looking for proof or evidence from someone else that bought or tried something.

#16 The Case Study Title

Case study titles include phrases like “We analyzed, I tried, We spent, I went” and often have TIME or MONEY or GOAL parameters.

Examples:

  1. Keto diet before and after: I tried the low-carb diet for 30 days.
  2. We Analyzed 1.3 Million YouTube Videos. Here’s What We Learned
  3. I Tried Noom for 30 Days, and This Happened — — Smiley’s Points

#17 Features and Benefits

Readers want to know what’s in it for them. Depending on the searcher’s intent, features and benefits can be beneficial.

Examples:

  • 54 Ways to Save Money | America Saves
  • Hit Your Goals in 16 Weeks — Foods To Eat To Lose Weight
  • Get More Instagram Followers with These 10 Tips | Sprout Social

#18 Do’s and Dont’s

Include do’s and don’ts that get someone feeling motivated, or create urgency.

Examples:

  • Don’t wait to buy real estate; buy real estate and wait
  • 17 Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts That May Surprise You

#19 Use the 50/50 Rule

Copyblogger says that a blogger should spend 50% of their time writing the blog and 50% writing the headline.

They go on to cite stories of bloggers spending an entire week crafting the perfect headline.

While I’d like more evidence showing that spending 3 hours on a title increases clicks, using the concept of the rule is valuable.

Simply put: Spend a lot more time crafting a catchy headline.

#20 Use SEO Title Tags, and Social Titles differently.

You’ll want to think carefully about your SEO titles vs. Social Titles as they may be very different. Your social titles are less about keywords and more about grabbing attention.

Most SEO Plugins like All in One SEO allow you to set an SEO Title tag and a Social Tag.

You can create one blog for your blog archive pages, search features, SEO, and another for your social media networks.

#20 Be Unique

Earlier, I explained that you want to analyze the page 1 rankings to see what’s working. If all others are using numbers at the front end, so would you.

However, standing out is also essential. The user will skim the titles very quickly and choose one based on the title and description alone. Sometimes, just the title will create the click.

Therefore, see if you can find a way to stand out.

Examples:

  • How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs (No-Fail Stovetop Method)
  • How to Use AirPods (with Pictures) — wikiHow
  • Best Places to Live | Compare the cost of living, crime, cities.

#21 Present a Proposition

Make an offer in your title. You can put it in brackets, or after a colon as a best practice.

  • 10 Best Free Blogging Sites in 2021 (Create a Blog for Free)
  • 7000+ Templates | Free Templates 2021 — Nicepage
  • How To Make Money Online: 73 Ways + Real Examples (2021)
  • Work From Home Guide: A list of legitimate work-at-home jobs

#22 Use the Word Help

Use the word help in your blog headline. The word ‘Help’ is one that people tend to pay attention to. Use it with numbers and in a “case study” style title for even more opportunities to convert your impression to a click!

Examples:

  • 30 Tips To Help You Write Better Content (For Bloggers)
  • 13 Easy Ways To Save Money This Year (Helpful for Anyone!)
  • How I Lost 30 Pounds in One Week: The Diet That Helped Me Lose 60+ lbs!

#23 Use the Greats

Like using a person as a success story in a headline, using the word great or greats can also show proof.

Examples:

  • 12 Simple Steps for Great SEO (The Greatest Guide)
  • 15 Healthy Foods That Will Make You Look and Feel Great!
  • How the Great Bloggers of the 1990s did Keyword Research

#24 Use the Word Trick

Another great word to use in blog headlines is the word trick.

Examples:

  • How to Trick Your Brain Into Eating Healthy (And Loving It!)
  • The Five Tricks I Used to Lose 30 Pounds in One Month!
  • 25 Little-Known Strategies for Getting More Traffic From Google!

Note that 2 out of 3 of those examples use numbers.

#25 Test your Headlines

Google Search Console, also referred to as GSC, will show you your click-through rate. It counts each time your page is displayed on the search engine results page. That’s called an impression.

Your click-through rate is figured by dividing your total clicks by impressions.

You can then work to increase your click-through rate by modifying your title.

I’m a real estate agent in Las Vegas, a Speaker, Trainer, and Blogger. I love inspiring and empowering others. Check out BallenBlogger.com

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