Crafting a killer post title is crucial for any blog post.
Google gives better rankings to results that get more clicks in the search resylts.
Don’t believe me?
What better person to explain this to you, than Brian Dean of backlinko.com
You need to see this video.
So now that you've seen how important your post titles are, you'll need to understand how to optimize them. If you don't, you’re missing out on lots of traffic.
There's several steps to optimizing a blog post title for click-through on Google, and some steps are more important than others.
Before we get into the good stuff, let's quickly take a look at what exactly a title is, and how to change it.
A title is often just called a "title tag", although that's not quite true. A
<title> tag is a fundamental element in the source code of a webpage.
In the raw HTML code of a webpage, it looks like this;
The title tag of a web page is used for various things.
Like the title of the web browser you're using;
Search engines also display your title in the search results;
To change a title of one of your posts in Wordpress, you'll see the option at the top when adding or editing a post.
Simply change it to what you want and save the post/page.
In order to be able to get people to click on the title of your pages in search engines, you need to learn how to optimize the title.
Before I show you some tools that can create blog post titles for you automatically, let's look at the some tips you can apply to craft a winning title.
Tip #1: Use emotional words
One of the most powerful methods of marketing, is to target people's emotions.
Although most of us won't admit it, we are sensitive.
When someone is affected emotionally, they usually feel like they need to react to it.
A reaction is typically negative or positive.
Positive reactions come from a good feeling.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, playing with words related to negative emotions can cause an even bigger reaction.
People feel very defensive when it comes to negative emotions.
Negative emotions usually result in more of a reaction, but naturally, it's a negative one.
Playing against someone's negative emotions can work well, but it all depends on in the context and the content you've produced around it.
It shows that there are 8 basic emotions, but all with varying degrees.
Tip #2: Use Keywords
If you have certain keywords you would like to rank for, you should use them in the title. It’s not essential (or easy), but if you can squeeze some of them in there, do it. It should be natural though. It should not be forced.
A study by ahrefs of 2 million keywords showed that keywords that are in the title are more likely to rank higher.
It can be hard to put the exact keyword that you're trying to rank for in the title.
Include it in a way that looks natural, even if it means breaking up the keyword.
in the same study, it was also proven that putting a keyword at the beginning of a title also improved SEO.
The best thing to do is to not try too hard to squeeze the exact keyword in there. This won't look natural and will most likely upset big G.
Don't over-think it.
Tip #3: Use data
It's been proven by a study done by Conductor, that headlines with numbers are 36% more likely to generate clicks.
Image credit: Backlinko
On top of that, a study of 150,000 headlines shows how odd-numbered headlines have a 20% better click-through rate than headlines with even numbers.
Image credit: Backlinko
This is because most people see odd numbers as less likely to be faked than even numbers.
One place where odd numbers are used in post titles, is list posts.
List posts are the most shared content type on social media, which is no surprise.
It's also not surprising that some numbers work better than others.
Conflicting with what we've just looked at, a study done by Venngage shows that using the number 10 in a title has the highest chance of being shared on social media.
Although the graph shows stats for social media shares, it's most likely to be a similar deal for click-through rate.
As you can see in the image above, titles with the number 2 in the title get the least amount of shares.
Tip #4: Use urgency and scarcity
Former US president, Dwight Eisenhower came up with what is now known as 'The Eisenhower Matrix'.
It's a productivity method that tells you if you should do the task, or delegate it based on it's urgency and importance.
If something is both important and urgent, it usually results in the person acting immediately.
You can use this to improve your titles. Ideally, you should aim to make your title both urgent, and important.
Another way to add urgency is to create scarcity.
e-commerce sites do this well;
Here's another example of scarcity;
The user knows that they have to act quickly in order to get the reward.
Tip #5: Optimize the length
The title of this tip is a bit misleading. The hard truth is, the exact amount of characters that defines an 'optimal length' varies.
Google appears to shorten a title that is over 600 pixels in width.
When this happens, they'll cut the title off at the nearest word to those 600 pixels, shorten the title, and then put an ellipsis (...) on the end.
So how many characters can you squeeze into 600 pixels?
600 pixels roughly translates to somewhere between 55 and 65 characters.
It really all depends on the width of the characters used.
For example; L is wider than l and takes up more pixels in width.
This page about the title tag on Moz shows that your title should be around the 50-55 character limit if you want to be fairly sure that your title won't get cutoff. Anything over 60 characters risks getting cut-off in the search engines.
You can get away with using more than 60 characters but this really depends on what characters you've used in the title.
Just make sure to keep your title length under 60 characters and you should be fine
Using free tools to generate blog post titles
Now that we know how to craft an optimized blog title, let's take a look at some tools that can do some of the grunt work for us.
First, head over to Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator
Put in the general subject of the post you're writing. It should be only a few words.
Then hit the 'Give me blog ideas!' button.
It'll generate a list of blog topic ideas.
In some cases, you'll be able to copy and paste these directly, but in most cases, you'll find that you have to tweak them in order for you to make them work with the content you're writing.
If you see a title you'd like to use and improve upon, you can use Sharethrough's headline analyzer
Put the title in the box and then hit the 'find out' button.
You'll now get a rough estimate of how powerful your title is and it will give it a score.
You can click on the suggestions on the right side and it'll go into more detail on how the title can be improved.
Every post title needs more work than you think.
It should be treated as the most important part of every single one of your posts and shouldn't not be neglected.
Coming up with a good post title is harder than it seems. Within time, it’ll get easier, and you’ll generate better titles.
It’s really simple to find ways to make your post titles better. If you apply these tips, you’ll get better click-through rates from search engines, which (if you’ve been paying attention) will increase your ranking in search engines.
It's important to not try to spend too much time on your title.
Your aim should be to make it as powerful and attractive as possible, but if you try too hard, you'll only end up making the title sound unnatural which won't encourage people to click on it.
Now it’s over to you.
Did I forget to mention something? Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below