Titles are one of the most underestimated pieces of content on your blog or website. Every class that you ever took on writing told you that a great title summarizes the story. On the web, it's not the same deal. I could have written this title as “Writing Post Titles”… no one would have clicked on it.
One thing you'll find in common with professional copywriters on the web is that they use the same formula all the time for attracting traffic. My post title is a bit mocking… but the fact is that these techniques work. Here are ten kinds of post titles that will encourage surfers to click through to your posts.
- How to… More, Better, Faster – utilizing a How to in combination with a great result.
- Top 5, 10, 100 Lists – Not too many… unless you're trying to make a big point. Readers love a list.
- Question? Answer – Ask a question that everyone asks and then hint at the answer.
- Amazing, Essential, Ultimate, Surefire – Utilize words that evoke a strong emotion that it's the best information anyone could get anywhere.
- Free – Yup, people still love a free deal.
- What the Best, Famous, Rich Know – You want to know what they know, don't you?
- Secret Guide, Formula – If it's a secret, our curiosity gets the best of us.
- Quick, Fast, Timely – We don't have a lot of time these days, use words that set expectations that the info can be retained quickly.
- Big Numbers, Big Percentages – Readers are attracted to big numbers.
- Overcome, Conquer, Win – People hate to lose. Show them how to avoid it!
On a search engine results page (SERP), you're met with a title and a description – that's it! Those are the only two components that a reader sees before deciding whether or not to click and visit your site. The title is taken from your page title element. If you're writing a blog post, that typically coincides with your blog post title. Your description can be taken from the page content, but if you have a meta description tag, the search engines will often take that content instead.
Did you click on it? I know you want to!
If you take a look around the web on articles that get the most attention, these compelling titles are always at the top of them. I recently did an analysis for a client on their page titles versus their competitors – and we found that they were actually ranking very well compared to their competitors but their click through rates (CTR) were low.
Effective use of keywords and compelling post titles can have a huge impact on your traffic. Spend as much time writing your post title as the content itself!