With millions of new blog posts hitting the internet every day, it’s tough to stand out from the crowd. If you want to get attention—and more click-throughs to your blog—you must learn how to write irresistible blog titles. Stronger headlines lead to higher click-through rates (CTRs), which means more visitors to your blog. Higher overall traffic also leads to more people sharing your content, which in turn, leads to even more visitors. If you want to make money blogging, you must learn how to write good titles. When you master the seven secrets I’m about to reveal, you’ll start writing good blog titles quickly and easily (and get far better results).
1. Write Blog Titles for Your Audience
How well do you know your audience? How well do you know their wants, needs, and issues? The best blog titles speak directly to their intended audience. Make sure you do sufficient market and audience research before developing post titles. Also, pay close attention to popular headlines on your competitors’ sites. You can use an SEO and keyword research tool like ahrefs to find top-ranked pages on any website.
If you’ve been blogging a while, you’ve undoubtedly already experienced some success with your blog titles. Be sure to review which of your titles are working best; you can see these easily on your Google Analytics dashboard by navigating to the Site Content tab.
Tip: If you need help coming up with great blog content for your audience, read 77 Best Blog Post Ideas that Boost Traffic & Wow Readers
2. The Best Blog Titles Offer Clear Value to Readers
Whether people are searching for content on social channels or a search engine like Google, they are more likely to click on a blog post title if they clearly understand how it will help them. The more value you bring to the table with your titles, the higher the likelihood that people will click on and read your post.
Here’s an example: A person enters the term “Crock-Pot recipes” into the Google search bar because they’re trying to figure out what to cook for dinner and they’re short on time and out of ideas. The search returns several headline options, but the searcher decides to click on the headline “30 Easy Crock-Pot Meals You Can Prep in 20 Minutes or Less.” The value in this title is considerable as readers get 30 ideas—but not just any ideas as these are easy ideas—and each only takes 20 minutes or less to prepare.
Below is another example of a headline that offers high value for someone living on a tight budget. The popular post, which has 12,983 social shares to date, offers the best 31 cheap food options to add to your grocery list when you’re on a tight budget. That’s a specific title that offers tremendous value to the reader; no wonder it’s so successful.
Ways to Project Value in Your Blog Titles
There are several ways to demonstrate value to your reader in your blog post title. The chart below details several value-adding concepts you can include in your title along with some specific word choices that help you convey the benefits of reading your blog post.
Value-Based Concepts, Words & Phrases to Include in Your Blog Titles
Select ideas from each dropdown section
3. Use Keywords in Your Blog Post Titles
One of the best ways to ensure your blog posts have a chance of ranking higher on Google is to include keywords in your titles. There are several excellent keyword research tools available, including ahrefs, Moz, and KWFinder. Each of these works a little differently, but they can all help you assess search volume as well as ranking difficulty for relevant keywords for your blog posts.
Using appropriate keywords in your blog titles helps your readers know what your post is all about. It’s also a good search engine optimization (SEO) tactic for bloggers, as Google considers keyword use in your titles and throughout your blog posts as part of its ranking algorithm.
Tip: Improve your keyword research skills by reading How to Do Keyword Research for Your Blog
4. Use a Proven-Effective Blog Title Formula
The bad news is that there is no one blog title formula that always works. The good news is there are a variety of blog headline strategies that are incredibly effective. When you understand the types of posts and titles that work best, you’ll create more captivating headlines for your blog.
Using Numbered Lists in Titles Improves CTRs
Sometimes referred to as listicles, posts that offer a specific number of items in a list format are extremely popular. People like the predictability and simplicity of knowing what they’re going to read, which list posts provide.
List posts are so popular in fact that they get an average of 218% more social shares than the next most popular blog format, how-to posts. Listicles also tend to have a low bounce rate as once people start looking at a list they tend to keep reading until they’ve looked at all the items on the list.
Examples of successful list blog post titles:
- 10 Best Foods to Add Muscle Mass Fast! (Source: GymRat.com)
- 7 Highly Effective Ways Intelligent People Deal with Disrespect (Source: IHeartIntellgience.com)
- 11 Best Educational Websites for Taking Online Courses (Source: LifezEasy.com)
- 25 Mind-Blowing Optical Illusion Paintings By Rob Gonsalves (Source: SuccessfulFlow.me)
- 101 Virtual Field Trips to Take with Your Kids (Source: SocialFieldTrips.com)
When writing titles for listicles, use a numeral rather than spelling the word out in your blog titles. Odd numbers typically get higher CTRs than even numbers, the main exception being top-10 lists, which work exceptionally well.
Headline Preferences by Percentage
How-to Titles Are Among the Most Popular Headlines
Many people go to Google to search for how to do something. That’s great news for bloggers who are in the business of teaching their audiences how to do a variety of things. Including how-to posts in your overall blog content strategy is always a smart idea.
Examples of successful how-to blog post titles:
- How to Strengthen Your Immune System (Source: VirtalHatch.com)
- How to Stay Positive (Source: Nomadrs.com)
- How to Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain and Back Pain with Just a Tennis Ball (Source: Healthy-Holistic-Living.com)
- How to Make a Family Handprint Keepsake (Source: KidActivitiesBlog.com)
- How to Remain Goal-Focused in a World of Distractions (Source: PositivityOfLife.com)
Each of the above titles had more than 100 thousand total engagements on social media. This undoubtedly led to massive traffic increases for these bloggers.
A how-to post can be simple and straightforward, such as “How to Stay Positive.” You can also incorporate multiple ideas in a how-to title. For example, in the title featured below, the “How to Make Lavender Lemonade”—an instructional concept—is accompanied by the dual benefits, “To Get Rid of Headaches and Anxiety.”
Titles That Illustrate How You Make Your Readers’ Lives Easier
When was the last time you searched for the hard way to do something? I don’t do that, and neither do you; we all want solutions and answers that make our lives easier.
Use your blog title as an opportunity to show how you’ll make your readers’ lives easier. Then, when you deliver on that promise in your blog post, you can win fans for life.
Examples of popular blog posts that incorporate “easy” into the title:
- Easy Cheesy Baked Tortellini (With Meat Sauce) (Source: Instrupix.com)
- One of the Easiest Ways to Remove a Fish Hook (Source: WideOpenSpaces.com)
- Easy Keto Meal Prep Breakfast (Source: Eatwell101.com)
- Two Weeks’ Worth of Fun and Easy Science Experiments (Source: MKEwithKids.com)
- 10 Easy Painting Ideas for Home Decor — Art for Beginners (Source: Afashionstar.com)
According to BuzzSumo, the above blog titles each had more than 150,000 social engagements — more proof that people want to learn the easy way to do things.
By the way, while using “easy” in your title is a suitable strategy for every blogging niche, if you happen to be a food blogger, it’s critical. Search for nearly any type of recipe and you’ll find that word “easy” is the most popular adjective used in recipe blog post titles.
Pose Question in Your Blog Title
Titles that pose a question get 23.3% more social shares than titles that don’t ask a question. This can result in a significant boost to your overall traffic to your blog, so adding some question-style titles to your blogging mix is a strong content strategy.
Here are a few examples of question-focused blog titles:
- What Will Happen to Your Body If You Start Eating Oats Every Day? (Source: Foxeey.com)
- Are You Getting Too Old to Impress People? (Source: FamilyLifeGoals.com)
- Have You Ever Lost All Respect for Someone? (Source: Powerfulmind.com)
- Do You Think You’re Being Manipulated? Here Are Some Tips to Find Out (Source: JoyousCommunity.com)
- Have You Ever Felt That You’re in the Wrong Place in Your Career, in Your Life? (Source: QuietRev.com)
The more compelling the question you pose in your headlines, the more traffic you’ll drive to your blog. One way to develop on-target questions is to survey your existing audience to find out which questions seem to spark the most interest. Then, write blog posts that feature those pressing questions.
More Popular Blog Post Title Formulas
There are so many different types of post titles that can effectively drive the higher CTRs and traffic that you want for your blog. The examples I just shared for listicles and how-to posts as well as “easy” posts and question posts are a great place to start. I’ve also created a “Cheat Sheet” with 21 more blog post title formulas; feel free to download it now.
5. Write “Tight” Blog Titles
Google encourages bloggers to submit titles with no more than 70 characters, as this is the maximum number of characters that are displayed on search results. Google allows you to submit titles with up to 150 characters, though ultralong titles won’t help you in terms of SEO or CTR.
Studies show that headlines between 14 and 17 words work best in terms of higher CTRs and social shares. That being said, short titles can sometimes outproduce longer titles. Word choice, subject matter, and the value of the benefits introduced in the title will all have more influence over how well a headline performs than mere length.
Rather than worrying about whether your title should be short or long, I recommend creating “tight” titles, where every word used adds value to the message. The best way to improve your headline-writing skills and write tighter titles is to use a blog title generator.
6. Brainstorm Ideas & Refine Your Titles Using Title Generators
Why go it alone when there are so many amazing free blog post title generators available today? If you want to improve the quality of your blog titles—and get more traffic and higher CTRs—my advice is to start using a title generator tool. You may want to experiment with several to see which ones you like best.
Here are the best free blog title idea generators and analyzers:
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer: Hands-down my favorite blog title ideation tool, the CoSchedule Analyzer evaluates titles based on word usage, character count, keywords used, and overall sentiment. The higher the score, the stronger the title.
- Fat Joe’s BlogPost Title Headline Generator: Just enter a topic and this generator will produce 100 or more title ideas for you. Now, they won’t all be winners, but many are viable options.
- Tweak Your Biz Title Generator: Just enter your topic and indicate whether it’s a noun or a verb, and this title generator produces dozens of title ideas in list, question, how-to, and several other formats.
- HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator: While this tool was originally developed to help you come up with blog post ideas, it also offers inspiration for blog titles.
- The AMI’s Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Headline Analyzer: This tool measures the emotional impact of your blog titles.
- Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator: This title generator offers dozens of title formulas to choose from, which can inspire ideas if you’re stuck.
7. Test Blog Titles to See Which Work Best
Even expert bloggers with decades of experience can’t always tell which title will work best. That’s why it’s smart to generate multiple titles for your blog posts and then create tests to see which ones actually work the best.
You can easily test different titles via your social media channels. For example, you can introduce several title versions on various social posts and see which headline produces the best results.
You can also add an A/B title-testing plugin to your blog that helps you measure title A against title B. Thrive Headline Optimizer, Simple Page Tester, and Nelio AB Testing are all relatively easy-to-use testing plugins that you can add to your WordPress blog.
Bonus Tips on Writing Exceptional Blog Titles
Writing irresistible blog headlines can be a bit more art than science; there’s no one way to write titles that attract massive traffic. Different types of posts call for different kinds of titles. The most successful blogs use a variety of title formulas to make their sites interesting and fresh for their readers.
Here are a few more things you can do to write captivating blog post titles:
- Make a big promise in your titles and always deliver on that promise within your posts.
- Your first and last three words get the most attention, so structure your titles accordingly.
- Write in active rather than passive voice.
- Add relevant statistics to your titles whenever doing so makes sense.
- Talk directly to readers using “you.”
- Be specific in your headlines; the more specific, the better.
- Show some personality in your titles.
- Leverage your reader’s curiosity by adding teasers to your titles every now and then.
- Use hyphens, brackets, and colons, as these can increase CTRs by up to 9%
- Don’t sacrifice clarity for cleverness; if people don’t understand your title, they won’t click on it.
While your blog’s headline tells potential readers what your post is all about, that’s not its sole purpose. The main goal of a blog title is to attract readers to your website where you have the opportunity to serve them and perhaps even win them over as loyal fans and buyers.
The best way you can increase attention for your blog—and boost your click-through rates and overall blog traffic—is to write blog titles that your ideal audience can’t resist. The most successful bloggers write lots of title options for every post and test their headlines frequently. Blog titles that are optimized for search and incorporate proven-effective headline formulas produce the best results.