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Did you know one of the most important parts of your blog post is your title, also known as a headline? Without an enticing headline, a reader may never click on your blog post and read all the wonderful things you have to say.
That’s why 58% of bloggers write at least two to three headlines for their blog posts before deciding on one. I used to work for a blog that asked us to brainstorm 15 different headline ideas before choosing one!
That’s how important blog titles are. A strong headline can be the difference between a reader engaging with your content or moving on to someone else’s blog.
Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true techniques you can use to improve your headlines and increase click rates. Plus, there are a variety of headline analyzer tools that can review your headlines and make recommendations for improvement before you hit publish.
Let’s take a closer look at the importance of headlines for blog posts, including tips on how to write a blog title and how to use headline analyzer tools along the way.
Why it’s important to write captivating blog post titles
When readers turn to Google for information, they have lots of different blog articles to choose from. The article with the most enticing headline is often the one that readers click on and read. So if you want to get ahead of your competition, it’s important to craft a compelling blog post title that appeals to your readers.
Here are some of the top reasons why headlines are so important for blog posts:
Headlines are the first thing that readers see
Headlines are usually the first thing that readers see when they come across your blog post, whether on a search engine results page (SERP) or social media. This means the headline is crucial for attracting readers’ attention and getting them to click on your article.
Headlines impact search engine rankings
Google looks at your blog post headline, among other factors, when determining where your article ranks in search results. Writing a headline that’s compelling to your readers and includes your primary keyword can improve your rankings in Google search results.
You don’t always have to include the exact keyword verbatim, but you should have a close version of it. That way, your readers know that your blog post will contain the information they’re looking for. Plus, Google will rank your article higher in search results, and you’ll get more traffic to your blog as a result.
Headlines can make or break social media engagement
Headlines are also the first thing that readers see when your blog post is shared on social media. An enticing headline can increase your shares and clicks and help your blog post reach a wider audience.
You can use a different title on social than you do on Google. Your SEO title should probably contain your primary keyword (or a close version of it), but your social media titles can be more creative.
You can also play around with different social media titles to see which ones get the most engagement.
Headlines can make your blog seem more credible
Have you ever clicked on a promising headline, only to be totally disappointed by the blog article? A misleading headline can damage a blog’s credibility and lose your readers’ trust in an instant.
On the flip side, a well-written, accurate headline can help establish your blog as a reliable and authorative source of information.
Whatever promise your headline makes, your want to make sure your blog post delivers.
9 tips for writing an enticing headline
A great headline for a blog post is one that’s concise, informative, and intriguing. These nine tips can help you craft a blog post title that will attract readers and increase click rates to your blog.
1. Keep it concise
First off, blog post headlines should be concise and to the point. They also shouldn’t exceed 70 characters, since this is the average length that will display in a search engine results page.
If your blog post title is longer, it will get cut off. Readers won’t see your full title, which could decrease click-through rates.
2. Use at least 8 words
While you want to keep your blog post headlines concise, that doesn’t mean they should be too short. Research shows that blog titles with at least eight words have a 21% better click-through rate than shorter titles.
If nothing else, that stat shows just how big a difference a high-quality blog post title can make to your blog traffic.
3. Use a list
When we’re reading online, our eyes tend to jump around to headlines and quick tips. We want digestible information that we can quickly skim to get to the main point.
If your article contains a list, make sure to indicate that in your title. The following words can be intriguing to a reader:
For instance, “7 Secrets to Writing a Compelling Headline” is more engaging than “How to Write a Blog Headline” (though even that is better than something boring like, “Blog Post Headline Explainer”).
Words like “how to,” “top,” and “best” can also encourage readers to click on your list over someone else’s.
4. Include a keyword
If you’re targeting a specific keyword in your article, try to use it in your blog post headline. You don’t necessarily need to use the exact keyword, since Google can understand variations.
But try to use a close version of it. And if possible, place the keyword near the beginning of your headline, rather than at the end.
If your keyword is “best travel backpacks,” for example, place it near the beginning, like “5 Best Travel Backpacks for Your Next Trip to Thailand.” That’s preferable to burying it at the end of your title, e.g. “Traveling to Thailand? Here Are My 5 Recommendations for the Best Travel Backpacks.”
It can help to Google your keyword and see what headlines your competitors chose. Think of ways you can write an even more exciting headline than what’s already out there.
5. Make it informative
While you want to entice your reader, you don’t necessarily want to be mysterious. Give your readers a clear idea of what your article is about with a headline that accurately reflects the content of your blog post.
6. Use an odd number
If you have a numbered list in your article, use that number in your headline. If possible, aim for an odd number, since odd numbers tend to have better click-through rates than even ones.
The number “7” also seems to do well, though there’s no need to change your blog article just to come up with a list of seven tips.
Make sure to use the numeral in your blog post headline, too, rather than writing out the word (i.e., use “7,” not “seven”).
7. Add a hyphen or colon
Research has shown that blog post titles with a hyphen or colon have 9% better click-through rates than ones that don’t. Of course, you don’t have to force a hyphen or colon into your title when it doesn’t make sense. But if it’s a natural fit, feel free to throw one in there.
8. Use second person
Although it doesn’t make sense to use second person in every situation, sometimes it can catch your reader’s eye and make them excited about your blog post. Here are some examples:
- 3 Cookie Recipes You’ll Love This Holiday Season
- 5 Travel Essentials You Should Never Head to the Airport Without
- Think You Know Harry Potter? Take Our Quiz to Find Out
9. Test different headlines
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different headline ideas to see which one works best. You can split test different headlines and compare how they perform. Plugging your headline ideas into headline analyzer tools can also give you insight into which one stands above the rest.
3 mistakes to avoid when writing your next blog post headline
By using these blog post title tips, you can craft a title for your article that will grab your readers’ attention and enocurage them to click on your site. At the same time, make sure to avoid these three common mistakes that could sink your blog post headlines.
1. Being too vague or general
Vague headlines can be confusing and unappealing to readers. Something like, “Travel Backpack Reviews” probably isn’t going to stand up against, “7 Best Travel Backpacks in 2023, Ranked and Reviewed.”
Try to be specific when you write your title, and make it clear what your article is about.
2. Being too long
If your headline is too long, it could get cut off on Google’s search engine results page or your social media platform. On Google, you can have a maximum of 70 visible characters in the SERPs.
3. Using clickbait
While you want to write an exciting headline, you don’t want to trick your readers. Clickbait-y headlines are sure to lose your readers’ trust and damage your credibility.
Avoid writing any titles that are misleading, sensationalized, or overly promotional, as these come across as spammy and inauthentic.
The last thing you don’t want to do is over-promise in your headline and under-deliver with your content. Focus on providing value and being informative, and your readers will follow.
4 best headline analyzer tools to help you craft great headlines
Along with using these tips as you write your headlines, you can also use headline analyzer tools to test your ideas. These tools can help you with headline length, capitalization, and language choice. Here are five free tools to check out:
1. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer analyzes the length, structure, and overall readability of your headline. It provides a score and can suggest improvements to make your blog post title more effective.
2. Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator
HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator can help you generate ideas not just for your headline, but also for your entire blog post. With this tool, you can enter any noun, and the Blog Ideas Generator will come up with a list of potential headlines for you to choose from and base a blog article around.
3. Headline Analyzer by Advanced Marketing Institute
The Headline Analyzer by the Advanced Marketing Institute analyzes the emotional impact of your headline. While some tools provide an SEO score, this tool gives your headline a score based on its ability to appeal to readers’ emotions.
4. Sharethrough Headline Analyzer
Finally, Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer will analyze your headline and provide recommendations for length, context words, alert words, passive language, and other things. It also scores your headline on potential engagement and impressions, as well as stores your search history so you can see how your headline scores have changed.
As with any headline analyzer tool, though, you don’t have to automatically accept the suggestions. These tools can be helpful supplements to your work, but remember to still use your own creativity and writerly instincts.
Your headline can make or break your blog post
After you’ve spent hours drafting your blog post, it’s easy to write up a quick headline without thinking twice about it. However, headlines shouldn’t be rushed.
They’re important for blog articles, because they can determine whether a reader clicks on your article and reads it at all. A good headline can be the difference between a reader engaging with your blog or moving on to something else.
Fortunately, there are numerous studies out there that reveal insight into effective headline-writing tips. Play around with some of the advice above, such as writing a headline that’s 8 words or more (while staying below 70 characters) and features an odd number, hyphen, or colon.
Don’t forget to run your ideas through a headline analyzer tool or two, as well. These tools analyze the words and structure of your headlines and provide feedback, helping you optimize your titles for maximum impact.
In the end, there’s no surefire formula for crafting the perfect headline. But with these tips and tools, you can feel confident that you put together a compelling headline that will appeal to your target readers and get people clicking to your blog.
Blog post titles FAQ
Still have questions about writing great headlines for blog posts? Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on this topic.
Why are titles so important for blog posts?
The importance of blog post titles, or headlines, is not to be overlooked. Blog post titles help grab the attention of readers and encourage them to click on and read your full article. A strong headline can be the difference between a reader viewing your content or moving on to someone else’s blog. Headlines are also an important factor in Google SEO. Plus, they can have a big impact on social media sharing and engagement.
What is a headline analyzer tool and how does it work?
A headline analyzer tool can analyze the words and structure of your headline and provide suggestions for improvement. These tools use algorithms to score your headline based on length, readability, keyword usage, emotional impact, and other factors. They can also help with capitalization. Using a headline analyzer tool can help you evaluate your headline ideas and optimize them for maximum effectiveness.
Are headline analyzer tools accurate?
Some headline analyzer tools may be more accurate than others, so it’s worth testing a few different ones to see which works best for you. At the same time, remember that no headline analyzer tool can completely replace your own instincts and creativity. You know your audience best, so trust your own judgment when making your final decision on a blog post headline.
Are there any downsides to using headline analyzer tools?
There could be downsides to relying too heavily on headline analyzer tools at the cost of your own creativity and judgment. Headline tools rely on specific algorithms, and they may not take into account the tone of your blog or the unique desires of your readers. Headline analyzer tools can be a great guide, but you should still trust your own instincts. Plus, don’t be afraid to split test multiple headline ideas to see which performs best with your readers.