Many millions of articles are uploaded to the internet every single day, far more than one person could ever hope to keep track of. But one thing is key for attracting the attention of readers and leading to a well read and widely-shared post: a captivating and engaging title.
Titles sell the content of the post. The title is what shows up in search engines, shares on social media and online posts – they’re the key factor to convincing someone to click on it, rather than carry on scrolling to the next piece of content. As you’d expect, crafting the perfect title for your blog post or article is vital.
How long should it be? What keywords should I use? Should I think about search engines or shares on social?
These are all important questions and worth keeping in mind before putting your latest article out into the world. Here are five suggestions for how to create the title your content deserves.
1) Keep it short
You want your title to grab the attention of the reader in an appealing soundbite so do your best to keep it short to ensure it doesn’t get cut off on social media or search engines. Under 70 characters and around 12 words is best for this – short, snappy and readable at a single glance.
2) Make the title pop
This obviously depends on your own knowledge of what your reader cares about. What issues are relevant to fans of your brand or customers in your industry? If you can offer them valuable information that can enhance their lives, they’re much more likely to click on your post – and leave them with a feeling of goodwill towards your business.
3) Be accurate
It’s important to stay realistic and honest in your titles. If you make wild claims and fall victim to hyperbole, your customers will feel cheated and less likely to trust you overall – something which has become all too common in recent years due to the rise of clickbait. Don’t set high expectations in your title that you can’t fulfil in the content.
4) Stick to one keyword
Overloading your title with keywords can reduce the impact. You want to have a single message to get across to the reader, rather than try to game the search engine algorithm. This will make people much more likely to click through to read the content, which in turn will improve your ranking over time.
5) Brainstorm and learn from others
All too often, a great blog post can be let down by a weak title. This can be because the writer has become too involved with the topic and, like the phrase goes, can’t see the woods for the trees. Always run a potential title by someone else, to see if their interest is piqued – and if not, go away and finetune it until it is. And don’t be afraid to check out blog posts and articles by competitors on similar subjects. You’ll often realise the angles they’ve missed and be able to come up with an improved title that can bring traffic your way.