Written by: Rachel Maleady
Photo Credit: Macaroons
Titles are one of the most important (and also overlooked) aspects of a blog post. A great title can spark curiosity and draw readers in, while a bad title can cause readers to not take a post seriously. As a longtime reader of blogs and a newbie to blogging, I came up with three ways to write an effective blog post title using some SEO techniques, creativity and a little common sense.
1. Keyword research – Keyword research is a great SEO (search engine optimization) tool that allows you to find which terms people enter into search engines most frequently. Knowing which terms have the highest ranking and putting them into your post title allows you to have a better chance of your own post/ page ranking in a search engine as well.
For example, if you’re writing a post about your new favorite floral tops, you will want to search for similar terms and phrases to see which variations are getting the most search traffic. The search term “floral shirts” gets much more search traffic than “floral blouses”, so you might want to use the first term in your post title. Everyone uses different words and phrases, so it’s important to know your audience. Think of what you would be typing in Google if you wanted to land on your particular post and then see if those terms have good rankings or if a better term would fit and edit your post title accordingly.
2. Use numbers– For some reason, people just love lists! Post titles such as “5 Ways to Spice up Your Resume” or “My Top 3 Favorite Bands” seem much more interesting with the numbers included. Just look at the success of the content on Buzzfeed: a good amount of their articles use numbers and lists in their titles and are shared thousands of times on social media sites such as Facebook and Stumbleupon. However, if the number is higher than 10, I’d suggest scrapping the number idea, since we don’t all have the time to sit through and read “100 Reasons Why I Love The Hunger Games”.
3. Don’t go overboard– Two aspects of effective blog titles are the length/number of words and then the words themselves. A title that’s too short, such as “red lipstick” can be too broad of a search term to get any benefits (refer back to # 1 on this list). Adding a little more substance to the title, such as “How to Wear Red Lipstick” or adding the specific shade or brand name would yield more specific search results.
You also want to keep in mind that a title that’s too long will make your permalinks look silly, especially if you have the date or something else before the title. Another thing not to go overboard on is your choice of words. Any word that can’t be pronounced or defined by the average reader is going to turn them away from reading your post. As a blogger, it’s good to be creative, but keep in mind you want people to understand what you are posting about.