When it comes to blogging (and blogging well), knowing how to write great blog titles is half the battle. Many people don’t put much thought into their titles, which is unfortunate, because blog titles are almost as important as the content of the posts themselves. You can spend half the day constructing a brilliant blog post – one with engaging, informative content, perfect grammar, perfect spelling, a blogging masterpiece – but if you don’t give that post an equally brilliant title, then you run the risk of no-one ever reading it.
Your blog titles should simultaneously serve two important functions: one, to attract readers, and two, to attract search engines. In most cases, the title is the first thing a reader is going to see – particularly if they have your blog in an RSS reader – so if it’s not eye-catching, the reader is going to ignore it. The title is also one of the things search engines look at when they spider your blog, which basically turns your title into one big keyword or phrase. In most blog templates, the title will also feed into your title tags, which also helps with search engine rankings.
So you can’t just slap down any old thing and call it a day. To make the most of your blog, you have to put a little finesse into how you title your posts, and what follows are a few tips on how to do just that.
1.) Work a main keyword into your title somehow. This both helps with SEO and clearly states what the reader is about to hear, so they can decide if they want to read it or not.
2.) Get to the point. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is an example of a great film with a great title, but it’s a bit on the long side for a blog post title. Most search engines only display around 64 characters of a title (including spaces), so if yours is extra long, then your readers are going to miss part of the point.
3.) Think about what your readers want. Why would someone want to read this particular post? How will they benefit from it? For example, in the case of this post, we just went with a simple “how to” so everyone interested in how to write better blog titles can find it easily.
4.) Ask a question. Questions make great blog titles, because they draw a reader in. Whether they ultimately agree or disagree with your premise doesn’t really matter, but asking a question will not only cause the reader to immediately try to answer it in their heads, but can also inspire good discussion in your comment section. And that’s an all-around win.
5.) Be timely. See a story on the news you can spin into a topic for a post? Work that into your title. Current events are great title tools, because it’s quite likely a lot of people are already searching for more information on said event. You need to be timely about it to reap the majority of the benefits, though, so don’t wait a month to write the post – by that time, the current event will be current no more.
6.) Be creative, but only if it really works. To borrow an earlier example, Dr. Strangelove certainly has a creative and catchy title, but not every blog post needs a title like that to succeed. Titles that are humorous, odd-on-purpose, or otherwise creative are great for readers, but not always great for SEO, so unless you have a real winner of a creative title, it’s okay to stick with something simple and to the point.
These are just a few tips that should help you craft a better blog title. It takes some time and practice to get the hang of it, but once you do, you should start seeing a difference in your blog stats.
Owner, Stockmann Law
CEO, Pearls Premium
VP Marketing, All Metals Forge Group
Todd M. Grant
Vice President of Marketing, LogicBay