Your website’s traffic can vary by as much as 500% based on the titles you choose for your posts. We all know that blogging and writing helpful articles can be a great thing for your website’s search ranking potential and for connecting with your future customers.
But the title is really a make or break moment you know get it wrong and they won’t even read the thing. Which means you just wasted a lot of time writing it.
So I want to help you do it right with some of my favourite time-tested proven formulas for writing that perfect blog post title.
Having that perfect intriguing title will get your post clicked on. Which is why since the beginning of journalism most article writers would actually spend just as much time on the headline as they spent writing the entire article.
According to moz.com traffic can vary by as much as 500% percent based on your titles and your headlines.
Meaning you could potentially get 5x as much traffic to your site resulting in 5x as many future customers when you master this. So my aim here is to help you do just that.
Before we talk formulas let’s just go over a few basic pro tips that are definitely going to help you get started.
Build Titles Around Keywords
So first off obviously you want to build your titles around your keywords that you’re trying to rank for. Meaning you know if you’re a travel agent and you’re writing a post to rank for things to do in Tulum Mexico. You need to use that exact phrase in your title if you possibly can.
You know if it doesn’t sound like total spam and that’s one of the biggest things. You can do this to help your article rank.
Keep Your Titles Under 70 Characters
Secondly, you want to keep your titles under 70 characters. So the google search results don’t cut it off. Shorter and punchier is pretty much always a good idea anyway with titles.
Use Your Judgement
The third thing is to use your judgment as far as how far you can go with any of these formulas for your specific article. By that I mean some article topics are inherently sexy and fun and some really just aren’t.
So if your article is about helping people choose the best industrial solvent. They probably just want a quick answer and recommendation.
So you could probably safely skip these formulas and just create a title that simply says exactly what’s in the post.
Something like our no. 1 pick for industrial solvent in you know if you were to promise a whole immersive intriguing experience. Most people wouldn’t actually want that.
So just know when to go simple but know this not all supposedly boring topics really are all that boring.
You know most of us would agree that taxes aren’t an exciting topic. But if an article promised to save us money and get us all those deductions come tax time. That’s actually a pretty intriguing topic and could benefit from one of these formulas.
Whenever you use any of the following formulas I’m going to go over here. You want to think about the words you’re including and try to go for the really intriguing ones words like secrets, insider ideas strategies, surprising hacks, and powerful.
There are a ton of these kind of words but those are some of my favourites because they really get people’s curiosity up.
When a headline makes someone curious they will click on it to fill in the gaps in their own head and marketers call this an open loop. You create a question in your reader’s mind that they just have to have answered.
But one quick warning about click baity headlines people really hate them. So make sure that as intriguing as your headline is that you actually deliver on the promise you’re making with it. In other words your article needs to be good too.
With all the basics out of the way let’s look at some of my favourite headline and title formulas that you can start using today on your own blog.
1. Use Lists and Numbers
Right at the top is use lists and numbers headlines with a number of them are clicked on about twice as much as ones without.
There’s lots of ways you could explain that psychologically but mostly it just has to do with people’s love for organizing things in their brains. Numbers are just a really nice neat little shorthand for that.
So most people find these types of titles very satisfying and for some reason, the number seven seems to be the most popular number for clicks and titles.
It also helps to add the word the in front of the number. So rather than seven strategies, it should be the seven strategies. You know this makes it seem like your article is the definitive all-encompassing list rather than just seven up random things that you happen to pick and string together.
2. Promise a Result
Next promise a result you know people are way more interested in achieving something than simply knowing something new right. So rephrase a standard how-to-style title into an action.
So how to paint a fence the right way becomes to get your fence painted in one afternoon with this action plan or unclog your drain without a plumber in three easy steps.
3. Tell Readers What They Want To Know
Next, we’re gonna tap into that distrustful part of our reader’s brain. Tell them what they really need to know with what they aren’t telling you. Slash don’t want you to know headline these titles are really intriguing because they promise that look behind the curtain that they aren’t supposed to get right. Not only that but it also promises a way to basically outsmart someone else to save money, save time or get a shortcut that only people on the inside typically know about.
A good example of this would be something like 5 home Staging Secrets that HGTV isn’t Telling you or 7 Secret Home Office Deductions the IRS doesn’t want you to know about.
I love these because of how much curiosity these types of titles create.
4. Use The Word “Guide”
Next up if you have a really comprehensive article I want you to use the word guide in the title. So guide implies that they’re going to get something really valuable, really juicy and complete.
Something like the Ultimate Guide to Training your Bulldog Puppy would work much better than How to Train your Bulldog Puppy.
5. Use Urgency in Your Post Titles
Next formula is all about ringing that alarm bell and using urgency in your post title specifically using wording.
Like don’t do this before doing that and again this opens up a lot of curiosity.
Because they’re going to be thinking oh man why what’s wrong right.
So an example of this would be Don’t Buy your Next Phone Before Reading this or Don’t make your Next Hire Before You Ask Them This Question.
6. Use “You” in Your Headings
So what’s one of the most powerful words you can use in your writing. I literally just used it twice in that last sentence. It’s YOU I talk about this all the time because most businesses get so caught up in the we and us language. That we forget that your customers or in this case your future customers your readers are the most important part.
Just using the word YOU in your article titles can help a lot because it personalizes the content for them.
So rather than How to Choose the Perfect Paint Colour. Just say How You can Choose your Perfect Paint Colour in Just 5 Minutes.
The next one may sound like a direct contradiction to the last one. But it’s really not it actually goes hand in hand with it and that is:
7. Tell Readers How I Did it & How You Can Do it.
So this one basically does the old how to post one better by not only saying how to do something. But you’re giving them behind the scenes access and a front-row seat to your process.
You’re also letting them know that you’ve gone before them and have gotten a proven result already. You’re promising to share all the details of them so they can get the exact same result.
A good example of this would be something like How I more than Tripled My Email List and How You Can do Even Better. Or How We Sold this Fixer-Upper Over Asking and How You can Repeat Our Results.
So now that you have a good handle on your titles.