If you are willing to post content online, it is important to understand that a good content material is not the only thing to make it popular. Writing is one part and then persuading readers to read and rank is another. This is where the importance of title take over. Titles are an extremely important tool to get your content up there with the very best. They are actually what convince the reader to open your post. Basically, this is the real selling tool for your content online. They are the representation of your blog on social medial, emails and search engines. This is why one of the most frequently asked question these days is how to make a perfect title.
Before we start, there is this amazing post from firstsiteguide called “How to Start a Blog: The Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging” that we would like you to check out. It covers everything from A – Z about blogging and how it impacts your business and personal self.
“How to Start a Blog: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need” by Matt Banner is another great resource that you should give a look before starting a new blog site.
Now let us explore the ways to make perfect headlines and titles for your content.
1. Working Title
One of the common mistakes people make is that they confuse topics with working title. A topic and working titles are two different things. So, what exactly is the difference between a topic and a working title?
A topic is something that is very general and could have many branches. For example, a topic could be something like, “Staying Healthy”; while a working title is a lot more particular. For example, from the topics “Staying Healthy” you can make a working title that your content focuses on more, for example “Staying healthy by Eating Highly Nutritious Foods” or “Staying Healthy with Right Nutrition”
You can see the difference between the two; you can see how working titles are so specific. This is what separates them from topics. Also, they don’t give out the complete information and should provide the readers with enough information about the blog to let them know what it is all about.
2. Accuracy is Important
One of the most important things to consider while making a title is to be true to your readers. Putting a title that does not exactly delivers what it says can be really damaging to your content. It could actually put off your readers, and you might end losing many. For example, “Guaranteed Ways to Get Skinny in 10 days” sounds like a great title doesn’t it? Who would not want to lose fat in 10 days? The title will indeed give you a lot of readers, but we all know it is impossible to get skinny in 10 days, it requires a lot of work and dedication for a longer period of time. When the readers would not get the kind of information they expected to get from the blog, they will actually start doubting in the credibility of your content, which will eventually damage your reputation.
This is why accuracy of the content is important, it is important to understand that you are not supposed to play with the readers expectations. The honesty and accuracy is very important. The title should only state what the content contains, if you really believe that there is a plan that can make a difference in 10 days, instead of using the unrealistic title mentioned above, use something like “Guaranteed Ways to Drop Substantial Amount of Weight in 10 days” this sounds more realistic and can actually avoid a reader from getting disappointed with the information.
It is always the best idea to deliver what you promise when it comes to titles. Therefore, if you are ever confused about making a compelling title or an accurate one, always choose accurate.
Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away. – Ismail Haniyeh
3. Make it Appealing
Follow the S.M.A.R.T rule to make your title appealing.
Yes, there is no doubt about the fact that your title must be accurate in terms of information it contains, but that does not mean that you cannot make it catchy and appealing. You can actually play around with your article by making it more sexy and appealing while providing true information. There are certain ways of doing that.
One of the ways of doing that is by playing around by alliteration; it makes it fun for readers to read and also creates an impact on their mind. Besides that, another way of making your title look appealing is by using strong language. For example, “things employers hate”, “Things You Must Never Do” or “Exquisite”. This is a great way of to make your title catchy and attract readers towards it, however, it is important to keep it down to a moderate level, as too much of anything is bad. The title should have a right balance of strong and subtle language to make it look appealing. It is also important to let the reader know about the format or the contents in the title. You can simply do that by putting a bracket in the end, for example, [EBook], [Photos], [Infographic] etc. This can add a lot of appeal to your title and also let the reader know what to expect.
All of these things come down to the kind of readers you have, you must know the kind of language that gets their attention, some might disagree too, but if that’s what attracts the majority of readers, that is all that matters.
4. Clarity First, SEO Second
The reason why you should only try and not always keep optimization for SEO as your main goal is because a lot of times, trying too much can actually make your title sound a bit odd. If you can easily optimize the title for search, thumbs up, but clarity is a lot more important. In fact, it should always be your initial goal. There is no doubt about the fact that key words make a lot of difference but what is more important is how much the readers respond to the title. If your title has clarity, it will get a lot of clicks and people would share it more often, this will automatically going to give it a good standing at search engines.
So, if you are going to make a title try to aim towards clarity more than flooding it with key words. Or if you can keep the right balance between both, go ahead.
5. Keep Your Title Short and Sweet
If you are thinking that there is a certain length of the title that fits every platform online, you need to change your mind. The length of the title completely depends on the place you want it to appear. For example, if you want this particular post to do well in search, than it is ideal for you not to exceed the 65 character limit, so it appears in the search results and doesn’t cut off. If you want it to shared highly on social media, say, twitter, you must know that you have only 140 characters to work with and when you exclude 22 characters for the URL, you are only left with 117 characters. So, it is best to set a length for headline accordingly.
For example, the title “5 Benefits of Books You are Unaware of” is short enough to be shared on twitter but if it was needed to get shorter, this is how you will rephrase it “5 Perks of Books You’re Unaware of”
See the difference? Although the rephrasing done for this title is very subtle, but it gives you the idea of what needs to be done.
The best idea to create a title in this case is by sounding it in your mind; if it sounds catchy and digestible, share it.
6. Use Numbers
If you notice, listicle articles are hot these days. Even if you look at the magazines, regardless of what it’s about, you will see their headlines with numbers. There is a reason why everyone is using numbers – it really works.
One good thing about putting numbers in your title is that the reader will know exactly the amount of information he is about to receive, which is actually a compelling factor because, it is easier for people to remember information in numbers as opposed to long and boring blogs. It also persuades the reader to read because they get quick information. Even those who are on the move, find it convenient to read content available to them in numbers. So, it is best to use numbers to make an engaging blog title.
7. Make Promises
This is by far one of the best ways to make your blog title engaging. When you make a title, try to tempt your reader, guarantee them that they will learn something new, a new skill or they will learn about something they didn’t know. This really makes the title appealing and it also persuades the reader.
What you need to do is, challenge the reader that you are about to give them something you are sure they do not know. For example make a headline title like, “5 Benefits of Sleep You Didn’t Know”, there are two things to notice about this title:
- It uses the numbers (which we discussed above)
- The “didn’t know” part, where you leave curiosity in the mind of the reader.
Once you have made the title, you have to give them what you have promised.
8. The Use of When, How or Why
One of the great ways of making your blog title engaging is by using words like how, when or why. It works because you are giving the readers the reasons, why a reader should believe in something, straight up, or it enables a reader to learn something new. For example, “How to Make Your Content highly Sharable” or “Why is Social Media Marketing Effective?” etc. These kinds of titles will persuade the reader to go and check out what the blog has to offer.
9. Don’t Use Complicated Words
It is important not to confuse difficult words with strong or impact words. Like mentioned above, in order to make your blog title catchier, you need to use quality adjectives, but at the same time you also have to keep in mind that they should not be difficult. It is important to find a word that is unique, yet simple. Write something that readers can easily understand, for example, “5 Exceptional Online Marketing Tips”. The word “exceptional” is simple, yet it sounds good.
10. Take Inspiration
While you try your best to come up with a perfect title, it is also important to extract ideas from others. If you want to give your blog an engaging title, you need to spend a bit of time researching about different blogs. See what others are using to make their blog titles engaging, visit some of the famous websites to see how they are phrasing their titles. By taking inspiration you get to learn different ideas to make your headline more catchy and appealing.
Once your title has gone through all the filtration mentioned above, it is time to bring the idea out and share it with people before you post it on internet.
One last thing to do before finally deciding the headline for your blog is to discuss it with others, so some brainstorming sessions with the people around you. Pass the idea and let them make alterations or changes. It is good to have more people discuss the title so they can share their own thoughts and ideas and try to make improvements, if there is room for any, in the title.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know all the important factors in making a title engaging, it is important for you to consider all these while making your own. Every factor has its importance and neglecting them can have a negative impact on your blog. The most important thing to extract from this blog is that you have to keep the reader guessing. It is all about keeping their interest alive. If you fail in doing so, no matter how good a blog you are posting, it is not going to do that well. This is why you need to come up with an extremely engaging blog title.