[read time: approx. 9 mins]
Writing great content for your blog is hard not to mention time consuming and extremely disheartening when only a few people actually read it so it’s time to start stacking the deck in your favour.
With over 3 million blog posts published each and every day it’s never been more crucial to write catchy blog titles that will get visitors to click through to your site.
When writing blog posts there are two routes you can take. The first is to write about whatever topic you want and hope that people are interested. The second is to find out what people are searching for and cater to them directly which is what I’ll be teaching in this post.
Catchy blog titles in 3 easy steps
Step 1 – Choose a blog topic
Writing a blog post usually takes a lot of time therefore it’s important that you write about something that you truly enjoy. Make sure that it aligns with the underlying theme of your site and always keep your audience in mind.
At this stage, when choosing a blog topic be as broad as possible.
As an example, for this blog post my topic was “blog titles”.
Step 2 – Research and validate keywords
Keywords or key phrases will become the backbone of your title and will help you attract readers as well as rank in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Go to Google Keyword Planner (this is where the magic happens) and signup for an account if you don’t have one already. This service is 100% free.
Once you’re signed up, click on “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”.
Next enter your topic from step #1 and then click on “Get ideas”.
After that you’ll want to click on “Keyword ideas”.
Now you’ll be presented with all kinds of related keywords that you can choose from. Look for ones that have a decent amount of “Avg. monthly searches” with low “Competition”; ideally they would also be trending upwards.
If your keywords don’t yield good results then you should strongly reconsider your blog topic. This may be discouraging but the sooner you start validating your blog post the better because there’s nothing worse then spending 5, 10, 20 even 30+ hours writing a blog post if no one is gonna read it.
So if you’re in this predicament right now I would suggest taking a small break, clear your head, go back to step #1 and start over.
Once you’ve found a keyword with some traction that you’re happy with, you’ll want to do a Google Search to see who you’re up against. As you probably already know, ranking on the first page is extremely important. Here’s a short extract from a very insightful article from MOZ.
On average, 71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.
If you’re ready to take on those keyword competitors then spend some time reading their articles and start thinking about how you can differentiate your content from what’s currently available.
One way to rank higher, faster especially for new websites is to play the long tail game. Here’s a link to a great beginners guide to long tail keywords from SEO juggernaut Yoast.
So you’ve chosen your main keyword and you’ve validated it via Google Keyword Planner as well as sized up the the competition by doing a search… what’s next… you should validate your main keyword a little more. Here are three more ways to easily see if people are really interested in your topic.
- Go to Quora and test out your keyword in the search. See if there’s a lot of questions associated with your keyword and look at the ones that have a lot of answers. That’s always a good sign that there’s a lot of interest.
- Go to Twitter and do the same thing. Search for your keyword see if it come up a lot and pay attention to how people are using it in their tweets. It could lead you down the right path for your own title.
- And lastly, go to Buffer and add some variations of the Quora and Twitter content that you just found and share it with your followers over the next few days to see if there’s any interest within your existing audience.
Step 3 – Writing the actual title
Writing the title is the most important part of your entire blog post. Why? Because without catchy blog titles people will never bother to read your actual post. If we reverse engineer the whole blog writing / reading process you quickly understand why.
- you spend hours or days researching and writing a great post
- blog post is published on your site
- blog post is emailed out to your newsletter subscribers and lands in their inbox along side dozens of other emails
- blog post is shared on social media with your followers and quickly gets mixed in with the sea of other content
- blog post is eventually indexed by Google and added to the already existing ~ 4.6B web pages
This is the real landscape that you’re faced with. So without catchy blog titles to grab people’s attention then you’re really going to struggle to get people to click on your headline, come to your site and actually read your content. That being said, there are certain approaches that have proven to help click through rates (CTR) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here’s a few worth noting:
- Answer a question or solve a problem using these words: who, what, when why & how.
- Use numbers – use digits (10) instead of words (ten).
- Use extravagant and very descriptive words.
- Adverbs and verbs convert better than nouns and adjectives.
- Put the keyword as close to the front of the title as possible.
- Keep it below Google’s display limit of 70 character.
- Eight is often referred to as the magic number for the ideal amount of words used.
- Historically lists, how-tos, guides and DYIs have always been extremely popular.
- And most importantly, write for the reader first and the search engines second.
Recap – how to write catchy blog titles
- choose topic – make sure it broad and something you’ll enjoying writing about
- research and validate keywords using Google Keyword Planner, Quora, Twitter and Buffer
- write actual title using some proven approaches
Now that you’ve got your topic and title it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and write the post.
As always, if you have any issues with writing your own catchy blog titles just leave a comment and it’ll be my pleasure to help you.