How To Write An SEO Optimized Blog Title? How to Write SEO Friendly Post Title For More Blog Traffic?
Fewer people read your blog posts than you think. More people read your headline than you think, too.
You might not realize it, but your headline could be the reason you’re losing traffic. In fact, on average, only 20% of those who read your headline will click through to read your article. That means good headlines lose 80% of your audience.
Great headlines, though, can make a dramatic impact in the opposite direction. You can increase the traffic to your articles by as much as 500%, based solely on the headline.
Strategic headlines can help media outlets or marketing companies attract readers to their articles or other content.
What makes a great headline?
As a marketing consultant, my job is to help companies grow. The content I help them create must accomplish two things:
- They must appeal to their target personas.
- They must promise to provide value to their target personas.
The process of writing headlines can make your story ideas better.
- Headlines should be specific
When people come across it, they’re going to make a snap decision: Do I care about this? Be specific — include enough detail so they can connect to the story and make a decision. You might think it’s better to be mysterious with details to make people click.
- Headlines should be easy to understand
When someone sees your headline, there’s a pretty good chance they’re looking at it on their mobile device while skimming Facebook. The screen is small and the experience is fast.
- Headlines should lead to a reaction
You’re writing headlines for people. People looking for something interesting to read or watch or listen or share. How will your target audience react when they see your headline? Will they be curious? Surprised? Sad? Angry? Happy? Will they click on it? Will they share it?
- Headlines should capture the spirit of the story
In addition to the four characteristics outlined above, the headline should tap into the spirit of the story.
Try to imagine this scenario. Test it out. Show a friend your headline and ask for a gut-reaction.
Types of Headlines
1. Direct headline
A direct headline clearly states the purpose of an article. It usually involves facts in the article to summarize the overall idea. Readers know exactly what they are going to read or see when you use a direct headline.
Example: “15 Puppy Pictures To Cheer You Up”
2. Indirect headline
An indirect headline takes a subtle approach by hinting at the main point of an article. Since it doesn’t directly state the key idea, it targets a reader’s curiosity to discover what the article is about.
*Example: “Shoe company floats on in 2021″*
3. The ‘Best’ Headlines
These headlines are powerful for SEO. These types of headlines speak right to the common web searches of your customers. Consider this — if you’re searching for ways to save money, wouldn’t you be intrigued by the best way? Or would you be satisfied with any old way?
These headlines are typically exact-match searches; starting off with the words, “the best way to…”
Example: The Best Ways to Do Market Research For Your Business Plan
4. How-to headline
This type of headline teaches readers ways to learn a new skill or solve a problem through an outline of steps. To write a how-to headline, writers start with the phrase “how to,” followed by the action they want their readers to learn. It also helps highlight why that particular article might benefit them.
Example: “How To Drive in a Foreign Country Like a Local”
5. Question headline
A question headline poses a question to readers with the intention of providing the answer within the article. These tend to be topics consumers may be interested in regarding a company’s products or brand.
Example: “Do You Know Which of Our Vegetables Has the Most Vitamins?”
6. Command headline
Command headlines tell readers what to do or what they can learn by reading an article. Companies typically use this type of headline when creating an advertisement. Most command headlines start with a strong action verb.
Example: “Simplify Your Wardrobe With This New Technique”
7. The “reason why” headline
This headline tells an audience why certain situations occur. This type of headline typically results in a list article format, which readers often prefer over other types of articles since it’s easier to skim.
Example: “8 Reasons Why Your Outfit Is Affecting Your Interview”
8. Emotional headline
Emotional headlines typically target either a positive or negative feeling to encourage an audience to read an article. To do this, writers use powerful words such as affordable or stressed.
Example: “Ways You Can Prevent Work Burnout in the New Year”
9. Wordplay headline
A wordplay headline uses a creative formation of words and phrasing, typically in the form of a pun or irony. Companies often use these headlines when trying to make a less important topic amusing.
Example: “Local Auto Race Hits Bump in the Road”
10. Brand name headline
Brand name headlines use recognizable organizations to compare a company’s business or products to its competitors. This can be helpful for new businesses trying to participate in a similar market as a more established company.
Example: “Skeeter Expected to Gain More Popularity Than Peach Scooter”
11. The ‘If I Were You’ Headlines
Most of us share a desire to improve. We want to be more productive and more successful. We all would love to accomplish more in less time. And, we all want to be good at what we do. It’s those desires that make the, “If I were you…” headlines so powerful.
When someone tells us how we should do something, we balk. When someone offers to show us why we should do something, it appeals to us. It speaks to the reasons and motivations we should adopt a new idea, or change our current ones.
Example: Why You Should Forget Facebook
12. Two-part headline
A two-part headline uses a punctuation mark, such as a colon, em dash or parentheses to combine two ideas. Usually, both parts of these headlines can stand alone, but together, they increase the chances of capturing a reader’s attention.
Example: “Why Word-of-Mouth Advertising Can Increase Sales: The Five Key Steps”
13. Relational headlines
Relational headlines connect a reader to the subject of an article by using second-person language. Relating the topic to the reader helps them become interested in reading and discovering how this article can help them.
Example: “Here’s How You Could Make $1,000 From Your Couch”
14. Location-specific headline
Location-specific headlines attract readers by making them feel included in knowledge only a select group of people would know. These headlines focus on something that people in a particular area share in common.
Example: “12 Things Anyone Who Lives in Seattle Knows To Be True”
15. Challenging belief headline
A challenging belief headline convinces individuals to read by using a reverse psychology technique. Usually, these headlines begin with, “You won’t believe…” which often makes viewers want to read an article to see whether it actually surprised them.
Example: “You Won’t Believe How Celebrities Are Losing Belly Fat”
16. Confrontational headline
Confrontational headlines are persuasive, as they attract people who either agree with the headline or have opposing opinions. Posing a controversial stance can entice individuals to read and see whether the article changed or enforced their existing opinions.
Example: “12 Reasons Why Recycling Is Hurting the Planet”
17. Testimonial headline
A testimonial headline begins with a quote from a company’s consumer. This gives viewers an objective, opinionated statement from someone who has used a company’s products.
Example: “This Cooking Plan Helps Me Make Meals for My Picky Children”
18. The “backed by science” headline
This headline supports a statement by confirming its thesis with scientific evidence and proof. Writers use these headlines for articles that include research on a particular idea.
Example: “Scientists Believe Cicadas Are About To Emerge From Underground”
19. Background headline
Background headlines start with contextual information. This is usually a two-part headline, with the first part providing background and the second half explaining the significance or reason for the first statement.
Example: “Millionaire Donates $5 Million To Local Grocery Store; Thanks Cashiers With Bonus”
How To Write An SEO Optimized Blog Title
STEP 1: WRITE THE POST
Don’t get stuck on writing a good headline without even writing the content of your post. First things first – write your blog post.
Once you’ve written your blog post, you know exactly what your blog post is about and this will put you in a better position to write a headline that is descriptive, catchy and attractive to search engines.
STEP 2: PICK STRONG KEYWORDS
What is your blog post about? If you had to pick a few topics or key phrases that would describe your blog post – what would they be?
Let’s use this current post as an example. Some of the key phrases I considered for this post include:
- Blog titles
- Blog headlines
- How to write a headline
- Blog headlines
The keywords you pick must be:
- Relevant to your post
- Phrases your audience is likely to search for
- Short and descriptive
STEP 3: KEYWORD RESEARCH
I wanted to make sure my headline was definitely using keywords that my intended audience would search for. So I decided to do some keyword research.
First things first, I head to Google.com to do my basic research. I simply typed in my various key phrase choices to see if the results were relevant to my post.
This is a sample of the results. As you can see, they were vey relevant so I was happy with my choice of keywords.
Please note: this is not an effective method of carrying out keyword research but in fact, it’s more to just make sure you’re on the right track.
To get an idea of how much volume my selected keywords were getting, I decided to use the Adwords Keyword Planning Tool. This showed me the volume of some of the keywords I had picked:
I decided to go with “blog titles” as my main keyword based on the volume.
STEP 4: WRITE MULTIPLE HEADLINES
Once I’d decided on a keyword, it was time to actually write the headline. I like to write down multiple headlines as a way of brainstorming.
- How To Write SEO Friendly Blog Titles
- Blog Titles: Your Guide To SEO Friendly Blog Headlines
- 5 Steps To Writing An SEO Friendly Blog Title
- SEO Friendly Blog Title Writing Tips
In the end, as you can see, I decided on headline no. 2. This was mainly for 2 reasons:
- The keyword was at the beginning of the headline (blog titles)
- I had also managed to use “blog headlines” in the title (another relevant keyword)
STEP 5: CHANGE YOUR PERMALINK
Like me, most of you are probably using WordPress to manage your blog. WordPress allows you to change your permalink/ slug URL. This is simply the actual URL for your blog post.
The bit you are free to edit is the bit after: www.mywebsite.com/
You will want to edit this permalink (you’ll see it at the top of your post, right underneath your blog title).
Your permalink :
- Should contain your keyword
- Be short (3 to 5 words)
- Be descriptive and relevant to your post
- Can be different to your actual blog title
Click ok to save and you’re ready to hit Publish on your blog post.