How to Create Killer Blog Titles Using Your Data, Tools & Popular Formulas

How to Create Killer Blog Titles Using Your Data, Tools & Popular Formulas

As bloggers, we face a common problem: what to title each blog post. In particular, how to pick a title that not only describes the contents of our posts but entices people to read it. Especially if you’re in a competitive niche, the second part can be a bit more difficult than specialized topics. Not only do you want people to read your blog post, but you want it to ensure that people feel their time was well spent by reading the post. In part, this includes the need for blog titles to match the contents well.

Unfortunately, in many cases, this is easier said than done. Most of us can write a title that describes our post, but it might be a bit dry. Or, it might miss the mark for search engines. In this post, I’ll look at ways to write blog titles. In particular, titles that not only describe and entice but also appeal to search engines. Better yet, with the right planning, you can write great blog titles without their being tacky clickbait. Here’s how to do it.

Why are Blog Titles Important?

why are blog titles important?

In short, blog titles are important because they determine if someone will click through on search engine queries. This can be the difference between your posts getting a lot or little search engine traffic. And if you have a goal of becoming very influential in the blogosphere, getting plenty of search engine traffic is very important. Awesome post titles, combined with great blog post SEO techniques, provide a great chance of success.

Blog titles also determine if someone will click through if they see your post on social media or in an email. In this case, people aren’t necessarily looking for content on a particular topic. Either they are interested in your content from a social media or email perspective, or they have another connection with your content. For instance, the target audience might be industry leaders who subscribe to a newsletter or Twitter list.

Here’s the thing with email and social media distribution: In many cases, your potential readers see a lot of blog post titles over the course of a day or week. So, when they see yours it’s important to convince them that your post is worth their valuable time. This isn’t easy because data suggests that 80% of post readers never look past the headline. This means that writing great blog titles should be a priority for every blogger, personal or corporate. 

How to Optimize Your Blog Title for SEO

Of course, one of the most important reasons why blog titles are critical to SEO is that they describe your post. So, search engines are pure gold from an indexing standpoint. Write the wrong title, and there’s a high chance your post won’t get put in the right place, or almost as bad, get buried on page two of Google. As we all know, neither of these outcomes are desirable.

To avoid these problems and maximize your SEO, make sure your target keyword is included in the title. In particular, this signals to search engines that your blog post belongs in the search results for that keyword. Then, as with many other things SEO, the earlier you can include your target keyword in the blog titles the better. That’s because the early placement of a keyword helps to indicate its overall importance to the content. With that said, you don’t want to write awkward blog titles, so plan accordingly.

Further Reading: 10 Top Tips to Increase Your Blog Post SEO

Which Blog Titles are Working Well for You?

As most of us know, the best indicator of future behavior (or performance) is historical data. To that end, one of the best places to find successful blog titles is analytics data. To access this data for Google results, go to your Google Search Console, go to Pages, and then do a reverse search from best to worst for CTR.

This information will give you an idea of the SEO titles that are already working well for you. That’s because titles with a high CTR have already achieved success on the search engines, or they wouldn’t get much traffic. Likewise, traffic information from your CMS or domain host can tell you how often people arrive from social media, email, and other distribution channels.

With that said, don’t expect huge numbers. According to a Databox survey, the average CTR for blog posts hovers around 2%. Of course, if your blog post ranks well in overall search results, that 2% can add up fast. Once you have found successful blog titles, think about why they might’ve been successful. We’ll look at this idea in more depth later on.

Which Blog Titles Work Best for This Blog: Popular Blog Title Formulas to Emulate

Before we delve into the idea gathering and writing process, let’s look at some titles that I have found successful over time. I’ve chosen these examples based on my own Google Search Console analysis for recent posts with high CTR and decent traffic. Also, I’ve broken them down into categories to help you navigate the options.

Question posts

First, there’s the question post, directly targeting questions people ask in a search engine. Successful titles include:

Both of these blog titles describe exactly what I’m discussing in the post.

Helping people

Second, some blog posts focus on helping people avoid problems. I don’t try to focus on these, but they sure do spark interest. Titles include,

Once again, I target people who want to know about these topics. But at the same time, I make the title intriguing enough to potentially “edge out” a competing article.

Ideas and features posts

Third, there are lots of XX ideas/features posts. People love listicles of ideas/features for inspiration or research:

The formula is simple: I tell you what is on the list, and then tell you how many items there are on the list. This way, potential readers have the right expectations.

“How To” posts

Fourth, I write a lot of “how-to” educational posts:

Once again, there’s a clear description of what is in the post. And if this is what someone’s looking for, it’s clear that’s what they are going to get.

How to Find Inspiration for Your Blog Title

With that in mind, how do you get inspiration for your blog titles? Although most of us have no problem writing the post itself, it’s easy to get writer’s block when composing the perfect title. Fortunately, Google is incredibly helpful here. First, you should simply do a Google search for your target keyword and examine the winners. In other words, what’s great on page one, or even page two?

With the winners in mind, what unique angle can you take that hasn’t been covered but would be attractive? This is not only helpful for blog titles but your post at large. The idea is to have your post title jump off the page at people and convince them to read it. And, as you write the title, try and make it sound interesting, rather than simply making it descriptive. Remember, as people read your post it also helps SEO over time.

Blog Title Generator Tools That Can Help You Create a Better Blog Title

Of course, picking blog titles can still be difficult, even using Google and analytics as a source of inspiration. After all, there are only so many ways to say something, and in some cases, competing blog titles can seem too similar. Luckily, there’s another option: using title generator tools that help you write or tweak a title. Let’s look at some of them.

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer 

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

This is a simple tool that helps you analyze blog titles that you’ve already written. Simply type in the headline, and you’ll get feedback that includes, among other things, word balance, sentiment, clarity, and skimmability. These help you see how well the title might come across to potential readers, whether or not it’s clear, and how well it represents what your blog post is about.

Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator 

Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator

Not sure what to write about? Simply plug up to five nouns into this ideas generator, and you’ll get suggested blog titles. It’s up to you what you want to do with the title. Just be warned: it can give you “interesting” results.

SEOPressor Blog Title Generator

SEOPressor Blog Title Generator

This is a more sophisticated version of the blog titles generator above. Specifically, you can not only list a noun or term but assign a category to the term. For instance, “sneakers” is a brand or product. The suggestions take this information into account. Don’t like the first five options? Refresh for more. 

BLOGABOUT by Impact 

BLOGABOUT by Impact

For this blog titles tool, you first select what you want to blog about (example: “your opinion”). Then, the tool starts giving you “fill in the blank” suggestions (example: The __ tools your ___ needs now). The result is a pithy headline you can use. And if you want to save it for later, there’s a “notebook” for registered users.

Portent Idea Generator 

Portent Idea Generator

This is another blog titles generator that works with a simple word or phrase. Then, you get a random title that (usually) makes sense. Save your idea for later or use it right away.

Tweak Your Biz Title Generator 

Tweak Your Biz Title Generator

If you want to copy and paste your blog titles, check this one out. You’ll need a topic, and specify if it’s a noun or a verb. Finally, tell the generator if you want sentence caps, title caps, or all caps to make the results copy-paste ready. Also, this title generator is meant for both articles and blog posts, making it a bit more versatile.

Sumo’s Kickass Headline Generator

Sumo’s Kickass Headline Generator

This one’s a bit more sophisticated. You start by selecting the type of content you want to write, such as a numbered list or a how-to. Then, you’ll fill out a form that includes type-specific factors. Finally, you’ll get a list of blog titles that fit the bill.

Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer

Sharethrough's Headline Analyzer

If you think your headline is great but want another opinion, try this one. You’ll input your blog titles, and they’ll analyze them for you. This analysis includes strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggestions. Just note that not all suggestions will be appropriate, so you’ll need to use good judgment.

FatJoe’s Blog Post Title Headline Generator

FatJoe's Blog Post Title Headline Generator

FatJoe is a company that does SEO content creation, among other things. With this tool, you’ll input a keyword or topic. Then, you’ll get several auto-generated blog titles. As with some other tools, many of the options seem random. Others might need minor tweaks, while a few are great.

Tools That Can Help You Optimize Your Blog Title Post-Publication

Of course, in some situations, we originally choose blog titles that don’t work very well. Sometimes the title falls flat or somehow deprives the article of its full potential. Or, the blog title might prove to not be that SEO friendly, or inconsistent with the overall topic of your blog post. When your title proves to be “off” somehow, it’s time to revise. Here are some options that can help you.

Google Search Console

google search console

This works by looking at the search queries that brought people to your post and aligning your title with them. When you use the Search Console information, you can also improve SEO or answer to a “competitor. In some cases, you’ll even end up switching to a closely related keyword.

Clickflow

ClickFlow

With Clickflow, you can leverage historical Google Search Console data and perform A/B tests to get more impressions and click-throughs. So, while Search Console is mostly up to the minute, Clickflow monitors results over a longer period of time. In addition, their algorithm helps improve your blog titles by deciding which of two options is better for SEO. Then, you can simply update the headline in your CMS. It couldn’t be easier.

As with so many other parts of blogging, writing blog titles can be a challenge. With all the factors that we need to consider, it’s much more difficult than writing a simple description of the blog post. Fortunately, there are a lot of principles you can follow, and tools you can leverage, to make the task easier. Be sure to try a few, and see how they work.

Further Reading: 41 Tools for Blogging That Will Improve Your Writing and Increase Your Traffic

Hero photo by Karim Ghantous on Unsplash

Blog Titles FAQs

What is a good blog title?

A good blog title should be reflective of the content within the blog. A title that is catchy or attention-grabbing may draw a reader in, but if the blog post does not live up to the title, the reader will likely be disappointed. For this reason, it is important to choose a title that accurately reflects the subject matter of the blog post. A title that is too vague or generic will not give readers a sense of what to expect from the post, while a title that is too specific may turn readers away if they are not interested in that particular topic.

What are some catchy titles?

There is no one formula for creating a catchy title, but there are a few elements that can help to make your title more attention-grabbing:

1. Try to use strong keywords that accurately describe your article or book.
2. Try using puns or wordplay to add some levity to your title. However, be careful not to overdo it.
3. Experiment and have fun with it.
4. Get creative, and see what kinds of titles resonate with your audience.

What should I name my blog?

The name you choose should reflect the topic or focus of your blog. For example, if you plan to write about gardening, you might choose a name like “The Green Thumb.” If you’re more interested in fashion, you might go with something like “Fashionista.” Once you’ve chosen a name, be sure to check that the corresponding domain name is available. With a little creativity and effort, you can find the perfect name for your blog.

How do you get a catchy title?

Here are a few tips on how to get a catchy title:

1. Keep it short and sweet.
2. Make it unique.
3. Use strong keywords.

How do you make a clever title?

These are general tips that can help you make a clever title:

1. Try to be creative and unique in your approach.
2. Keep it short and sweet.
3. Make sure that the title actually reflects the content of the article or essay.

With the right planning, you can write great blog titles even if it's a bit challenging. Here's how to do it.
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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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2 Comments

  1. Writing click-worthy titles is essential because they decide whether site visitors will click to read your content or not. So, if you can get your headline right, you’ve completed half the battle to getting visitors to read your blog posts.
    Thus, the headline formulas in the article are excellent. For example, question titles help grab people’s attention. When searching online, your target audience uses several search terms, including questions. So, using relevant questions as blog post headlines will stimulate curiosity and get people clicking because they need answers to those questions.
    Thanks for sharing, Neal!😁

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