Every blogger knows how challenging it can be to title your blog posts. Titles have to ride a razor thin edge between cleverness and frankness, between being precious and being direct — too clever and your readers won’t be intrigued, too direct and your new post will seem clichéd. And there are other factors at play, as well, such as SEO.
So what makes a great title? The following three components together make for a title that draws in readers and increases your search engine visibility.
Sometimes authors will pen great titles — that have nothing to do with the content of the post. These posts are generally then sent flying headlong into obscurity because 1) readers don’t care to read it, and more importantly 2) search engines can’t find it.
Therefore, try to include a keyword or keyword phrase in your title. This will tell your readers very concisely what the post is about, and will also give Google something to look for. But limit yourself to one keyword per title. This will keep it neat, and, if you can get the right keyword phrase, will better optimize your post.
Similar, Not Same
One of the greatest sources of inspiration when trying to decide on your new post’s title is other posts. Authors title their posts with their readers in mind, anticipating what they will be searching. If you’re having trouble thinking like a reader, check out your competition and see how they are using titles.
Notice, though, that you need to be similar to and not the same as other post titles. This is important because you don’t want to be seen as overly derivative.
Ironically, to do this, you have to basically be a reader, which should give you some direction. Basically, Google the phrase you’re looking for, and use that phrase as a starting point for you title.
While searching, you want to be thinking about a phrase people will search for, like “how to pick a shampoo for my dog.” The more condensed you can make this phrase, the better, because usually shorter phrases are more relevant.
After you’ve chosen a title, be sure to monitor the post’s popularity in comparison with some of your other posts. Google Analytics is actually a great tool to help you title your posts, because it tells you which posts have been most successful, ie which posts are getting the most traffic. What drives traffic to a post is a title, so the most successful posts will typically have the best titles.
Check your statistics occasionally to see what kinds of titles are working and which aren’t. With the right amount of cleverness and directness you’ll be on your way to blockbuster titles.
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.