You put in the work, researched your tail off and just put together the most badass blog in your personal blogging history. People are going to eat it up, and you’re going to be rich and famous. Right? Slow down, Speedy Gonzales. Your content might be rockin’, but if your blog titles don’t make them want to read it in the first place, then your hopes and dream of collecting your World’s Best Blogger trophy is going to get washed down the drain.
5 1/2 Basic Tips to Help Your Blog Titles Get in Tip-Top (Lead Generating) Shape:
1) You Don’t Use Numbers:
How many articles have you seen written with these blog titles, “5 Ways to ____”, “3 Reasons why ____”, etc.? A lot, right? That’s because it works. (Did you notice anything about this blog’s title?) Using numbers in your title sets an expectation for your reader. So why not help take away the guessing game for them?
I like to think of titles as a small map for readers. It tells them exactly where they are going (aka. What question they will have answered) and it’s helpful to tell them how long it will take to get there (aka. NUMBERS!).
Let’s face it since we are mostly reading blogs to solve a problem, we want to get our question answered as fast as possible and move on. Using numbers helps to break down the information into quicker, bite-sized chunks. Most people are going to skim your content for the main points, anyway. So, please your reader. Give the people what they want… and what they want is numbers in your dang title.
2) You Aren’t Writing for Your Readers:
Dude, c’mon. Who are you writing this post for? You have a target audience, right? They are your main priority. It may be tempting to go off-course and write your title referencing the latest Game of Thrones episode and how it relates to XYZ. However, if your readers don’t give a darn about GOT (you know nothing, Jon Snow), then your blog title is useless (and probably a tad confusing).
Here at Inbound Fit, we use what Hubspot has coined as “Buyer Personas.” Each Buyer Persona is a fictitious character representing a group of your client base that share common behavior patterns, shared pain points and universal goals. You may have many Buyer Personas that represent your readers, and each blog title (and body content!) should be targeted towards one of those personas. It’s simple. Write for your personas or your stuff don’t get read.
3) Your Keyword Sucks:
If your keyword sucks, then you might not be scaring away your potential leads at all….because they probably haven’t even seen your blog in the first place. Keywords are what give your content the ability to be searched.
Beep Beep Beep. Back it up. Let’s start at square one. Keywords consist of words or short phrases that you strategically choose in order to zero-in on your buyer personas (reference point #2) in order to drive them from Google (or other online search parties) to your content. Got it?
So what makes your keyword sucky? Bottom line, you haven’t done your research.
- Start finding keywords by “hanging out” in places your target market does. If you’ve really dug into your buyer persona’s habits, you should be able to find some pretty specific keywords.
- Then head on over to Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMRush or Majestic SEO.
- Enter in short and long-tail keywords that you just picked (and are relevant to your content AND your buyer personas).
- What you’re looking for are keywords that have a high average number of searches (the amount of people punching that keyword into the search engine) and a low amount of competition (how difficult it is going to be to be top-ranked in that keyword compared to your competition).
- The perfect combination of search average to competition is what gets you on that first page of the search engine.
That’s how (on a very basic level) to make your keywords a tad bit less sucky.
4) It’s Just Plain Snore-ville:
Would YOU want to click on your blog title and read more, or does it more look like the title of your college biology textbook that you never got around to cracking open? Some people glaze over the title of their blog and don’t think it takes much thought. However, thinking like that isn’t going to get you the most post clicks.
Be intentional. Be engaging. Grab their attention. Besides just adding powerful “action words” to your post, here are a few points to keep in mind when you are writing (and rewriting and rewriting) your blog post title:
- People love “how to’s”. Think about it. They need an answer to their question about “how to ____”. Pull them in by adding this to your title and answer that question.
- Be f#!%ing edgy and shocking! If it fits your buyer persona, don’t be afraid to throw in a few “bleeped out” expletives. A little controversy in your title goes a long way. They may not know exactly what your post is about by just reading the title, but they get a taste…and they want more (psst.. that’s the goal).
- Tell you reader ways to NOT do something. For example, “5 ways to not totally screw up your first day on the job”. You’ll spark their interest because they want to know if they are doing something to harm their chances of solving their problem. That’s how I got you to read my post, isn’t it? ; )
5) This Ain’t No Marathon, Keep It Short:
On a strictly “searchable” level, your blog titles will be cut off and get the dreaded “…” on search engines if it is over 70 characters. So that should be motivation enough.
If you need more convincing, you only have all of a few milliseconds to convince your reader to click on your posts. They are being bombarded with information constantly. Keeping it short and to the point will be more attractive than something long-winded and daunting. It all comes down to your specific audience, however. Do a little testing and compare title lengths to the amount of clicks they get. Over time, you’ll be sure to find the “sweet spot”.