10 Useful Tricks For Writing Effective Post Titles

10 Useful Tricks For Writing Effective Post Titles

A headline or title is one of the first, if not the first, element that a person sees on any given page. It grabs the person’s attention and gives the individual an idea of what to expect in the content.

The headline is sometimes compared to making a promise, with the content delivering on that promise. Normally, you need to make the promise first before you show people how you can deliver. This can be a challenge when it comes to producing content.

A lot of writers prefer to write the content first before thinking of a suitable headline. However, the technique can sometimes result in boring titles. With writing the headline first, you have a better idea of how to write and present the article to fit the tone of the headline.

10 Useful Tips on Writing Headlines

1. Collect swipe files

Swipe files are references for effective headlines. These are tried and tested in grabbing a reader’s attention. Refer to these resources for ideas on how to write a catchy headline.

Understand what makes them work and incorporate them into your title. You can find inspiration for headlines from popular magazines, sales letters and even ads.

2. Use keywords

The importance of incorporating keywords in the title remains a debatable topic for writers. Some believe that it is an essential tool to help websites rank on search engine results.

Other writers see it as unnecessary, as articles are designed for people to read and not for search engines to analyze on. When it comes to writing headlines, proper research and proper use of keywords is essential.

Knowing what people search for will give you a better idea on how to write an effective headline. Go for the less popular keywords for less competition. These also tend to sound better than high ranking keywords.

3. Write a list

A list headline is effective in grabbing attention. It defines the number of tips, hints or suggestions that the reader can expect from reading the article.

Presenting information in a list is easier to scan through. At the same time, it also shows your expertise in the subject.

4. Understand your target market

Know what gets them excited or interested. Understanding what makes your readers tick will help you create headlines that will draw them in.

Avoid making it too safe in an attempt to appeal to everyone’s tastes. This will make your headline less effective and may draw fewer people than an attention-grabbing headline.

5. Ask a question

Headlines that start with what, when, how or why can grab a person’s attention and make the reader think. Such headlines inform the reader that the answer will be found and explained within the content.

6. Do not exaggerate

exaggerate

Do not make generalizations if you have no proof that it works for all. For instance, instead of using “always,” you can use the terms “some” or “almost all.“ It makes your statement more believable and adds credibility to your content.

7. Make it simple yet direct

Expressing a concept in fewer words tends to be more effective than a lengthy headline. Headlines that are straight to the point sound more convincing than vague ones. These types of headlines work well with offers.

8. Indicate the benefits

Readers want to know what they can get for reading the rest of the content. It is similar to selling an actual item. You need to convince readers that they will benefit from reading the content.

9. Create a headline for “how to” articles

People often like to learn something new when they read an article online. It makes them feel that they are doing steps to improve themselves or their lives.

When creating a headline for a how to article, emphasize the result from reading the article and not on the procedures themselves.

10. Offer a sense of order

With the amount of information that is readily available, a lot of people are finding it difficult to make sense of it all. They want to read tips and hints that would help them put it all together. It gives them a sense a control over their lives or their situation.

How to Write Posts That Will Always Work

1. Include personal stories

Inclusion of personal stories makes you more human. It helps in making people relate to you and your situation or issues. Such articles expose the writer’s emotions and can make the story more engaging or interesting.

2. Format posts

People that have become accustomed to using the Internet tend to have shorter attention spans than the generations of people that came before them. As such, they like to scan posts first to see if it is worth spending time on.

Make it easier for readers to scan your posts by dividing information into smaller segments, using bullets and bold fonts to indicate a new thought or concept.

3. Solve a problem

People want to read content that would enrich their lives. Some of the more popular posts involve helping people out by solving their problems or directing them to where they can find a solution to their problems. This means becoming more involved in the industry and knowing where the problems are.

Bethany Wesch writes about blogging, branding and online marketing. She writes for Quantumlinx.com.au – a leading SEO Sydney company which specialise in providing search engine optimisation services and online marketing solutions to local businesses and sales people.

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  • Vishnu Aniyan

    Very useful blog post for all bloggers BethanyWesch.
    If content is the king , Titles will be the queen. :)

    • Kingsley Agu

      Vishnu Aniyan,
      hahahahhaha…. Content is king? title the queen? – this seriously cracked me up!!! Well – that’s the hard truth.

      Thanks Bethany, for this write up.

    • Bethany

      Hi Vishnu, I agree that content is king but i would disagree with Titles being the queen. I do believe that content that you don’t promote is content that you shouldn’t have written. So for me Promotion/Marketing is Queen. :)

  • Celisa

    Again, a nice post. Also a tip, once you publish your entry, there’s no turning back. Google will crawl on your initial post irregardless if you change it to something else.

    • Bethany

      Thanks for the tip Celisa! Didn’t know that! :)

    • george iov

      Sorry, I don’t agree. The Bot is a machine, when it crawls, it crawls everything, it comes back and back and re-crawls regularly. So making positives changes on your post is the best you can do for your rating.
      People are improving their websites years and years… Not easy to get to the page #1!

      • Bethany

        Thank you for your insight George! I will keep that in mind!

  • larry

    These are great strategies and I agree with the “How to” title, it grabs the readers attention faster. Thanks for sharing this importiant information.

  • Disha Sharma

    Controversial blog titles get more attention of the audience, I think Focusing on the controversy that is existing in niche will be effective in driving attention towards blog title.

    • Bethany

      Disha, I agree that controversy attracts more attention. Have you tried doing it? if so, how do you manage the negative comments? Thanks for dropping by!

  • Kapil

    Hey Bethany, I think you’ve hit the nail in the head when you say that most bloggers focus on content over the headline! If the headline is not compelling enough, your potential readers won’t even open your content even if it contains valuable information.
    I personally focus on content first and then spend time on the headline to put it all together. Great tips by the way

  • http://www.templatesreview.com Evan

    the writer/blogger shouldn’t use a title to describe the content, use the title to trigger an emotional desire to read your content

    • Bethany

      Hi Evan, I agree with your idea. Thanks for dropping by!

  • http://www.homtechsol.com/ mohd akbar

    Yes i agree with you, good keywords is very important to get high ranking…!

  • http://ajnabii.com Bashir Ahmed

    Hi Bethany,

    Awesome and informative post you have shared with us, and all your points are valid. Always write good “Post Title” Like top 5 ways to get free traffic, Are you ready for Guest blogging?

    I’m sure these kind of Title will grab readers attention.

    Thank you!

    • Bethany

      Hi Bashir, I agree! You should also use the title to trigger an emotional desire to read your content just like Evan said in his comment. Thanks for your insight again Bashir!

  • http://www.lensaunders.com Len

    Thank you Bethany. I think a title should be honest, short, and right to the point, yet, capture a visitors attention. I do get frustrated when I read a title, and it has nothing to do with the content. Thank you for the post.

    • Bethany

      Same here, I do hate some content on the web that lure their readers through their titles. Thank you Len for your comment!

  • Jacob Arvin

    I like to post questions in most of my blog posts, especially if it’s a post where a specific product will be promoted towards the end. As an affiliate marketer, I’ve found that this is an effective strategy for making sales. Thanks for organizing this list so succinctly!

  • http://www.aha-now.com/ Harleena Singh

    Well written indeed!

    I agree with all your tips and ways to write effective post titles, but somehow wonder how people still manage to get away and rank well even though they have funny titles. Sometimes they don’t even use any kind of keywords in their title (which again is it necessary to use because there are many variations to this too), yet their posts rank well.

    Yes, nothing can really be better than the content shared within the post. But what brings people to your post would be a catchy title in the first place.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  • http://www.mymagicfundas.com Nirmala

    I should say it is an excellent post! Thanks for writing and sharing the exceptional tips to write the effective titles for the blog posts. Am a newbie blogger and will keep all the tips in mind to bring attractive titles for my readers.
    The idea of including the personal stories and solving the problems are excellent. Thanks for sharing the needful information.

  • http://emfastincome.com Enstine Muki

    Hi Bethany,
    That’s an excellent article and the first I’m reading this morning.
    Most often, I take more time to get the appropriate tile for my posts. It’s the door to the article. A good title is like a wide open door that welcomes readers. Poor titles are like closed doors.

    Hope you have a splendid weekend

  • http://technoupdates.org/4-common-seo-myths Narender Chopra

    Asking Question and using Keyword are the tweaks that works for me 90% Times. Using keyword is not only eye catching but must part of SEO too. For e homepage visitor “headline Title” works more then article content.

  • http://www.vitalchats.co.za/herbalife-opportunity-pyramid/ Wade

    Great post Bethany. You have given all the insider secrets on how to write a good post. I always write my post before thinking about the title. It is strange how the title can change after writing the post.

  • http://capturedbloggingtips.com/2013/02/how-to-increase-page-rank/ Khaja moin

    Hi Bethany,

    I agree many writer don`t like keyword embedded titles, they think as it`s a black hat work. But I thin every writer should do keyword research as this will help them to know what actually user need.

    ~@Khajamoin1

  • Saima

    BethanyWesch, you have come up with short and authentic details. One can easily start a blog by going through your tips and tricks. Thanks and keep it up.

    • Bethany

      Thank you for the kind words Saima! See you around!

  • http://www.jaipurrugs.com/ Purnima

    Hey Bethany,
    Salutary share. I agree with the tips put forth by you to rank well .Use a question for a title and keeping it short and relevant works well.

    • Bethany

      Thanks for the additional info you’ve shared Purnima!

  • http://writeclever.com/ Sue Neal

    Hi – a brilliant post, full of helpful tips. I think titles are critical and it’s a shame some bloggers don’t spend more time on them.

    I always write my headline first, before I start writing, because I find that helps me to focus on what I’m promising the reader and keeps me on track. I also often use a thesaurus to come up with more powerful words to give my titles a bit of oomph.

    Thanks very much for a great article, which I will certainly share.

    Sue

    • Bethany

      I usually think and research more on title and put a list of a possible working titles that would end up in my content calendar to ease the process of content creation.

      Thanks for the thesaurus tip Sue!

  • Ross Taylor

    People say “don’t judge a book by its cover” and then contradict themselves. On Twitter Headlines (your tweets) are your book cover.

    • Bethany

      Hi Ross, I agree! Once you hit that publish button your title/headline appears on every social media accounts once shared. It is very important to think about the title that would appear as your contents cover.

  • http://www.lalitabisht.com Lawrencia

    Yes, I completely agree that the title of our content must be relevant to the post. We also need to keep it simple and understandable. Sometime people get confused after reading the title. Thanks for the sharing this post.

  • Jamie

    As always, excellent tips. And just when I was about to write a new post too!!

  • http://www.greatbritishbingo.co.uk/ Matt

    Hey BethanyWesch!
    Very useful post with logic. All brilliant techniques you have list down in this article. No doubt understanding target audience and asking question are important aspects of heading.
    These all would definitely work, I am sure about it.
    Thanks.
    Matt

  • Sanjeev Singh

    Hello BethanyWesch
    Of-course This info will help every who is looking for writing effective & eye-catching blog posting. Can you tell me something about the procedure of Press Release. Because lots of people are asking about this…
    Thanks

  • http://internetdreams.com/ Samuel

    Post titles is what you are going to drawn in the new visitors :)

    Thanks for the awesome tips!

  • Ravi

    I often try to Add Prefixes such as “10 Tips to…” or “How to” or “Number of Ways to do “etc. As they work fine for me. But I was searching for something Different as it was getting too common and different titles will Give more attention. Thanks this post helped me.

  • Sarah Park

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful and helpful tips. A catchy headline and quality content is very essential to make a post worth reading.

    • Bethany

      I agree with you Sarah! Thanks for dropping by!

  • Alina

    Good stuff Bethany. One effective practice for me has been writing at least 10 titles then choosing the one which I think will be most compelling prior to publishing.

  • http://blog.mineralifeonline.com/drink-your-milk-it-is-good-for-you/ Neil

    Great post Bethany. I find it useful to only think about a title when I have finished writing my post.

  • Steven

    It is not always easy to find a good title: we may not be found on the web or not be relevant to the words used.

  • http://makethisway.com/ Joyce Edwards

    I found this blog really informative for the new blogger,they surely get lot of help from it.We also need to keep it simple and understandable. Sometime people get confused after reading the title. Thanks for the sharing this post.

    • Bethany

      Thanks for the kind words Joyce!

  • http://www.savingmyfamilymoney.com Kristi

    Thank you so much for the useful information I have been trying to use the Google keywords tool to make my titles but I just feel I am missing a few things, these tips really helped me! THANK YOU!

  • Cristi

    Well yes, the first thing in seo which i consider very important is catchy titles or seo optimized titles. In Simple the first step for posting the article is checking of title “whether its effective or not.

    Thanks a lot for the tips.

  • Ruchi

    Great tips. While giving a title to your post, I have found that work very well is – the title should be kind of “question” which you think is being answered within the content. That way, it will attract the people’s attention quite easily.

  • Ruchi

    Using the keywords within title really helps. If your site gets ranked better, then obviously it will help driving more traffic. Though, one must not use too many of them.

    • http://www.thinkingpulse.com Riz

      Agree with you Ruchi, usually people just stuff keywords in their title and everywhere in their content thinking that this would help them in better ranking for those keywords but they forget that Google is far more smarter than them, and Google has already started penalizing sites which are overdoing on the optimization. As a good blogger, we must write for humans and not for Google :-)

      Thanks

  • http://www.sfm-tusker.com/ Alan Murfee

    I always struggle to write an effective headline for my blog which resulted in less traffic from search engines. Your tips are useful and it will definitely help me to come up with some interesting titles when next time I write a post. Thanks for sharing this useful post.

  • http://fanfbmltemplates.com/ Julia Spencer

    It can be also useful to share your own experience, writing about all conclusions that you made after it and advising your readers some necessary things to implement in future.
    Thanks a lot for such an interesting post!
    Julia Spencer’s recent post.. Catchy Facebook Pages of Top World-Known Brands

  • http://cyberpash.com/ Mahendra Chhimwal

    hi BethanyWesch
    Nice article with great information.I’m enjoying it while reading.This whole article is great but the 5th point really make sense to me.It’s my experience also.Questioned title take my attention most.I think everyone feel it.Am i right?….

  • http://techbuzzes.com Mohammed Siadath Ali

    i mostly create HOW To articles, for my blog. but u have said Keywords, i wanted to know the difference between the low,medium and high on google adwords? what does it mean? while i search for the keyword on google adwords