In this practical, informative white paper, you'll learn:

  • The Importance of Creative Blog Titles
  • Creating the irresistible click
  • Adding brand and style to titles
  • Getting your Titles from Good to Great

Clickbait, viral, irresistible—all of these words are used to describe today’s titles, and while you don’t want to lure consumers with false promises, creative blog titles are an essential part of any business’s content marketing plan.

Gone Viral More than any time in history, there is a lot of noise out there in the world. From jam-packed schedules to the amount of blog posts uploaded every day, it’s easy to get overstimulated. Within that jumble, people want to find things that are helpful and enrich their endeavors, whether it be their quest for better health, a happier life, convenience, time savers, or improved finances and business.

So where do titles come in when marketing your product or service?

Titles are the doorway that leads customers to helpful, engaging, and valuable content—the kind of content that drives traffic to your site, builds brand loyalty, and inspires sales.

The Importance of Titles

What are you more likely to click on: Eating for Better Sleep or 10 Fantastic Foods that Help You Sleep Better? At an introductory glance, one simply lets you know that eating may have an effect on your sleep quality while the other promises to help you sleep better and provides you with fantastic food to do so. In essence, it’s like the difference between an academic essay and an article in your favorite magazine.

Titles are important. Here’s why:

  • Titles are the most visible part of your content. Think about it. Readers see the title first and make their decision to continue based on what they see. That means you want to have titles that encourage them to read on.
  • Titles can enrich SEO. It’s easy to incorporate top keywords into your title and can be beneficial for getting your content ranked.
  • Titles give your audience a sneak peek. Titles can convey to your audience what they are about to discover within the content. If you have something worthwhile, it will help your content stand out.
  • Titles can expand your brand. In today’s marketing strategy, brand, voice, and vision are all essential. By bringing your voice into titles, you are able to stay consistent in your branding efforts.

Some convincing facts

FactsMany of us need convincing when taking on a new challenge. You may be asking yourself, but really, why should I invest time in titles. They’re just titles.

Well, maybe this will convince you:

  • Each day, content is being uploaded every second. For example, you are competing with the millions of blog posts that are uploaded every day. Literally, millions. Want to know just how many? Check out Worldometers.
  • According to an older article by Moz, the SEO superstar company based out of Seattle, 80% of readers never make it past the headline. Chances are, with today’s dwindling attention span, that percentage may even be higher.
  • Another stat from that same article by Moz was that traffic can vary as much as 500% based on the headline.

That’s a pretty potent argument for taking the time to learn to improve your titles.

Creating the irresistible click

It’s beneficial to have a checklist of elements and/or characteristics that help you create clickable, creative blog titles. Combine several of these to design an irresistible click.

Your checklist should include:

  • Specific: Can your reader identify what the article/post/content is about?
  • Targeted: Does your title target your audience with its tone and style?
  • Unique: Does your title stand out from the competition?
  • Promise/Solution: Does your title convey a promise or solution you are about to give your readers?
  • Approachable: Does your title speak to people; is it inviting, engaging, and conversational?
  • Searchable: Did you incorporate key words or phrases in the title that will help your content be found?
  • Emotional: Does your title create an emotion that makes people want to click like urgency, excitement, anger, happiness, curiosity?

Your recognizable voice: Adding brand and style to titles

Brand If you haven’t thought about your company’s voice, now is the time to do it. A voice is a distinction of your brand and style—it’s what makes you, you. In other words, unique. Ask your team, what do we want to convey? Are we bold, passionate, empathetic, excitable, serious, or inspiring? What words and characteristics define us?

Your voice is a product of that. For example, a bold voice may have a title that says, 5 Cleaning Hacks you Need to Have Now, while the empathetic company is more likely to have the title, Struggling with a Clean Home? 5 Shortcuts to Make Cleaning Easier than Ever.

Make it even less complicated for yourself; have a list of words on hand for each emotion you want to convey—then use them in your titles. The emotion should fit your voice. For example, bold (or confident) could have words like “now,” “definitely,” or “guaranteed.”

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Just Write It: Rough Drafts Inspired by Topics

Write It’s not unusual to have hesitation when diving into content. The whole concept can feel overwhelming. Questions swirl around your already overloaded brain: What do our readers want, what topics are going to be successful, or where do I even find topics to write about? Take a deep breath. It’s all about the baby steps.

Who’s your reader?

There is a place for personas in modern marketing. It allows you to target your reader and convey messages in a way that appeals to them. It’s essential to collect the data necessary to find out who your audience is. For example, are they academic, young, or scared? What age are they? Who are they buying the product or service for?

A great way to identify readers is to create personas. HubSpot has questions you can ask yourself when zeroing in on your audience.

Once you have the audience, you can determine what speaks to them (use those company characteristics and voice!). Then draw that tone into your title.

The art of brainstorming – finding your topics

What comes first, the title or the topic? Typically, the topic comes first. And to get the topic, you have to know what your audience wants. Currently, consumers are looking for stories, solutions, and helpful information. The story allows them to see how a product or service can work in their lives. The solution offers them a way to eradicate an issue. Helpful information addresses pain points. That’s where your topics come from.

There are several avenues of collected data that can help you find topics:

  • Look at the most frequently asked questions you get from consumers
  • Discover your consumers issues, pain points, roadblocks, and problems—then write to solve them
  • Research what the competition is writing about, then give it your unique perspective
  • Scan your social media for comments or desires your consumers have—what do they want to know?
  • Look at industry trends
  • Compile a list of favorite content, and go deeper into subtopics
  • Conduct surveys—ask your readers directly what they want

Like content, your titles have to start somewhere

Once you have the topic, it’s just like the body of the content. You have to start somewhere. If you know your topic is “creating readable content,” simply write a rough title. Maybe, How to Create Readable Content. Once you’ve got the bare bones, you can move toward turning good to great!

Fine-Tuning Fun: Getting your Titles from Good to Great

FunYour title foundation is written. Now what?

Accuracy

Accuracy is a key part of titles. It’s the specific and targeted from your checklist. Readers don’t want clickbait that doesn’t accurately describe what the content is about. You need to be reliable, transparent, and consistent.

Pull key concepts from your topic. Look at ways to enhance those concepts. So, if you want to create readable content, ask yourself questions. Using the Create Readable Content example, ask what kind of readable? Maybe “highly readable content.” And what will it take to get to that readable content? Perhaps “7 tips” will help you achieve your goal, and maybe make them “easy.” All of a sudden you have 7 Easy Tips for Creating Highly Readable Content.

Be clear and accurate in what you are about to offer by fine-tuning those base concepts. In this case, you’d want to ensure that there were 7 actionable tips readers could take.

What’s my length?

There has been a lot of debate about how long titles should be. The sweet spot seems to shift from year to year. Currently, marketing experts state the length should ideally be between 8 to 12 words. However, look at your own personal data and play around with length to see what works best for your audience.

5 tips to take your titles to the next level

Now comes the fun part—take that title and enhance it. Make it great! Here are 5 tips to get you on your way:

  • Spice up your words. Why say great when you can say brilliant? The thesaurus should become your new best friend. However, proceed with caution. Still use approachable words, but keep in mind you want to generate emotion.
  • Add some flair. Infuse some edge into your title. The edge should reflect your brand, and you should have fun with it. Think about alliteration and strong language (no, not swearing). But things like “riveting results” or “killer titles.”
  • Be clear. It can’t be said too many times—your title must reflect what the content is about.
  • Engage curiosity. What do people want to know? What piques their curiosity? You can engage their curiosity by using unexpected words and contradictory phrases.
  • Add action. The action verb is a very useful tool in creating titles. You want the audience to see themselves performing the action your title implies. For example, Writing Brilliant Titles that Inspire your Audience to Click. You want them to see themselves actually writing those titles.

The final polish: Optimize it

If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to incorporate your keyword or phrase naturally into the title. If you have a couple keywords, then see if you can get them both in there in a way that flows.

Working Together on Strategy

StrategyTitles, topics, and content shouldn’t be a solo endeavor. In fact, teamwork is what makes marketing strategies thrive.

Why two brains are better than one

It’s natural to feel you’ve got it all together—that your skills and expertise are all that’s needed to get the job done. But think about it: Many of the most successful companies allowed multiple people to contribute innovative ideas.

One brain can only come up with so many topics and titles. Plus, if you are doing it solo, you will only approach the problem one way. Take advantage of multiple approaches, using collaboration, creativity, and a team effort. Your team doesn’t have to be huge, but two brains are definitely better than one.

Another avenue is pulling in content strategists. These passionate people eat, sleep, and breathe content. They love working with clients to educate and create.

A learning curve to excellent titles

Patience, grasshopper. You aren’t going to be an expert title writer overnight, nor are you expected to be. Give yourself time to learn the nuances and become adept. Practice. The more you do it, the better you’ll become. Plus, you have analytics on your side. Look at:

  • Posts with the most traffic
  • Your top shared or liked titles
  • What titles are ranking high in the search engines
  • What gets commented on

These things help you see where you’re getting it right.

Seeing results

In a world that is on demand, it can be difficult to wait for positive results. They will come if you continue to work at it, and give it time. It’s not always a one-size-fits-all strategy, but about fine-tuning what works for your business and audience. And it doesn’t always happen right away, so don’t give up after a month.

Your best approach to effective titles that see results is to give it time, build your content, and fine-tune little by little (don’t do major overhauls).

Find ways to interpret data and use it. It’s there for a reason. And always remember the foundation of engaging, clickable, brilliant titles: They should create emotion, offer solutions, and be clear about your content’s intent.