Our top content writing tips for nailing the art of titles that spark curiosity
So you’ve carefully crafted an impeccably-written well, but there’s one hurdle standing in between it and success: the title. A good blog title hooks readers, tells them why it’s worth their time, and promises to give them something they want: knowledge. But how do you get there? Take a look at these 9 content writing tips for creating blog titles that get clicks.
Why are blog titles so important?
The blog title is where it all begins. It’s the first thing a reader sees, and it’s what makes or breaks their engagement with your content. If the title doesn’t appeal to them, what do they have to lose by simply not clicking?
You can think of the title as the entrance to a building. If it looks good, you’re more tempted to head inside.
Content writing tips for engaging blog titles
Want to get the most out of your blog titles? Try employing some of these content writing techniques.
1. Provoke curiosity
Curiosity: the force that drives all headlines! Behind every good title is an answer to a question, useful knowledge, or help for a problem.
Descriptive, imaginative language and an intriguing subject can get people clicking to find out what you have to say.
2. Avoid clickbait cliches
You’ve seen them in YouTube videos, you’ve seen them in adverts on the side of a webpage, you’ve seen them on Facebook: “You won’t believe what happened to this copywriter!”
Unfortunately, the actual content rarely lives up to the sensationalised headline, and if you want to find out what actually happened, you’re forced to wade through a veritable mire of ads.
A disappointing article that doesn’t live up to the headline won’t give you much in the way of credibility. People rarely like clickbait — just look at the popularity of Twitter accounts like Saved You A Click. Avoiding clickbait cliches will show that you’re trustworthy, informative, and deliver on your word. (Of course, it’s impossible to contain all the information in just the title — explaining all 9 tips in the title of this article would make it ridiculously long!)
3. Use questions
Not every blog title needs to be a question, but it’s a common format for a very good reason. It makes the reader stop and think: ‘‘well, what is the answer?’ A question for the title can also be good for SEO, as it can essentially be its own long-tail keyword.
4. Include SEO keywords (naturally)
Speaking of SEO… Content writing doesn’t just have to appeal to people — it has to appeal to machines, too. This is where SEO comes in. Optimising the keywords in your title will help you get that blog out there and seen by the people who need to see it.
To help with this, it can be beneficial to do a bit of keyword research. What are internet users typing into the search bar when they look up your topic? You want your website to be where they end up, so matching the answer to the question can help users get there.
Just be sure not to stuff extra keywords in just to appease the search algorithm. Keyword stuffing comes across as unnatural to human readers, so make sure it sounds coherent — like something a person would say. Keyword stuffing can also negatively impact your SERP ranking, as search engines may penalise your content.
5. Keep your blog titles varied
You might have a formula that you find works really well for you, but over-using it could lead to a lack of variety on your blog. To keep your titles more interesting, it’s better to go for a mixture of “how-to”, “what is”, “top 10” — or even something more creative — than plugging different words into the same structure each time.
6. Include numbers (wisely)
It won’t fit every article, but if you’ve chosen a list format for your article, including numbers can help grab attention. Using numbers also has the benefit of letting the reader know how long they’ll be along for the ride. 5 points can give you a quick overview, while 45 lets you know you’re in it for the long haul. And when written in digits, they stand out and are easy to read.
7. Be concise
A title is valuable real estate. You only have a short amount of time to get your message across and retain user attention, so use your space wisely and keep it concise. This doesn’t mean cutting out all adjectives or descriptions — we don’t want to discount evocative language — but it does mean you might need to consider whether they’re really necessary.
The rule of thumb for title tags in metadata is about 50-70 characters, and that’s not a bad goal to shoot for with the title.
8. Appeal to your target audience
Keep your target audience in mind when crafting your blog titles. You can use your tone of voice, word choice, subject of the article and more to connect with your audience and meet them where they are.
Think about what your ideal reader might be searching for and what kind of content will appeal to them.
9. Deliver what your title says you will
Have you ever clicked on an article in search of information but finished it feeling like your question wasn’t answered at all? This is all about relevancy: make sure your title is relevant to your content, and your content is relevant to your title. Otherwise, people will finish the article feeling like their time has been wasted.
And as content writers, that’s the opposite of what you want! You want to be seen as an authoritative, useful source of information that people can rely on to get the knowledge they need. Once you get to the editing stage, try giving the article a read through and then referring back to the title — does it deliver?
More content writing tips from Zipcopi
If reading this article has started to get the creative juices flowing, why not head check out some more of our blog articles and content writing tips? The title is only the first step, after all.
And if you’re on the lookout for some blog articles of your own, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at email@example.com or on our LinkedIn or Instagram to discuss your ideas. Our small team back at Zipcopi HQ would love to hear about what you have in mind!
We don’t just write articles about writing compelling content — we put it into practice for our clients, too.