Let’s do a little math. Don’t worry, it won’t be too tough.
How long is your average blog post? Ours are most often in the 650-word range, give or take 200 words.
How long is your average blog post title? A lot of ours are between 6 and 9 words long.
Now the math: What percentage of the words you write are part of the title? For us, fewer than 1.5 percent. And it can be easy to overlook the importance of those few words, when they are such a small part of the total post. Unfortunately, forgetting to focus on the title will mean fewer people read the actual post. A great title is often the difference between tons of views, shares and clicks and a post that is ignored and forgotten.
When it’s time to write a blog post, think about putting 25 percent of your effort into those 1-2 percent of words that viewers see first.
Your titles should be:
Avoid using passive titles. Your title should make it clear that by reading the blog they will learn something they can use. In fact, being useful is one of five key hallmarks of good content. Make sure your titles show that your blog posts have that quality.
Don’t: Carnegie’s Lessons In Leadership
Do: Apply Carnegie’s Leadership Lessons to Your Marketing Approach.
As the major header on the page, and often the page title for the web page, your blog post’s title plays a major role in how search engines see your page. Be sure to incorporate the keywords your company is targeting that are pertinent to that particular post. Search optimization is especially important when you think about the potential your blog has to bring in web visitors through search, long after the post is first published. HubSpot has found that 70 percent of the new leads generated by its blog come from posts published months, or even years, prior. (Click to Tweet!)
In June, JONES was focused on a campaign to educate readers about landing pages and promote an ebook: How to Optimize Landing Pages for Conversion. So the blog titles we used at the time were focused in on those keywords:
Be concise and to the point when writing blog titles. Never use three words when one will do the job. Long, drawn-out titles can be confusing and cause potential readers to lose interest before they get to the end of the line. It’s best to keep your blog titles to eight or fewer words. (Click to Tweet!)
Don’t: Be Sure A/B Tests Are Run Long Enough to Get Accurate Results For Your Marketing
While click-bait headlines thrive on not telling you what you are about see, business blogs need to operate at a more sophisticated level. Be clear in your blog title about what the following article will give to the reader.
Don’t: Finding Your Way Should Be Easy
You are writing a business blog not only because it is a great way to attract website visitors and generate leads, but also because you have information and insights you want to share. It may even be information only you know, such as original research. So make sure your blog title announces your authority with confidence. Replace wishy-washy words with a strong, definitive vocabulary.
Don’t: What Metrics Do You Give Your Boss?
I know. I just told you to be clear and definitive when writing blog titles. But like most rules, there are times they can be bent a little to achieve greater results. The headline below doesn’t tell you exactly what you are going to get, but really, who wouldn’t be curious about what Cisco, beer and humor have in common? And we’ve still followed two of the other rules: keeping it brief and using keywords (B2B marketing).
Tell us about your best, or worst, blog titles. Which ones were you especially proud of?
Now that you know how to write better blog titles, be sure you aren’t sabotaging your blog in other ways. Fix 14 more common mistakes with the advice in 15 Business Blogging Mistakes and Easy Fixes.