Effective blog titles make all the difference between content that attracts traffic to your website (and business) on an ongoing basis for years to come, and content that barely gets noticed and has little benefit for you.

Even more significantly, when you repurpose your blog posts into say articles, videos, presentations, podcasts, and more, that difference in results is magnified many times over.

So spending time over your blog post titles is worth doing, and worth doing right.

Here are 10 sure-fire tips to help you create effective blog titles that increase your engagement and traffic.

Get the cheatsheet to create blog titles that attract traffic.

Keyword Research.

Do keyword research to help create a title that will get the blog post ranked, and attract traffic from the search engines.

Important: There’s no room in this post to include everything you need to know on effective keyword research. But it’s one of the most essential skills to learn for effective blogging.

Get a copy of our comprehensive 27-page guide on keyword research for SEO, Special Report: How To Do Effective Keyword Research To Optimize Your Content And Attract Your Marketplace.

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For example, for this post I was going to write a piece on creating effective content titles.

After some quick keyword research using Adwords, I found the keyword ‘blog titles’ that has 1,600 monthly searches – that’s over 50 a day …

Blog titles - keyword research

… And it has only 150,000 competing pages on Google.

Blog titles - exact keyword matches

That’s low enough for me to target given the potential traffic rewards.

So my keyword research informed the title of this post. It means that as the post ranks for the keyword over time, it will start attracting a proportion of that potential traffic back to the blog.

In terms of optimization for the keyword, you will notice it of course within the title and close to the beginning, while not compromising the readability and overall attractiveness (remember, write for the reader, not the search engines).

So I have ‘blog title’ as a slight variation on the keyword right at the beginning, and then the keyword ‘blog titles’ itself a little further along. It’s not over-optimized, but gives a very clear indication what the post is about.

And then the keyword is of course repeated throughout the post in a natural way (again, writing for you, dear reader! :)).

But keyword research is only part of the story. Search engines are just one way in which your blog post will attract you traffic.

You also want to …

Create Catchy Titles That Attract Attention on Social Media.

In terms of traffic potential, social is now right up there with search and just as important.

So you need to become familiar with the types of title that achieve good levels of engagement on social media. You can then use such titles as a template for your own.

Here’s one way to do that.

Go to buzzsumo.com, and type in a keyword relating to the topic of your post.

For example, “gardening tips”. Use the quotes for a more exact match.


Search Buzzsumo for keywords related to your post to get ideas for blog titles that achieved top engagement on social media – and use them to model your own.

Sort the results by Total Shares, and you can immediately see the titles at the top that got the most attention and engagement.

Obviously don’t copy any titles word for word, but use the examples to inform your own. You can also get ideas for more content you can create in future.

As you create increasing amounts of content, you’ll also become more and more familiar with what resonates best with your own marketplace and blog titles that do well for your own audience.

Use Intrigue and Suspense.

One great way to increase click-throughs to your post is to add intrigue and suspense to your title, so people feel they almost have to click-through to satisfy their curiosity.

There are a number of ways to do this, some of which are covered in the further points below. Words like ‘secret’ and ‘discover’ can work well, but often more subtle approaches can be just as if not more effective.

For example, ‘numbered list content’ (see point 6. below) introduces intrigue on a more subtle level. Quite simply, you want to find out what the full list entails.

As another example, my previous post on how to post on LinkedIn Pulse uses the title, “How to Post on LinkedIn Pulse (and Why Every Business Should!)”, and attracts a steady stream of traffic.

Part of the reason for this is the intrigue in the title (“Why Every Business Should”). Readers want to find out what they have perhaps been missing up to now.

When your post is competing with many others on search for example, adding this kind of intrigue can mean you get more of the click-throughs.

As your click-throughs increase from search engine results pages, so does your ranking. Your relevancy for a particular keyword increases, your ranking is boosted accordingly, and more traffic is the result.

Use Parameters.

The use of parameters, whether rounded (), square [] or curly {}, can help make your title stand out from the rest and encourage click-through.

There’s something about them that draws the eye.

In testing email subject lines for example, I’ve seen marked increases in open rates when using them.

To give you some examples, here are some recent blog titles I’ve published that use parameters:

Similarly, the use of colons ‘:’ can be equally effective in breaking up the title, attracting more attention, and increasing engagement. You can even use both colons and parameters together (see the middle example above).

Ask a Question

A question mark at the end of a blog title has a similar effect in drawing attention to the content.

Using a question as your title also adds a layer of intrigue, as mentioned above, that can almost compel someone to click through in order to find out the answer and satisfy their curiosity.

If I were to adjust the title for this post to use a question, I might use something like the following:

  • Can These 10 Tips For Improved Blog Titles Really Increase Your Traffic?
  • Just How Do You Create Blog Titles To Attract More Traffic?
  • Blog Titles: Will These 10 Tips Help You Grab More Traffic To Your Blog?
Get the cheatsheet to create blog titles that attract traffic.

Use a Number in the Title

Titles that incorporate a number often far outperform titles that do not. The content such titles relate to can be referred to as list articles or numbered list content.

For example, here are some recent examples of such posts on this blog:

Lists remain a very popular format for online content. The reasons why are not always clear, but here are some suggestions:

  • With limited online attention spans, it gives a clearly defined structure to the content before we even click through to read. We know what we’re getting into.
  • Lists give familiarity and comfort. Lists imply organization, rather than chaos. The online world can feel ever-changing and chaotic at the best of times. List-based content gives us something familiar and ordered we can hold on to.
  • As previously mentioned, there’s a certain amount of intrigue involved – we want to see exactly what’s on the list, or if there’s something on there we weren’t previously aware of.

If you take a look at posts on this blog, you’ll see I use numbers in my blog titles more often than not. And with good reason – they tend to drive higher response.

Using numbered lists in your blog titles

So why didn’t I use this technique for this post?

While using numbers in your titles is effective, using them every time is going to have a negative impact. Everything in moderation.

Use Alliteration.

Alliterations always attract attention 🙂

Okay, that’s probably slightly over the top!

When crafting a title for your blog post, you don’t need to try to get every word starting with the same letter. Just bear alliterations and similar sounding letters in mind to help construct more attractive titles.

They sound better when mentally reading them, and can look more attractive and professional.

For example, consider the title to this post:

[Blog Title Secrets] How to Create Blog Titles That Bring You Traffic

Consider also the relationships between the following sounds:

[Blog Title Secrets] How to Create Blog Titles That Bring You Traffic

It’s something you’re unlikely to have noticed consciously, but subconsciously can make a difference.

Does it actually work?

Scientifically? It’s something I need to test further.

Unscientifically? The answer’s simple – you’re reading this, aren’t you?

Start Without a Title.

When creating a new post, it can be easy to spend far too long on the title before you’ve even got another word down on the page for the post itself.

If you’re not too sure on the title to start with, just write down anything that vaguely relates to what you want to write about. A working title.

Then hone it and further craft it as you go along. Often the writing of the piece will help further define the title. For example, you may not know you’re going to write a numbered list post before you’ve written the first few paragraphs.

The very act of writing often oils the creative cogs and helps you craft a more effective title than you would have managed before you really started.

Create Several Titles.

As you’re writing your post, why stop at one title? Create several as you go along and as they spring to mind.

When you finish up your post, or even when you go back later to proofread it, pick the title you like the best or that resonates best with you. Or ask someone you work with to pick the one that jumps out at them the most.

You can even extend this process after your blog post is published.

Try tweeting out different versions of your title, each with a link back to your post. For example, you could do this over the course of a few days.

Look for one title that stands out from the rest for engagement. You can use that information in a number of ways:

  • To help inform how you create titles in future.
  • Use the improved title for content you repurpose from the post, eg. a SlideShare presentation or YouTube video.
  • Edit the original post to use the improved title.

10Make It Evergreen.

This post is all about crafting blog titles that bring you more traffic not just when you first create the post, but long-term too. Whenever you’re creating content, you’re investing in the future of your business.

So unless you’re consciously taking advantage of short-term or seasonal traffic possibilities, avoid effectively adding an expiry date to the title.

Generally speaking, you want your content to be applicable to your market all year round, and for years to come. So at least think carefully before adding a year or a season or a national holiday to the title of your blog post.

And of course once you’ve published your blog post, make sure you fully capitalize on it by spreading the word on social media, and repurposing it into various forms over the months ahead. Reuse your blog titles, or test out variations of them for different purposes.

Unless you capitalize on your content in this way, you’re only getting a small fraction of the exposure, leads and traffic the content you’re creating can otherwise bring your business.

Want these tips to refer back to later? Get the cheatsheet to create blog titles that attract traffic.

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