Your blog post titles are the most important part of your post.
This is one KILLER strategy that can skyrocket your click rates on your blog content wherever the title appears online — in the search engines, when shared on Facebook, or even on your blog feed.
Having strong post titles is one of the most effective ‘passive’ traffic optimization methods you can pursue. It’s one that’s easy to do (with a bit of thought) and it can reap HUGE gains in traffic and a lot of social shares.
We all like to look at CTR when it comes to the position of your articles appearing on the search engine. At say #3 you get 20 percent of the clicks according to Webmaster Tools — based on the position.
What’s also very important is the TITLE of your post.
Arguably, the most important part of your post because people will either click or not click on your post because of the title.
With a tricked out post title that engages and captures readers who see it, you can get a lot of visitors to your blog than a boring post title — even if you are ranked lower in the search engines than competing articles.
It is possible that your catchy article ranked #5 in the SERPS can get more traffic than another websites’ post with a less catchy post title ranked at #2 or #3.
The challenge here of course is to create a catchy, yet accurate title that draws readers to click on your article and actually see your stellar content.
You can’t pull in the fish if they don’t even bite on the hook.
And today, I’m going to teach you guys how to put better bait on that hook and catch more fish.
I’ll give you some of my 9 best tips that I use (and ones I see many people use all the time in their content marketing strategies).
100+ Ways How I Write the Best Post Title That Will Skyrocket Your Traffic 200% in 1 Day
If you look at some of the more popular content shared around the web or on the Search Engine listings, you’ll see the authors often post very sensationalized posts to draw in more clicks.
And there’s a good reason pretty much every sharp content marketer uses these strategiess.
Because they work.
Let’s look at some of the most effective post title strategies you can employ when creating your own blog post titles — strategies that, if you do them right, can really boost traffic and increase overall CTR to your articles.
1. Data-Driven Post Titles (Percentages or Numbers)
You’ll see this quite often. Stuff like ‘How I Made X‘ or ‘How I Increased Search Traffic by 3000%’.
This really changes depending on the niche of course — for the internet marketing, post titles with percentages, stats, or other such data really draws in a lot more attention,
- ‘How I Made 300,000 in 2 months’
- ‘Learn to Increase Conversions by 1000% with 3 Simple Tips’
You’ll see I’ve done this on a few of my posts (and I need to add, the claims are all completely true — I’m not pulling some bait and switch).
For example, my How My Blog went from Zero to 1 Million Pageviews article.
2. Numbered Lists
This is a popular one and it’s a strategy pretty much everyone uses now.
The reason is because it’s effective. Lists pull in readers.
- 5 Ways to Improve Your Search Engine Traffic
- 21 Methods to Increase Conversions
- 101 Ways to Build Better Backlinks
Typically, you get better results if you put the numbers close to the start of the title than near the end.
Some useful specific strategies:
- Put the List number at the beginning: ’10 Ways to Get Rid of Blackheads’
- Create ONE more item and use the + sign to make the list seem even more expensive: ’20+ Internet Marketing Tips for Beginners’
- Add the current date and an update clause in the text to make the list seem more relevant to the now: ’50 Strategies to Make Money (Updated 2015)’
- Add a Superlative Modifier to make the list more definitive: ‘Best 60 Romantic Movies You Need to Watch When You Are Single’
Again, on this blog I’ve done this a number of times. Read my 21 Rules That will Really Help You Make Money Online.=
3. Personalizing Post Titles
Readers are people too — not just some abstract statistic you look at in analytics. When you realize you are dealing with people who you can make an emotional connection with, you realize the power of having personal narrative to your article — and in the title itself.
If you personalize your title with ‘I’, readers — especially readers who are looking for a solution — are more likely to click on the article.
Are you more likely to click on:
‘How I Made $100,000 Selling Digital Products’
‘How to Make $100,000 Selling Digital Products?’
I’m willing to bet most people would choose the first one.
I do this, again, myself. My How I Made 150,000 as an Amazon Affiliate article for example.
4. Superlative Lists
Use the Google Adwords Tool to search for any product, service, strategy and you’ll find people are typing in superlative (best/top) keyword markers.
Putting together a ‘best list’ about anything draws in people. It’s a tried and true marketing strategy that content writers (both digital and print) have been using for like ever.
And the reason is that it works.
I have entire websites devote to just helping people find the best product or service that make me good money — a significant portion of my earnings in fact.
You can often very effectively combine superlative keywords with a list topic (or anything else).
- ‘Best Ways to Make Money Online’
- ‘Top 50 Backlinking Strategies That Work in 2015’
- ‘Best Internet Marketing Websites’
- ‘Best Coffee Makers’
And again, I do this and have done this on this site. Look at my The Absolute Best Tools to Build a Legit Income Online article.
5. Sensationalized Titles
While you can sensationalize any sort of title, there’s a common method where you use over-the-top language to pull on the emotional heartstrings of the reader. These are often called ‘click bait’ or ‘viral-style’ titles.
For an example, just open up your Facebook Feed and take a look at some of the hugely shared articles being posted and re-posted. Often these magazine-style headlines lead to an ad-filled blog with just a little bit of content or a list of pictures with short descriptions. Sometimes, the topic is an outright lie even.
Buzzfeed.com has made about a billion dollars populating the web though these style titles.
I’m not saying sensationalized titles can’t be effective — they are when done right. You just need to make sure the content delivers what the title promises. If you sensationalize your title but the content doesn’t match that or is not highly related to the topic title, you may upset your readers, which if you are trying to build up a brand, is not a good strategy.
If you are just trying to make quick money from click bait articles with loads of ads, then it’s not an issue whether your readers are satisfied or not.
6. Adjective-Laden Titles
A Good adjective makes a post title so much more interesting.
What title do you think will draw more clicks:
1. How to Make Insane Money with Adsense
2. How to Make Money with Adsense?
You get a prize if you picked #1.
The judicious use of a good adjective or three in a post title (any post type of post title) can make a big difference in your post click CTR — on the search engines, on facebook, or even on your website blog feed.
If you look at many of the post titles I’ve cooked up on AuthorityIncome.com, you’ll see I employ this strategy.
7. Time Limited Titles
As a species we are rather impatient. We wants what we wants NOW, not later. If you can craft a post title that promises a solution sooner (or like immediately) than later, you may push more people into clicking on your post. Or at least your post will look more interesting, especially the more casual reader.
How I Made $100 a Day Online After Only 1 Week of Work
The above title is certainly more interesting than something like ‘How I Made $100 a Day Online’
The inclusion of a time limit (and a very short one at that) makes the post much more compelling.
Again, I done this myself. See my How My Blog went from Zero to 1 Million Pageviews in 13 months.
8. Promissory Titles
Ah, everyone likes to be guaranteed results. An in the internet marketing vertical, promises are cheaper than the Canadian dollar right now.
Now, being a LEGIT marketer like you and I are, we want to keep things above the fold and promise things that are actually possible to do. Unfortunately, this is one area that marketers (of all sorts) have wildly abused. The oldest marketing trick in the game is to make huge, hyped up promises that are simply impossible for the 99.9 percent of the population (short of a lottery-level of luck) to actually achieve.
Think about this.
Learn The Guaranteed Strategy of How to Make $300 a with Adsense in 1 Month
Learn to Make a Full a Full Time Income with Adsense
I think you can see the first title — the one the promises you a hype of claim as reality — is more attractive and interesting a title.
If you want to see a lot of this bullshit in action, just look at the weight loss niche.
- ‘How to Lose 30lbs in 1 Month’
- ‘The Secrets to Building a Ripped Physique in 30 Days’
- ‘Get Six Pack Abs in 2 Weeks Guaranteed!’
The SEO / Make Money Online / Internet Marketing / Blogging niches are almost as bad with titles such as:
- How to Make $900 a Day and Quite Your Job
- Increase your Conversions by 10000 Percent
- How to Rank #1 for Any Term!
I personally don’t like to use promissory type titles because that puts you in the obligation to deliver. But it’s an effective marketing tool if you do it right — you just have to realize that you are in fact obligated (if you value yourself as an honest marketer — which I do) to deliver on those results.
If you don’t give a shit and want to be one of those Warrior Forum sleazy marketers, then by all means, abuse this type of title!
9. Make a Statement Then Propose a Solution After It
Here’s a final one from my trick bag. Make a title that makes a specific statement about a problem OR ask a question, then almost as an afterthought, lead in to a proposed solution after the statement or give a lead in to your solution.
Example of this type of post title:
- Make Money Online (How to Really Do It)
- Can You Make Money on Amazon for Real (How’s How I Do It)
- Can You Make a Living Selling Coffee (read about a man who does)
- Repair Your Credit (while still getting a credit card)
Why does this work? People read the regular title then the catchy solution offered in quotes leads them into the article. It’s a clever little tactic that’s easy to do and it’s pretty effective. You can often ramp up regular old titles and make them far more interesting by doing this.
Don’t Be THAT Lying Marketer Guy
Now while it’s all good to use some strategies and tricks to pull in more readers, you don’t want to actually lie to your readers either.
You’ll often see a lot of click-bait post titles used on Facebook and on the web — especially in niches with a lot of internet marketers.
But, often, if you actually drill down into the content, you’ll see these grand claims are not as impressive as the title would have you believe.
Now, I’m not hating on what these marketers are doing — you NEED to use click-bait style titles to pull in the clicks. And these marketers do deliver quality content.
There is a difference between writing a sensationalized yet accurate post title and outright lying.
I don’t recommend you lie or trick readers with mislabeled titles. You should provide good enough content in your article that those people click on your article based on the catchy title, won’t get pissed off at how you’ve obviously lied about your claims or that they’ve been duped into coming to your article under a false pretense.
Either of these is not a good thing for building your brand and retaining readers.
What you need to do is actually look at your data an find a way to sensationalize that without actually lying about it.
How to Come Up With A Title On Your Own?
It can be a bit of a chore to come up with a catchy blog title on your own.
What do you do if you are having a brain freeze?
Method 1: Steal Someone Else’s
Not exactly steal, but ‘borrow’ someone else’s better title and refit it for your own use!
It’s easy as pie to do this. Simply type on your keywords and see what the post titles are of the top results in Google search. Chances are those post titles are highly optimized around the keywords you want to use and done so with a catchy style title. Simply take some of the structure used by those sites, reword it slightly, and use it for your own title.
Method 2: Find Most Social Shared Content with Your Keyword and Copy
Another method is to use something like BuzzSumo.com, put in your keyword your post is about, and see what viral articles pop up in their top 4 free results. Take one of those catchy titles which has PROVEN to do well already with readers (viral shares for the top posts with your keywords mean the post title must have resonated enough with readers to do so well) and refit it for your own post.
Increase Your Post Title CTR By A/B Split Testing
If you guys have a website getting some solid traffic and there’s money to be made from the website, you can easily further increase your post title’s CTR by doing some easy split testing on it.
It’s pretty simple.
- Get a split testing plugin (I recommend the very awesome and easy Simple Page Tester, or the free Title Experiments plugin)
- Come up with TWO different titles, each of these will be your ‘tests’ that you will test CTR on with the split test plugin
- Set up a split test with one of the tests with each identical page having one title and run the split test plugin. Each page with the different title will be shown randomly and you can see exactly what title does BETTER traffic wise
- Pick the winner and if you want to optimize even more, split test the winner against a new variation, take the winner and repeat again till you are satisfied
Now, split testing can be a lot of work, but for your best converting pages or for key pages on your site ranking high on the SERPS, it’s worth that effort.
If you have a page getting say 500 visitors a day in Google at position #4 for that keyword and you change the title (doing a split test as above) and find that you actually can get 650 visitors a day because a more optimized title, that’s more money in your pocket, potentially.
If you do this on all your major, most traffic pages, this can make a dramatic difference to your overall traffic.
I highly recommend you look at this — it’s a powerful solution and takes the ‘guesswork’ out of finding what title works the best. You simply keep testing variations until you find the best converting one. Of course, I recommend using one of my 9 strategies given above and keep testing variations of each until you get to one that works the best.
Split Testing Solutions
Paid: Simple Page Tester (recommend)
Free: Title Experiments – (for only split testing just the titles, this free plugin is excellent and works just fine. You can’t do full page split testing though)
Google Webmaster Tools – you can test your actual Search Engine CTR for a keyword given the position IF you already know exactly what post is ranking for that specific keyword. You can’t split test, but if you make a title change, you can observe the effect this will have on the CTR for the keyword in Webmaster Tools after a couple days.
The Final Word
Now, you will find sometimes you write posts that are data driven in some way (often in niches where you are trying to sell or market a service, a product, a case study). This is content where you have to look at some data and come up with a conclusion or analysis (again, often to sell something or prove your point in some way) there is a lot of room to create a catchy title by extrapolating a bit on the data you have, and twisting it to sound more sensational then it really is in fact.
This is a tried and true strategy in many niches.
And there’s no better example than our very own ‘Internet Marketing’ niche. Some of the marketers and experts are absolute masters of manipulating data to their benefit, especially when it comes to proving something through a data driven case study.
In my follow up article, How to Write Sensationalized, Data-Driven Post Titles without Lying, I do a case study on two well-known marketers in the IM / SEO field, Neil Patel and Brain Dean, to show you how these guys can portray, in a post title, more spectacular results than the actual data they discuss in their post content actually gives, yet do so while still being completely truthful!
It’s something for you guys to copy.