You’ve got a great idea for a post, and though posts all have to start with an idea, a post that ends with an idea is simply that – an idea. Ideas don’t get you traffic, and ideas don’t bring in revenue. Posts do these things. So, once you’ve got that brilliant idea, it’s time to turn it into something that is “clickable” – that readers will love. Learn how to hook readers with compelling post titles by reading this post and following the tips that I’ll lay out for you. The more visitors you can get to read your post, the greater chances you have of that post being shared, commented on, or engaged with!
Good titles always have an accurate description of what the post will be about. This doesn’t mean that you have a title give away all of the information that you’re going to present, in fact, some titles that are mysterious can actually be more effective, but a reader should have a pretty good idea of the general topic that they’re going to read about. For example, if you were to title a post “Ice Cream Is The Best” and then proceed to write about post planning techniques, you would get traffic, but your engagement levels were probably very low. Readers would be confused.
Making a reader click because they’re confused is not a positive click – this traffic means very little to you. (Note that sites with a very focused audience and HUGE popularity can sometimes pull this off. If CopyBlogger wants to title a post “I Love Ice Cream,” they would probably get huge amounts of shares just because their readership base is incredibly strong, and people know that content is always relevant and helpful.)
Titles need to be short – long titles are a turn off to readers, and they generally indicate that you didn’t take the time to think about how you could shorten the title. Sometimes it’s best to compose a long, wordy title that has all of the necessary components, and then work with that title to make it shorter. For example: “How To Purchase The Right Flatscreen TV For You and Your Family: Ultimate Guide” is definitely way too long of a title. A better title that still keeps all of those elements but shortens the length is: “How To Choose Flatscreen TVs: A Guide.” This will make Google and your readers happier.
That “Special” Factor
This “special” factor is not something I can really help you to come up with, but I can give you a few general ideas as to how you can get readers to click on your post titles. There are several techniques you can use to make titles interesting, and I’ll list some of them below.
Funny titles are usually what I go with on my own geek culture site, and the reason for this is twofold. One, I’m best at this type of title writing, and two, my audience responds well to excessive humor. (Some audiences do not – unless you’re Jim Cramer, a business audience probably doesn’t want to sit and watch you crack jokes.) If you make a title hilarious, it will surely drive more traffic to your post. Not only does it look better on your home page, but your Google searcher conversion rates will go way up!
Controversial titles often get many clicks because people are very passionate about what you’re saying. For example, “”How McDonald’s Will Destroy Half Of The World By 2030” would undoubtedly get you tons and tons of clicks. But, remember, you can’t make a title controversial just for the sake of it – the post has to be relevant to the title and also controversial. I talked more about controversial titles and link baiting in my recent article on planning posts.
This is kind of a confusing header, but allow me to explain. If your title gives away everything in a post, then nobody will click through to the article. If your title instead leaves important information out that the reader wants, they will click in a heartbeat. A good example of this are titles that start with “Why You Need To…” or something of that nature. A CopyBlogger contest that recently ran involved writing the best tagline for an email marketing header. The winner? “Does your site pass this test?” People need to know what “this test” is, and why it’s so important. Don’t tell them everything, and readers will want to know more.