7 Tips for Writing Headlines That Generate Traffic

7 Tips for Writing Headlines That Generate Traffic


Article written by Johan lemarchand, editor at Tutositeweb.fr

Writing a blog post title is not that difficult. However, finding a title that grabs attention and generates traffic is a whole different story. This article explains how to write more effective article titles for both SEO and traffic.

How important is a good title to SEO?

In his book “Confessions of an Advertiser”, David Ogilvy emphasizes the importance of the title. This last one is read five times more than the text. The title is like a signpost that invites the reader to continue reading.

Today like yesterday, finding a catchy headline is one of the best ways to make your content shareable on social networks, to be find on search engines andincrease its traffic.

The title is the first, and sometimes the only, part of your article that potential readers will see. It is therefore important to grab their attention and encourage them to read your article. At the same time, it should accurately describe your content so that readers aren’t misled by a catchy but not entirely accurate title.

Writing great headlines is an essential skill for anyone who does SEO. Why that ? The title is the first thing a web user sees in search results. It is also an important factor for Google to determine the subject of a page.

A good title will have a higher click-through rate on search results pages and therefore attract more traffic. This rate is often called CTR (Click Through Rate). This is a metric that can be found in the performance reports of the Google Search Console.

Here are 7 tips for writing headlines that attract more traffic!

1) Add a number in the title

When you search on Google, you will find in the results that a good part of the titles contain numbers.

For example, if you are looking to “lose pounds,” unsurprisingly you will come across a number of headlines that include numbers.

On closer inspection, almost all of the titles contain figures: “10 everyday tips”, “30 tips from grandmothers”, “7 easy tips”…

It’s not surprising. According to a study conducted by Moz and driver, headlines with numbers are 36% more likely to get clicks.

This study made it possible to determine the types of titles most appreciated by Internet users:

Titles containing a number are the most popular far ahead of titles that address the reader directly.

The reason for this preference is easy to understand. On the one hand, thes readers know what to expect when they click on this type of title.

Then this format makes reading easier. It allows them to navigate through important information faster and focus on what matters most to them.

Another interesting fact, an odd number in a title works better than an even number.

A simple list is not enough. Regardless of the number of elements in the article, it is best to provide quality content. For each item in the list, enough detail must be provided.

To read to go further: 12 web writing tips to get your readers hooked

2) Name the target audience

If your item is not a listing, you can name your target audience in the title. Addressing the reader directly is also very effective in increasing click-through rate.

If you want fathers to read your text, add “father” in the title.

For example, if you are looking for “new daddy”, you will come across a number of headlines aimed directly at the target market.

All of these titles perform very well in terms of average CTR and rank well in search results. In fact, one of these titles is aimed at the target audience and contains a number.

“Young daddy: The 8 things he learns when a baby is born”

It is therefore possible to combine several methods to optimize your titles.

To read to go further: What is a PERSONA and how do I create it?

3) Find the right length for the title

The best blog titles are relatively short. They are about nine words long and contain between 50-55 characters.

For titles, Google displays around 60 characters on desktops and around 50 characters on mobile.

Therefore, a title that is 55 characters long is an ideal length. In all cases, it is recommended to add the main keyword in the first 50 characters of the title.

4) Favor the clarity of the title

A good article title should never be ambiguous. At a glance, a potential reader should be able to understand exactly what type of content they will be able to find by clicking on the title.

For example, a headline like “5 Great Cooking Tips” is too vague to attract attention. A title like “5 tips to remove bad smells from the fridge” is much better because it is unambiguous.

The clarity of the title also makes it possible to increase the average duration of the sessions and to decrease the bounce rate. Readers will be less likely to leave your site seconds after arriving.

A clear and simple title helps improve the conversion rate. It will attract people who are more likely to be interested in your offer.

To read to go further: Writing for the web: the (almost) complete method to miss all of your articles!

5) Promise a benefit

If possible, your headline can include a promise to the potential reader. In this case, your content should deliver the value promised in the title.

By including the promise of a benefit in the title, you will make visitors want to click on your article more. Simplicity and speed are the benefits most often mentioned in headlines.

For example, a simple check in BuzzSumo shows that articles on weight loss consistently include a benefit or benefit.

In these titles, the promises are clear and grab the reader’s attention: “lose 10 pounds”, “quickly and simply” “sustainably”…

6) Add a catchy word

To generate traffic, you have the option to add a catchy word in your title. The words are extremely mighty. Some evoke emotions.

Including an emotional element in the title is a method commonly used by editors. Without overdoing it and without falling into the clickbait, you can apply it with care. It should not be used to the detriment of the quality or accuracy of the content.

If your article does not match the title, users will be dissatisfied. And you probably will be too. When the content doesn’t deliver what it promises, your headline is like clickbait by manipulating readers to get a click.

By avoiding this, you can use catchy words that evoke emotions. For example, impactful words very often used in headlines are: “free”, “new”, “guaranteed”, “easy / simple”, “never”, “always”, “worst”, “best”, “secret ”…

7) Use a formula

At this point, you’re probably wondering how to fit all of this advice into just nine words.

Honestly, it’s not possible… There is no miracle technique to incorporate all of these elements into such a short title every time. Language just doesn’t work that way.

On the other hand, when writing a headline, you can apply these tips by following this simple formula:

[Nombre ou audience cible] + [Mot accrocheur] + [Promesse]

For example, “Becoming an entrepreneur: 6 key tips for success”.

Let’s review this title …

  • Directly addressed to the reader
  • Includes a number
  • Incorporates a catchy word (“key tips”)
  • Includes an additional promise (“to succeed”) which changes the rest of the title
  • Contains exactly 8 words
  • 53 characters long, including spaces

The final word

Finding a good title for your article is not that easy. Writing an effective article title takes time and requires patience. Efficiency comes with practice.

Now you have some helpful tips you can follow to write eye-catching article titles that get readers to click, read, and share your content.

How many blog titles do you write for each post? Let us know in the comments.

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