“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” David Ogilvy said this in his book, Confessions of an Advertising Man, in 1963. David, one of the world’s most famous ad men, knew the importance of a great headline and how to hook an audience.
Ultimately, titles are what sell content. Think about the book titles or magazine articles that grab your interest first, or the email subjects that spark your curiosity enough to open them. If titles are uninspiring, they simply won’t get read or shared.
Choosing an attention-grabbing title for your school blog can be tricky. There are many things to consider, but luckily we’ve distilled them down to our top six tips. Here’s how to write blog titles that will get you results:
- Start with a working title
Before trying to come up with the perfect headline, start with a rough draft. It’s much easier to hone in on an ideal title once the blog copy is finished (we’ll give you tips for making it clickable and search-friendly later).
- Be accurate
Being accurate is important because it sets clear expectations and builds trust with your readers. Don’t make claims you can’t back up, especially when using facts and figures. For example, “Why one in five students are now seeking alternative pathways to university”, is very specific and hard to justify. If you set high expectations with an ambitious blog title you’ll also lose readers’ trust.
- Add some sizzle
If your blog topic is a little dry, use this opportunity to spice it up. The language used all depends on your core buyer persona. Here are some great tips for adding a little pizzazz to your title:
- Have some fun with alliteration – It will have a subtle but effective impact on your audience. E.g ‘Super Study Techniques to Save Time for Students’.
- Use strong language – Strong phrases (and, frankly, negative ones) like ‘Things People Hate’ or ‘Brilliant’ pack quite a punch. But please use these in moderation!
- Make the value clear – What golden gem of knowledge are you offering readers? Is it to inform or entertain? Do you have some helpful tips, tools or news to share?
- Make it visual – If you can include visuals next to your blog title, do it! It will increase the chance of readers clicking through as it makes your blog look more inviting.
- Focus on the ‘whos’, not the ‘whys’ – Blog titles with the word ‘who’ generated a 22% higher CTR than those without, whereas ‘why’ titles saw a 37% drop (Hubspot, 2018).
- Keep it snappy
The average person’s attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to less than eight seconds today – which is shorter than that of a goldfish. With this in mind, keep blog titles to around eight words. If it’s under 60 characters it’ll rank better in Google as it doesn’t get cut-off in search engine results. It’s always a good idea to test a few different titles to see which perform best.
- Focus on long-tail keywords
Focus on the keywords or short phrases that you know your audience is searching for. Don’t incorporate too many keywords into your title (or blog post) as this will hurt your SEO. Try searching for your title in Google. If there are a lot of exact matches then it’s a good idea to change it. Keeping your keywords at the start of your title means you’ll be more likely to grab their attention.
- Brainstorm with others
They say two heads are better one, and it’s true. Brainstorming is a crucial part of the process to ensure that you’ve got a winning blog title.
Writing the perfect headline will greatly increase the chances of getting your blog read. For more tips on crafting a dynamite blog, check out our free blogging basics ebook.