5 Rules to Help You Write Winning Blog Post Titles

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Last Updated March 6, 2023

Writing blog post titles is an essential part of blog creation. The title determines whether a reader clicks, skims, or zooms past your blog post. It’s also the article title that search engine algorithms use to determine the content of your blog post and the relevance of your blog post to search queries.

But writing creative blog post titles often feels like a daunting task. They have to be catchy without being over-the-top and keyword-heavy without sounding unnatural. They must tell the reader what content they can expect from the blog post while still engaging to keep readers interested. And they need to fit within a small amount of space governed by search engine result pages.

It’s no wonder many bloggers struggle with creating blog post titles that work! In this article, I’ll cover five rules for creating catchy blog post titles that effectively boost readership and search engine rankings.

What Makes a Great Blog Post Title?

A great blog title is vital for marketing a post effectively. It should be attention-grabbing, descriptive, and powerful. It can use action verbs and keywords to grab readers’ attention and ensure they are attracted to the content.

Also, keep titles short and to the point, aiming for eight to twelve words if possible. This will help readers quickly understand the post's topic and be intrigued enough to read further.

When writing blog titles, it's important to incorporate your brand name into the title if appropriate and if space allows. By doing so, you can establish your brand as an authority in your field and attract more readers. Utilizing numbered lists or questions in a title can also create curiosity and interest among readers.

If you are asking yourself the question of how to construct great blog post titles, the rules to follow are below. Let's get started!

Rule 1: Write Catchy Blog Titles Using the B.R.A.V.E. Approach

I came up with the B.R.A.V.E. approach for headline creation because I felt that beginning bloggers needed a foolproof methodology to create winning blog post titles. It's nothing new, just packaged in a way that I hope allows you to work with it for your own benefit.

The basic premise is to ensure post titles meet the five guiding principles of a blog post: Bespoke (original), Relevant, Authoritative, Valuable, and Engaging. Let's dive in.

Make Bespoke blog post titles

Bespoke titles should be unique and immediately capture the reader's attention. Bespoke titles have an excellent opportunity to stand out amongst the competitive noise.

For example, “8 Solutions to Unlock Your True Fitness Potential” title clearly describes the content of a blog post about improving your fitness level. Additionally, action words in your blog title, such as “unlock” or “learn,” helps grab readers' attention. This title scored well in my analysis.

More on that in a minute.

Long titles can be cumbersome and make it difficult for visitors to understand the content of a blog post quickly, so it is best to use short catchy titles that are easy to read and understand. This title used eight words, which amounts to 57 characters, and doesn't get cut off in the SERPs.

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I use the really handy and free SERP Simulator at Mangools SEO Tools.

Make your blog post titles Relevant

Relevance ensures that your blog post title is relevant to the topic from the audience's perspective. You want each user to feel the post specifically speaks to them and addresses their needs on a one-to-one level.

It’s also vital to consider what emotions you want to evoke in your readers and create titles that capture their attention and compel them to click through.

Consider what benefits your blog post offers readers and highlight those in the title, so they know exactly what they will gain from reading it.

Finally, make sure your titles accurately reflect the content of the post – don’t try to trick or mislead readers with clickbait titles!

Make your blog post titles Authoritative

Authority in your blog post title lets readers know the post provides expertise and information that is important to them. Building authoritative blog post titles can also help build your brand as an authority within your niche.

Credibility and trust are so critically valuable when blogging. It isn't easy to establish blogging success without establishing credibility and building trust with your audience. Blogs that do not have this front and center will not be sustainable.

Provide Value with your blog post titles

Outstanding blog titles are engaging and easy to read; they leave a lasting impression on readers. They provide value to what the reader anticipates finding should they click.

Click-bait titles might be all the rage, but eventually, loyal readers who take action will see through the thin veneer of a blog that only produces click-bait headlines. Blogs that rely on spammy tactics and don't provide value will find themselves penalized by search engine algorithm updates.

Make your blog post titles Engaging

Use blog post titles that will engage your audience on the deepest levels. Don't settle for dull language when you can use something sharper and more pointed. Your blog post must meet your readers halfway, if not further. Don't set the scene for a vanilla blog post by using an underwhelming headline.

I ran the blog title for this very post through this system using CoSchedule's headline analyzer tool called Headline Studio. Here is where I netted out.

Blog Title Attempt #1

My original post title was, 5 Rules for Writing Good Blog Post Titles

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This is okay, and it scored a 70 in the headline analysis tool, but the SEO score was only a 53, which is ho-hum and won't likely get the job done.

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Most competitors scored much higher, with the highest being 83.

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I decided to try again!

Blog Title Attempt #2

5 Rules for Writing Astoundingly Good Blog Post Titles

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This attempt scored a 78 with a 65 SEO score. An improvement for sure! And it didn't change the post's relevance, which is good.

I didn't like about attempt #2 because it's essentially just putting in the word “astoundingly” to score higher. It doesn't add Value.

Back to the drawing board.

Blog Title Attempt #3

5 Rules for Writing Astoundingly Good Blog Post Titles in 2023

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Another improvement, and this time into the 80s with an 81 overall and a 74 SEO score. Promising but with one major caveat.

Quick sidebar!

Many blog posts add dates to their titles (e.g. 2023 or June 2023), which gives them higher scores. This is not something I think needs to become a part of your blog post title exploration.

The issue with adding dates is that a date soon becomes outdated, and if you aren't in the habit of routinely updating a post, it will be out of date before you know it and likely will lose value.

Think about it, are you clicking on a headline that mentions something from 2020 or even 2021 at this juncture?

Not likely.

My advice is only to use dates on posts you intend to update yearly, if not more often. That way, the content will not appear stale.

Blog Title Attempt #4

5 Rules for Writing Good Blog Post Titles to Lead, Not Follow

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This post title scored off the charts. An 85 overall with an 81 SEO score. This title would have landed me ahead of all the competitors, but it diverged too much from the context of the post. And I felt it had too much machismo for the reader.

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Blog Title Attempt #5, Finally!

5 Rules to Help You Write Winning Blog Post Titles

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I landed on a post title that worked well and didn't diverge from the post's main focus. This title scored 82 overall, with a 77 SEO score. Although it was lower than Attempt #4, I felt it was on point and gave the reader a lot of value.

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Ultimately, I decided to move forward with option #5 but could have kept going. Headline Analyzer lets you test 25 iterations of a post title before it counts it as one of your completed headlines, so there is plenty of wiggle room to play around with a blog title.

Rule 2: Ensure Your Blog Post Title Length Meets Best Practices for Search Engines

Ensure your blog post title length meets search engine guidelines and best practices. Keep titles short and to the point, using words and phrases that accurately describe the content of your blog post. These words and phrases should accurately reflect the content of your blog post without leading readers to expect certain outcomes or conclusions.

You'll typically see guidelines of 8-13 words in length or 70-75 characters. Remember, this is for a blog post title and not necessarily your title link, which is what Google is now calling the title tag.

Post Title Length in Characters (55-60 characters)

A blog post title link should be between 55 and 60 characters for optimal visibility on search engine results pages. Longer title links may be truncated, resulting in lost visibility and potential clicks. This is why it's important to keep blog post titles short and concise if you intend to use them as your title links.

Including the most important keywords near the beginning of the title will help search engines quickly identify your post. An interesting and engaging title will stand out from other posts on search engine results pages, attracting more attention from potential readers.

Post Title Length in Pixels (< 600 pixels)

The title of a post used in search engine result pages can also be dictated by pixels. Google will display title tags that are 600 pixels or less in length before cutting them off. Longer titles may be truncated by search engine results pages (SERP) or be harder to understand.

Google says they do not penalize long titles, but that doesn't mean they will honor them in the search results.

To show how different writing styles impact truncation, I placed the exact same three title links into the SERP display tool at Mangools to show where truncation occurs.

All CAPS – Truncates at “MY”

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All CAPS cuts off text earlier than any other style and is typically frowned upon for use in title links. This is rarely seen in the search engine result pages.

Title Case – Truncates at “Let's,” which is 14 more characters than using all CAPS.

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Title Case is the gold standard most people use for their title linking strategy. Most results you will see this style.

Sentence Case – Truncates at “find,” which is 5 more characters than using Title Case.

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Using proper sentence structure affords you the most space for your title link text but is rarely seen in search engine results in the United States. We love our Title Case!

Google's own Gary Illyes said in a statement back in early 2021 that Google has no set limit for title links. But the percentage of time title links are changed by Google would say otherwise.

Percentage of Time Google Changes Title Tags

While title links (formerly known as title tags) don’t have a set length limit, it's important to keep them at certain lengths to prevent critical information from being clipped in the SERPs.

According to a 2022 study by Zippy.com, as reported by SEJ, Google rewrites title links 61% of the time, with Google rewriting titles over 70 characters 99.9% of the time and titles of 1-5 characters 96.6% of the time.

This is a bit disconcerting for SEOs who put a lot of thought and time into developing well-suited blog titles but it goes to show you many bloggers ignore such a critical part of the blog post.

For more information on influencing your title links in search results and related best practices, access Google Search Central.

Rule 3: Use Words that Align with the Needs of Your Users

Use words that align with the needs of your audience. This will help foster an emotional connection and draw them to read your title. Try using trigger words to evoke emotion and encourage clicks.

These words can help to create a sense of urgency, excitedly promote a product, or call out a topic of interest. You can elicit this type of response with either positive or negative words.

Use of positive words

You can use positive words to make a connection when writing a blog post title. For example, use positive words like “accurate”, “complete”, “helpful,” and “plentiful” to attract readers.

These words will help create a sense of excitement and interest in your blog post title. For a complete list of positive words, check out vocabulary.com.

Use of negative words

Using negative words in the blog titles can be effective if used appropriately. For example, “never” or “avoid” are powerful and emotive words that can easily convince someone to read your blog post.

However, using them sparingly and with care is essential, as they can be off-putting if used excessively. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the blog post's content backs up any negative claims made in the title.

Positive vs Negative Sentiment

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When it comes to blog post titles, the sentiment (positive or negative) can have a big impact on the post's success. Positive titles that evoke a feeling of hope, happiness, and optimism tend to attract more readers.

In contrast, negative titles that focus on fear, frustration, and pessimism can have a lower engagement rate. Positive titles tend to be more memorable and stand out in a sea of content, while negative titles can be easily overlooked.

Ultimately, blog post titles should be chosen strategically to maximize engagement and readership, with positive sentiment typically being the preferred option.

Rule 4: Use Keywords & Other Words Effectively

Using keywords and other words effectively in blog post titles is an important part of creating content that resonates with your audience. Keywords help search engines easily find your post, while other words can help to attract readers.

When used together, words can create titles that are both search engine friendly and clickable. Use the right words in your titles to ensure your content is found, shared, and read.

Emotional words

Emotional words such as “awesome,” “amazing,” and “perfect” can help capture the attention of readers and encourage them to open your blog post. Additionally, keywords in your title can help search engines identify and promote your blog post when people search for related topics.

Using these words effectively can help boost the visibility of your blog post when people are searching for related content online. So use them wisely to improve the readability of your blog content and ensure that it stands out from the crowd.

Power words

Power words have a strong emotional impact on a reader, such as the words “trusted,” “amazing,” “essential,” and so on. These words grab the reader’s attention and make them want to click.

Using powerful words in your blog title ensures that your post stands out. Using keywords and powerful words in title tags helps search engines better recognize and index your content.

This ultimately results in higher potential search engine rankings and increased visibility for your blog post. It’s important to remember to use keywords and powerful words effectively when writing blog titles to capture attention and appeal to readers.

Common words

Using common words in blog post titles can help make them more memorable and easier to understand. Common words like “as,” “about,” “most,” or “should” are all common words that help bridge other words and create a readable structure.

It is essential to use common words effectively to create title phrases that capture your post's critical points while being engaging and easy to read.

Uncommon words

Uncommon words in blog post titles are words that are used less often but add interest to grab readers' attention. Using uncommon words like “life,” “makes,” “new,” and “time” will help create a level of interest and reliability when used appropriately.

When you apply the right formula of the four types of words for blog titles, you'll see higher scores, which could translate into better search rankings and higher click-through rates.

Rule 5: Test What Works and Make Adjustments

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Testing what works for blog post titles is a great way to ensure your posts are as successful as possible. By testing different titles on your blog, you can figure out which titles are the most effective in gaining clicks and views.

This is a great way to ensure that your blog posts reach their target audience and get the attention they deserve. It can also ensure that your blog posts are engaging and interesting.

Once you find what works, you can adjust the titles to ensure they are as effective as possible. By testing what works for blog post titles and making adjustments, you can ensure that your blog posts reach their intended audience and make the most impact.

Test Blog Post Title Clarity

A good blog post title should clearly state what the article is about and give readers an idea of what they can expect from it. Using keywords in your title can help with SEO, but make sure you don’t sacrifice clarity for keyword stuffing.

Try testing different titles to see which performs best and adjust as necessary. Ask others if what you are using as a title provides clarity for the post.

Test Post Title Click-through Rate

The click-through rate on the blog title is critical to a successful post, so testing different titles and formats can give you an idea of what resonates with readers. It’s essential to keep an eye on Google Search Console performance charts to see which titles perform best.

The performance chart within GSC can tell you what your CTR is for any keyword you receive an impression on. Two factors will impact your CTR. One is where you rank in the SERPs. The higher your position, the higher your CTR tends to be.

The average CTR for the number one ranking in Google tends to receive 25%-30% of the click-throughs.

The second factor will be your post title link and meta description. These encourage higher levels of click-through when they follow the principles outlined in this article and compel searchers to click.

Leveraging A/B testing on different versions of the title can be useful in finding out which one performs better with readers. By constantly testing different title options, you can find the best way to engage your audience and reach your goals.

Test Post Engagement as Measured by Time on Page

Testing different title options using time on page can provide insight into your post titles' effectiveness. Time on page will help show the relationship the post title has with the post content.

You will know your title is relevant and provides value when the time on page is longer. If you have low engagement with the post or a high bounce rate, you might need to better align your post title to the content so readers get what they expect.

Test Headline Skimmability

Headline skimmability is the practice of writing headlines that are easy to understand and quickly draw attention. The headline should be concise and use simple language with clear meaning. Long words and jargon can make the headline difficult to read, so it’s best to avoid them.

Test the Headline Reading Level

The headline reading level of blog post titles can significantly impact their success. Headlines with lower reading levels are easier to understand and more likely to be clicked on by readers.

Headline reading level can be measured in several ways, with the most well-known and widely used is the Flesch Reading Ease and the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level. You can use alternatives, such as the Gunning Fog and SMOG indices.

You can learn more about readability scoring on readable.com.

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Unless you are writing in an industry where the reading level scoring systems are difficult to apply, think medical writing or engineering, when crafting a title for a blog post, it’s essential to aim for a range of reading levels from grade 6 to 10. This will likely cover the content you want to write to reach your audience.

Blog Post Title Types

The title of a blog post is one of the most important factors in attracting clicks and engagement. It’s vital to choose an effective title that clearly communicates what readers can expect from the post. Descriptive titles, like “How to do X” or “The benefits of Y,” work well for this purpose.

Creative titles can capture readers’ attention and draw them deeper into the content. It’s important to experiment with different title types to see which works best for each post type.

There are many different types of posts,, and the corresponding titles will be applicable in some instances and not in others.

Common blog posts types:

I've provided some of the most common types of blog articles, complete with blog title examples, to show that good blog titles come in many shapes and sizes.

Listicles (lists that can also be classified under other content types)

  • 5 ways to dominate playing bridge
  • 10 habits of successful entrepreneurs
  • 3 steps to waking up more refreshed

How-to Articles (tutorials, walkthroughs, guides)

  • how to conquer your biggest fears
  • how to live a more simple life
  • how to make a cake in under an hour

Round-ups (best, notable, top)

  • Best apps for relaxing sounds
  • Best ways to build a treehouse
  • Top faucets to connect with Alexa

Question & Answer (who, what, when, why, which)

  • What is it like to walk on the moon?
  • When does the time change in Spring?
  • Which is better, bar soap or body wash?

Alternatives

  • spaghetti noodle alternatives
  • alternative ways to play pool
  • alternative to Photoshop

Comparisons (vs.)

  • Ran Math vs Yoast SEO
  • fixed-rate vs variable rate mortgage
  • Jordan vs Lebron

Reviews

  • Citibank Mastercard review
  • Our review of Top Gun Maverick
  • We reviewed 5 airlines in first class

It's important to note that a catchy title may earn the click of your target readers, but it still takes quality content backing up the blog title to be considered in the category of best-performing blog posts.

3 Great Blog Post Title Creation Resources

There are many resources for blog post title creation that can assist in your process. I've provided three of my favorites for ideas, inspiration, testing, and analysis.

Headline Studio by CoSchedule

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CoSchedule offers many great tools for content marketing and blogging, including a free content scheduling calendar that hooks right into WordPress via a plugin. They also have an exceptional headline creation and analysis tool. The tool will give you all the essential information regarding how a headline scores against competitors in its construction and search results.

You can test the tool out for free, and if you find you like it, the premium plans are affordable, with the Pro version offering 20 headlines per month with 25 revisions per headline for $148/year. You will also get access to the thesaurus, power, emotion, common, and uncommon word dictionaries, readability scoring, and competitive comparison.

A Chrome extension and a Firefox addon (experimental) can be used to work within WordPress and Google docs.

HubSpot's Blog Topic Generator

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HubSpot has a wealth of content marketing and blogging tools, and the topic generator tool is great for inspiration and idea generation. It won't analyze it for you, but it will provide several options to hash over.

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It's not perfect, and some ideas it produces do not make sense, but with some creative adjustments, you'll have many titles in no time. The tool is free; if you sign up or sign in to HubSpot, you'll get 250 on each query.

Scalenut Blog Ideas & Blog Title Generators

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Scalenut is a top blog writing assistant tool with a host of features to help write better posts and blog headlines. You can use both tools for free and a whole host of others. Keep in mind there are limitations to the free tools. Scalenut is widely becoming a front-runner in the AI writing space with bloggers and is well worth the investment if you are evaluating AI tools.

If you need to write blog post titles, it can give you the means to do so easily and effectively. You can sign up for plans for as little as $19/month as they are having a huge sale. The Growth plan is the most valuable for single users at $36/month and gives unlimited brief creation, and unlimited word counts.

You can save an additional 10% on your Scalenut plan using the link below with promo code: FIRST10

Other Blog Headline Generators

Blog Post Title Creation Wrap-up

When it comes to blog post title creation, the best way to ensure you write catchy headlines is to stick to the basic guidelines for successful blog titles.

  1. Keep a blog post title brief and straight to the point. Avoid using long sentences or paragraphs, as they confuse readers and get truncated in search results. Keep titles short and concise, so they don’t overshadow the post's content.
  2. Use keywords in your title to help search engines recognize and rank your content. Include keywords that tell readers what your post is about. Questions and using certain phrases invoke curiosity in your readers and make them want to read more about the topic.
  3. Make title headlines catchy and attention-grabbing. To different options and test their effectiveness. This will help you find a winning formula for your audience.
  4. Ensure your blog post title accurately reflects the post's content. Tailor title headlines to specific blog posts so they don’t become redundant or pointless in the overall content of a blog post.

A blog title is an essential element of your blog post because it’s the first thing a reader sees when deciding whether or not to click on your content. Follow the tips above to craft blog post titles that will help your content rank higher in search engine results, drive more traffic, and boost engagement.

I sincerely hope you found value in this post, and my headline helped convey that. If you know someone you think would benefit from this information, I'd appreciate it if you shared it with them. Cheers and happy blogging!

Helpful Related Content

Blog Post Title Creation FAQs

What is the best way to come up with blog post titles?

Coming up with blog post titles can be a daunting task, but there are some tips that you can follow to make it easier.

First and foremost, brainstorm a list of topics you want to write about. This will help you narrow down what title best suits your content. Keeping titles short and to the point is also essential – aim for 65 characters or less when creating blog post title ideas.

In addition, using numbers in blog post titles can help catch readers' attention faster and encourage them to click. Power words like “amazing,” “incredible,” or “inspiring” work well too. You should also make sure that your blog post title is specific, so readers know what they’ll get before they click – which helps increase your click-through rate.

Finally, if you want to stand out from the crowd, create blog post title ideas that use questions, as this creates curiosity. For example, instead of writing: “Tips for Writing Engaging Blog Posts,” try writing something like “How Can You Write Engaging Blog Posts?” Try it out!

Should I include keywords in my blog post title?

Including relevant keywords in your blog post title can greatly benefit search engine optimization. When people search for content related to your topic, it is more likely that your blog post title will appear in the search results if it contains the right keyword.

Keep the title short and to the point when using keywords. Long titles tend to get cut off in search engine results, so include only the most essential words. Additionally, ensure that the title accurately reflects the content of your blog post.

Moreover, it would help if you considered including a number in your blog post title. It helps catch people’s attention and gives them an idea of what kind of content they’ll find in the blog post. Lastly, use action words to make your headline more interesting and engaging. This will help draw readers into your post and encourage them to click on it.

How long should a blog post title be?

Blog post titles should ideally be no more than 65 characters in length so that search engine results accurately reflect the title of your blog post. Make sure the title communicates the main point of the post. Use actionable language that will draw readers into your content and make them interested in what you have to say.

5 Rules to Help You Write Winning Blog Post Titles
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Ben Adams

Ben Adams is an online entrepreneur with over 20 years of digital marketing experience in SEO, content marketing, analytics, email marketing, e-commerce, and other strategies. He enjoys consulting and helping businesses and entrepreneurs succeed by using technology and tools to power their online presence and growth. He also enjoys writing, photography, traveling, and spending time with his family.

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