Blog optimization is a term that gets thrown around often, but isn’t always explained. It’s no secret that blogging regularly is an important strategy in your business’ overall marketing tactics, but how do you know if you’re doing it right? This multi-part series will help you understand the how’s and why’s of optimizing your blog posts.
Have you ever skipped over an article in a search engine query because of the headline? Maybe it was not descriptive enough; maybe it was boring or too generic; maybe the actual headline got cut off and left you confused. No matter the reason, it’s safe to say that your headline will have a strong impact on whether or not someone clicks on your post. But how do you make sure your title is as strong as the content inside of it? We break it down for you below using CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer as our guide.
1. Word Strength
Unsurprisingly, a strong headline starts with the quality of its words. For instance, consider the following titles:
- Marketing Tips for Your Business
- 10 Marketing Secrets That Will Skyrocket Your Sales
Even if the content of those two posts were exactly the same, it’s pretty apparent which headline would get the most clicks. In order to create the perfect title, CoSchedule breaks down the ideal word combinations:
- Common (ideally 20%-30% of title): These are the basic words that form the structure of your headline (e.g. “that,” “will” and “your” in our preferred headline).
- Uncommon (10%-20%): These are the words that occur less frequently than the common words, and help give your title substance. They can also make your headline more specific (e.g. “marketing” and “sales”) so that people know exactly what your article is about.
- Emotional (10%-15%): It’s not a coincidence that there is a strong correlation between viral posts and emotional titles. These words (e.g. “secrets”) stir an emotional response in readers and will encourage them to find out more.
- Power (One per title): The pièce de résistance of your headline is its power word. It’s that (preferably) one word that really seals the deal for the undecided reader (e.g. “skyrocket”).
It’s not enough to simply use the right words—a great title needs to be a certain length as well. A too-short headline won’t give readers enough information, and a too-long title will get cut off by search engines (leaving people confused as to what your article is about).
In order to ensure your title won’t get cut off on a search engine results page (SERP), keep it under 75 characters (or around 10 words). According to CoSchedule, headlines with 55 characters and 6 words receive the highest click-through rates. For reference, our example headline is 51 characters and 8 words.
It’s critical to incorporate keywords into your headline for blog optimization purposes. This lets search engines know right away what your article is about and will help you rank higher. With our title, we’ve chosen “marketing secrets” as the keyword.
Finally, consider the format of your headline. Not sure what that means? Here are some examples:
- Lists (10 Easy Ways to Skyrocket Your Sales)
- How-to’s (How to Skyrocket Your Sales)
- Resources (What is the Sales Secret the Pros Swear By?)
- Cheat Sheets/Checklists (5 Steps to Boost Your Sales)
- Interviews (Businessman Bob Shares His Sales Secrets)
- Series (Skyrocket Your Sales)
Use a variety of formats to keep your readers interested, but pay attention to the ones that your audience responds to the most. While there isn’t one preferred type of headline type, lists consistently perform well.
You could write the best blog, but if your headline isn’t intriguing enough, no one will click on it. Use these tips to perfect your titles and overall blog optimization efforts. Happy blogging!