tl;drTo write compelling post titles, you should think about what readers are looking for. You have to use the right terminology, offer detailed steps to solve problems, become an authority on an important subject and avoid clickbait.

Here are 6 tips on writing blog post titles that increase your chances of new clicks.

#1: Who are you targeting?

You want readers who are interested in what you do and want to learn more about it. Who are they? We blog about WordPress, Nonprofits, eBooks (and more), so we write headlines that should be what “our kind of readers” might search for. If you’re reading this post, then you looked for “How to write WordPress post titles” or “Write blog post titles” (or something similar). Extra points if you searched for “compelling!”

We make sure to use all those combination of words in the post to reinforce with the search engines that this post does indeed include “how to” advice for writing great blog post titles.

So who are you targeting? Make sure you identify the audience and stay away from sales-pitchy phrases. Don’t guarantee but be sure to suggest.

#2: Solve a problem

Your blog post headlines should solve a problem that people in your target audience struggle with. Good blog post titles often start with “How to…” Choose an area you have expertise in and offer solutions that work for you.

Have you Googled an issue and found someone else’s solution? Then that’s your blog post! Write that it’s an ongoing problem that you finally resolved and here’s how you did it. Use steps, add a photo and be kind to the original problem solver. 

#3: Ask questions in your post title

Readers appreciate blog post titles that ask and answer questions. Using “Did you know that Microsoft Word can…” or “Here’s how you choose keywords for your…” They have the question and you have the answer!

In your newsletter, figure out what great tip you have  – or you discovered – and use that blog post title with a very short summary. The goal is to have people click the link and get to your website – that’s where your new clients can sign up for your course or purchase your product. Including useful blog posts that address their needs is a trusted way to make sure they don’t unsubscribe.

#4: Keep blog post titles short

Rule of thumb: 8-12 words. Headlines lose ooomph when they have long titles. Select power words that fit your industry or customers. Use those power words at the beginning of the blog post headline. Avoid “Did you know that featured images are important in WordPress?” Put the important words first: “WordPress featured images: do you know how to use them?”

Don’t overwrite. Be sure to include the post title in at least two places in your blog post.

#5: Mr. Google likes instructions

Searchers are looking for solutions and “how to.” Use blog post titles that provide steps to solve a dilemma. When you search, you probably see the top results that include “how to” and “steps.” Use WordPress numbered lists in your posts.

What are the winners? Here are some examples.

  1. 15 Steps to…
  2. 8 Ways you can…
  3. 4 Reasons you want to…
  4. Top 3 steps to bake the perfect…

#6: Offer a benefit without clickbait

Beware of clickbait blog post headlines. Nothing makes us unsubscribe faster than misleading or over-promising post titles. Avoid the cute headlines, too. You’ve seen them:

  • You’ll never believe what this puppy did with the baby!
    (Fell asleep next to him.)
  • Professional football player snubs young fan!
    (Then he picked him up and gave him free seats.)
  • How could [insert famous person] say that?

Subheadings are important

Choosing your title is the best way to market your WordPress blog post. But did you know that using your key words in subheadings also attracts attention?

Use subheadings in blog posts

Use subheadings that contain your key phrases and words throughout your post. People scan your post and subheadings stand out – usually, they have larger, bold fonts. They’re easy to see and readers’ eyes are drawn to them.

Don’t stuff keywords in your content

It’s tempting to use your key phrase multiple times in your content. Use subheadings, especially near the top of your post, to make use of search engines’ organic searches. Test your titles and subheadings and fine tune them over time.