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Titles Affect Blog Traffic Instantly

There are all sorts of tips, tricks, and techniques to drive more traffic to a blog. They usually involve either paying for it in some way, improving an avenue such as through search engine optimization, or building subscribers. The reality is this – all of these things take time. What doesn’t take time other than the effort that is required to make it happen is writing better blog post titles. The right titles can increase blog traffic. The wrong titles can desperately hurt it. This is an immediate effect.

More and more businesses are starting to blog today. They are syndicating, optimizing, promoting, and doing all of the best practices that the gurus are giving them. Still, they are only seeing small increases in traffic if at all. Every now and then, they see a post that spikes. Was it amazing content? Possibly. Was it shared by the right people on social media? Probably. Did it have the right title? Almost definitely.

It blows me away when I see so many titles that simply suck. Yes, they suck. They aren’t attracting anyone.

The title in the blog post above attracted people. It was wildly shared. It was blogged about on other websites. It made an impact. Despite being wildly popular and talked about around the web for weeks, the story itself wasn’t that interesting. It was good, but not good enough to make it the talk of the blogosphere for as long as it was. The title, however, was brilliant.

Depending on your style of business and blogging voice, here are some quick examples of blog post styles. This is a very basic sampling. You can do better.

  • Emotional StatementThe Biggest Reason Your Blog Traffic Sucks
  • Numbered List7 Reasons Why Top 10 Lists Still Work
  • Play on Common Phrases - Why Good Guys Really Do Finish Last in Sales
  • Contrary Statement to Common PhrasesGood Guys Finish First if They do These Things
  • Big Time PromiseCut Your Blogging Time in Half While Doubling Your Posting Frequency
  • Three Worders (use sparingly)The Blogger’s Conundrum
  • Nonsense Titles (that make sense)The Best Blog Titles Work Best if You “Backwards Them Write”

Again, there are plenty of other types of titles out there. The key is to check out the right sites. See how other blog posts are being written and what titles they’re using. Just because it’s a business blog doesn’t mean that it has to be bland and boring. Titles drive traffic quickly. Make them count.

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Tags: Blog, Blog Title, Content, Content Marketing, SEO, Titles, Traffic


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Comment by Alexander Lau on May 22, 2013 at 7:56am

I should mention, it's not just understanding keyword search volume, it's also about what's being talked about the most in social circles, especially Twitter. There are SEO CRMs that deploy this tactic of research and tools like:, that will enable you to identify customer engagement opportunities by defining your target audience, conversation types. Apply those same keywords for optimization purposes, both on and off site.

Comment by Renata Lubinsky-Keren on May 21, 2013 at 12:56pm

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it :) our blog is getting there... but our style will be a little different for sure than other car blogs :)

Comment by J.D. Rucker on May 21, 2013 at 11:41am

Great additions from Ralph, Alex, Kathy, and Tom. Anyone who reads this should definitely check out the advice in the comments as well.

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 21, 2013 at 11:02am

Agreed, one should never guess what to write about. They should have an understanding of what converts, at least a general direction.

Comment by Kathy Wiley on May 21, 2013 at 11:01am

righto... it's a good idea to have someone internally or externally who knows their way around google analytics and any other tool that works.  Staying on top of the algorithms is a full time job. 

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 21, 2013 at 10:58am

It's great to apply longtail keywords, but you had better do some research and analysis on the effectiveness or search volume on those keywords using a mechanism such as Google Keyword Tool or similar tools from groups such as SEOmoz or gShift.

There's no sense in becoming joyed over a post that receives very little attention, ranks well for keywords that are unpopular and fail to convert.

Infographics work, but as we all know, they'd better be informative and creative, so they hold a greater probability of going viral (being shared). That's what Googlebot loves.

Comment by Kathy Wiley on May 21, 2013 at 10:51am

The title of a blog should contain keywords and ideally, longtail keyword density.  Chances are, I'm finding your blog because your are answering my question or solving my problem.  

Remember that the title is the advertisement for the blog.  You are reaching out to millions of users hoping that the content you provide is what they are looking for.  Just as a headline is the "ad for the ad," blog titles need to be compelling enough to stop me in my tracks and click to see what you have to offer.

It is really amazing what a well written and authoritative article can do for the page ranking of your site.  btw... don't be greedy.  Post blogs that help anyone and everyone... even people that aren't likely to buy from you.  The fact that they spent time on your blog is what will drive your SEO.

Has anyone out there gotten serious about infographics?  One of those can do the work of a month of blogging.

Comment by Michael Cirillo on May 21, 2013 at 9:53am

Love it. Great information J.D.!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on May 21, 2013 at 9:11am

Thanks for the thought provoking article, J.D.... As Alexander pointed out, many of us "know" this information but need to be reminded periodically. One contribution I would like to make is the idea of using attention grabbing keywords first in a title, then a colon followed by the subjective description. This is a technique I have tested and seen some positive results from.

Here are a couple of examples:

Headline 1: "Use Article Titles To Increase Traffic Via Search Engine Optimization (SEO)"

Headline 2: "Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Increase Traffic Using Article Titles" 

Headline 1: "Get More Website Traffic By Creating Facebook Online Display Ad Campaigns"

Headline 2: "Facebook Ad Campaigns: Car Dealers Get More Website Traffic"

In some cases I use this technique to reduce the total number of character spaces in a headline... In other situations I use this technique to put "catchy" popular topic keywords at the beginning of the headline to grab attention quickly.

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 21, 2013 at 5:48am

Most Important On-Page Use of Keywords:

Title tag.
First words of title.
Internal Anchor links.
The url.
H1 headline.
External anchor links.
In body content.
First 100 words.

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