How to Write SEO (and Compelling) Blog Titles in Less Than 2 Minutes

Great blog titles are important.

Great titles capture attention. They draw the reader in.

But great titles are also easily located.

You can create the most clever headline but what good is it if no one finds you? Why go through the trouble to create fabulous web content if it’s just going to get lost in the bajillion other posts fighting for eyeballs?

Good news. A search engine optimized blog title does not have to be synonymous with boring.

A few simple tricks will boost your search rank AND lure more readers to your page.

Place Keywords in Your Title

Even if you are sharing your post through social channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, much of the traffic to your page will still come from search. So it’s important to know what words people will likely type into the search field.

A few minutes of keyword research goes a long way.

But don’t be afraid to use good old fashioned judgment. If you’re writing about the etiquette of networking and meeting informally over coffee, then include words like networking and etiquette into your title. If you can work coffee into the title naturally, go for it. No fancy keyword research required.

Whenever possible work your keywords into the beginning of the title. Your title will rank higher.

Limit Your Titles to 65 Characters

If you incorporate more than 3 keywords into a title, it may start to sound forced. Stick to 2, at most 3 in your title. And since Google shortens titles in search to 65-70 characters, be sure to make your titles and title tags less than 65 characters.  Otherwise it will get chopped.

…. That was the science. Now for the art.

Invoke Curiosity

Optimizing search is great but you still need to catch people’s attention with a compelling title.

In a recent workshop I attended, SocialKaty shared excellent title examples that appeal to our emotions.

  • Raise Fears. For example:

Can We Really Trust [Blank]?

8 Lies About [Blank]

5 Simple Facts That Could Affect Your [Blank]

  • Share simple elegant solutions. For example:

Take Charge of Your [Insert Problem Here]

A Simple Guide to [Insert Problem Your Customer/Audience Faces]

How to End [Blank] in 5 Minutes

  • Leverage celebrity, a well-known place or famous event. For example:

What I Learned About [Blank] from [Famous Person/Company]

The [Famous Person] School of [Blank]

What [Significant Event] Can Teach Us About [Blank]


Replace the [blanks] above with keywords and you’re golden!

Don’t let your titles be an afterthought. Spend the extra minutes adding a few keywords and grabbing the attention of your readers and you will begin to see a real difference in traffic to your page.

Marta Steele is a Partner at PeopleResults. You can reach her on Twitter @MartaSteele or  through email at

Image courtesy of SeanSEO