In advertising there’s an old saying that 80% of readers will see the headline while only 20% will read the first paragraph. While I’m not sure if there are studies to prove that the same is true with blog posts – one thing is certain – a great blog post title is probably the most important piece of content you’ll write on your blog.
Your blog post title has many jobs to perform. It’s primary job – of course- is to encourage readers to “dig in” and read the actual content of your blog post. This is similar to the “job” of a newspaper story or magazine article title. However, that’s the ENTIRE job of the magazine or newspaper story title – to encourage people to read the article. The blog post title has to do that and a whole lot more!
YOUR BLOG POST TITLE HAS TO BE GREAT WITH NO “CONTEXT”
See, magazine content is tightly targeted. There are magazines about parenting -and magazines about sports – to name just two broad categories. The magazine article title “the terrible two’s” might be a catchy title for an article on toddler temper tantrums – and might be an equally catchy title of an article describing a struggling sports’ franchises latest woes – as in “Two straight errors, coupled with a two-run shot, cost the struggling home team…”
Same title – different meanings. The reader of the sports magazine doesn’t expect to read an article about parenting a temperamental toddler – but if the reader has ever been the parent to such a creature – such a title would DEFINITELY not only catch the reader’s attention AND elicit an emotional response.
Your blog post title – on the other hand – has to be catchy even without the benefit of context. The title must be catchy AND provide proper context for your article. You don’t have the benefit of context which is enjoyed by the magazine or newspaper writer.
YOUR BLOG POST HAS TO CATCH THE EYE OF HUMANS AND MACHINES ALIKE
Not only does your blog post title have to catch the eye of the human reader – it also has to catch the attention of the search engines as well. Since 80% of all internet traffic is search driven, your blog post HAS to communicate to not only human readers – but also the search engines – what the content of your blog post is all about.
If this sounds like a tall order – to fill – it is!! Which is why, you will want to spend CONSIDERABLE time “naming” your blog content a.k.a. choosing the title.
As you write your blog post, plan on spending 60% of your time focusing on, researching and creating an attention grabbing title which humans and the search engines will love. Then, spend the remaining 40% of your time on the content of the blog post itself.
Yes – the blog post title is THAT important!