Studies show that the right headings for blog posts can yield big results. A post’s CTR (click-through rate) and SEO performance can vary widely simply based on how well the post heading is crafted. A bad heading can make your article tank, while a great headings can lead to killer traffic and conversion. Here are the facts:
- According to Moz, 80% of readers never make it past the headline,
- According to Upworthy, the right headline can “increase the traffic to your articles by as much as 500%, based solely on the headline.”
These statistics go to show that it’s worth taking the time to craft your headline wisely to get better blog post results and boost CTR. Make it a priority—or the rest of your good content can go to waste.
Here’s a prerequisite before diving into blog post headings:
What’s the difference between your blog post’s H1 heading and its title tag?
This can be a source of confusion for marketers and bloggers, but it’s important to understand. In some ways they’re similar. They are both essential for grabbing user attention, increasing popularity, and boosting click-through rates (CTR). But there are also important differences between them.
Let’s start with definitions of title tags and H1 headings for blog posts:
The H1 header tag (aka post title), is what users see on the page. They are particularly helpful to increase user appeal and social media shares.
Title tags (aka page titles, meta titles, and SEO titles) are what users see in the browser bar window. They are the clickable blue titles in search engine snippets and are also shown the post is shared on social media.
This graphic shows the difference between the H1 tag and the page title in greater detail:
The page title and H1 tag can be similar and closely related but they don’t have to be identical. In WordPress and other CMS systems, the platform will automatically convert your post title to the page title. Using an SEO plugin like Yoast enables you to change post and page titles to better describe the page, make the title more consice, or to include keywords.
Use compelling blog post headings to captivate users and encourage shares.
H1 tags are useful for both users and SEO. They are mostly used by users once they are on the page. While title tags have the prime location in the search page snippet, H1 tags are still quite useful. They signal to Google what the page is about and how relevant it will be to a particular user search. There is generally one H1 per page, while there can be several heading tags lower down in the hierarchy.
This video provides more details on the H1 tag:
Best practices for improving blog post headings:
There are some well-established ways to use your post title to improve your blog post results:
- Establish the key subject of the article and set the tone
- Address one of the audience’s pain points
- Include a value proposition that shows the information will make the personal life or job better.
- Include target keywords to help search engines understand what the page is about. It’s helpful to plug your “test” title into the search bar to see what comes up regarding your competition. For other title ideas, see the “People Also Ask” section in the middle of the search page and the “Searches related to…” area at the bottom.
- Use a proven format, such as including a number (such as percentages, dollar amounts, time saved), education How-Tos, Secret or Little Known, Warnings, The Best, Tips, Top 10, and questions.
- Be honest about what the reader will gain from reading the article (the takeaway).
- Keep it 6-13 words, or under 55-60 characters to the title won’t be cut off.
To find what works best for your business, one idea is to analyze how your other blog posts have performed. What do the titles of your best (and worst) performing blog posts have in common? What topics do they cover, what type of language do they use, what keywords did you focus on, and what type of format were they? Can you see any trends over time? You can also conduct A/B testing to see the relative performance of two different headlines. Studying these H1 elements will guide you in developing headlines for future blog posts.
Pay attention to H1 article headings and boost your click-through rate.
Don’t spend time creating quality content without diving into creating the best headline you can. It’s not always easy, but it’s time well spent. If you need to shore up your blog posts, with great headlines that boost your click-through rate, contact Boston-based Westebbe Marketing, 617-699-4462.