As we mentioned in our 10 Tips That Will Get You a Viral Post, having a killer title will get you to half the way on having a better performing article.
Having an amazing title will not only attract the reader’s attention, but it will also generate a desire to click on it to see what lays on the other side of said linked title.
Sometimes, the title is so well written that there are those who do not need to see what’s hiding behind it to share it on their social media.
What are the main keys to have a killer title?
We already established that having an outstanding title is the key to making your posts go viral.
Now let’s go over what it takes for a title to go from a decent title to a killer title.
- The keyword you are aiming for must be within the first 3-5 words of the title.
What is that about the keyword you aim for with your post?
When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), if you want an article to have a higher rank on Google’s SERP, you must have a couple things in consideration.
The use of an adequate Keyword in the article’s text is important. Regardless, it is not the most important thing.
We could go on and on talking about which factors affect, your rankings in Google’s SERP, but let’s keep that for another article.
It is enough that you know that the use of keywords in the title of your article is relevant to the determination by Google of their position, with respect to the searches that contain those keywords.
Just by knowing that the use of keywords in your article’s title has a big impact on how Google determines your position on a specific search is more than enough.
That’s why you have to focus on a certain keyword on your posts, by doing so you can add weight to the post and make Google notice it.
When trying to rank an article, you don’t usually go for a lone keyword, instead, you go for something like a Keyword Phrase.
But why should you go for a Keyword Phrase?
- A keyword phrase already has the main keyword, so do not worry, you will be also ranking for that keyword as well.
- Having a good rank for a single word keyword is quite impossible, but if the query contains three keywords (meaning a keyword phrase), the chances of having a greater rank are higher because there will be less competition for a detailed search.
SEO aside, having a keyword heavy title, will help to describe the post itself, and enhance the interest of the readers to click on it
But why does the keyword phrase has to appear in the main title?
Once again, Google will grant that site more relevance SEO-Wise and everyone knows we scan texts starting from the top and from left to right, so the sooner the keyword appears, the better!
Thus, the first words in the title are the ones being more likely to pop up on the fast visual scan that we all do with written content.
We can conclude that having a good keyword phrase will help describe which topic or subject the article is going to cover.
- Our title second part has to incentivize the user to follow the link and read the entire post.
The very first part, as you can see, has the sole purpose of adding the keyword you are trying to aim at your post and open a small window to let the user know what is the article about.
La primera parte del título, como ya has podido ver, se destina a añadir la frase clave a la que apuntas con el post y a describir el contenido de éste.
Even not adding the second part would be enough, since the title would already be SEO optimized, and it would describe the following content.
Our next step into building a killer title is to add something else to it.
Something to invite the user to click on the linked title and read the article, or at least, get him to read the first paragraph of said article
Thus, we will add a second part, specially designed to lure in those clicks, and increase the reader’s interest.
Let’s grab as an example a couple articles from BuzzFeed.
As you can see in the images below, they added a second part in order to attract curiosity on their readers, and increase the interest on what is next.
Imagine for a second, those titles without their second part,
Are they still as appealing as they were?
Plain and simple, NO.
That’s what you have to do if you want people to click on the links that accompany your titles and take them to the body of the article.
Take now how they included “Will make you want to delete the internet”, to directly incentivize the users to click on the article.
You can also find titles with the “I bet you didn’t know” or something along those lines, trying to challenge and taunt the readers in a certain way
For example this thread about GOT premiere, they took something that was super huge that week and made it a challenge, pretty smart on their part.
No wonder why is #2 on the most viewed articles of the month.
This is a very effective but risky approach.
The feedback on both types of articles was amazing.
The one that was challenging the users got a little bit of hate, people claiming they didn’t miss anything and stuff like that.
On the other hand, the ones with the “Will make you” second part were not as near as popular as the GOT one, simply because they did not have a challenge involving them, and the topic was not so relevant.
Regardless we can say that at the least, no one got their ego hurled on the last one.
- Shorter titles are usually better
In my experience, relatively short titles get a little bit more love from the audience, and usually, they are more likely to be shared on social medias.
If trying to get a viral post, keep the title short, no more than 10 words if possible is a good point.
- Add a number to everything!
By saying this, I mean, add a number to your title so everyone will get a hint that the post is structured as a list with several different points.
Because everyone love list!
Lists are easy to read and scan. Thus, when you add a number at the beginning of your title, the visitor will know that the article will be about a list, where the content will be tidy, and clean, in other words, easy to consume.
- Short of ideas? Play it safe
If you can’t come up with a great title to pair up with your post, you can always hit us up and we will come to aid.
Having an amazing title is no easy task and we can sure help you with that, after all, that’s what we do for a living, and we sure know how to do it!