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Write the Best Titles and Radically Improve Your Conversion Rates

Por Taylor Webster |

Okay, so even though we’re always talking about how important it is to write really good valuable content for our audience (which it is!!), how good would any of that be if NOBODY clicked on them! You only get one chance to make a first impression and it’s the title that influences the reader’s decision whether to read it or not. Titles represent your content on all forms of social media AND search engines. Today we’re going to provide you with a guide on how to tweak your headlines and write super sexy awesome titles, so that your users don’t just scroll on by your posts.

By the way, did you know that on average
only about 80% of your audience stops to take the time to read your headlines? Aaaand did you know that on average only 20% of them CLICK on your headline?

Writing the best titles

That’s why we have to take advantage of the fact that people surfing the web, whether aware or not, have the intention of finding something in particular. Maybe some already know what they want, maybe they don’t, but they’re lurking. We’ve got to be wise enough and clever enough to seduce them, while at the same time offering them exactly what they’re are looking for.

writing the best titles

Scared? Don’t be! We’ve got you covered. Now that you know why it’s soo important to write extremely intriguing titles, let’s get started!


To start off, take a look at how Upworthy optimized this headline and got it 17 millions views!

writing the best titles


So how do you do it? Take a look at these 5 steps (with bonus tips) for writing the best titles and boost your conversion rates!


Step 1) Be specific


When writing super awesome titles, it’s important to be specific so that the reader finds utility in your article. They need to believe that what you’re promising suits their need. In my experience, most people don’t have super general needs, actually they have quite specific needs. Which is why we search for keywords and/or certain topics appeal to us.


Let’s say you know that your audience is interested in a certain topic, for example “healthy lifestyles”, and you have an article about “eating healthy.” Be more specific: It’s not the best idea to title it with “10 Ways to Eat Healthier.” It sounds boring, overdone, and unrelevant to my circumstances even though I’m not even what you’re going to offer in the article, I’m probably not going to click on it. That’s how quickly YOUR content can get skipped over.


writing the best titles

How to be more specific:


So, what exactly are you offering in your article? Are you offering creative recipes for your healthy-eating readers? Then, try something like this:


  • 10 Creative, Quick, & Healthy Recipes Using Canned Food .


Or are you offering tips about saving money and eating healthy? Try something like:


  • How We Afford to Eat Organic Foods on a $100 Weekly Grocery Budget



Step 2) Know your audience


Something very important to consider when writing headlines is who your audience is and what they have in common. Titles catered to a specific group of people can be very enticing, because reader feel that they can really relate to what’s in the article.  Remember: People want to feel like they are apart of something.

the sense of belonging is very strong because it unifies, it identifies, and it confirms what one feels.”  


Figure out what the people in your community have in common. What do you think can unite them under the same headache, laugh, memory, concern, doubt, or search of solutions? Focus on that. Here are some of example of titles that do just that:


  • 15 Awesome Apps Only Super Busy Moms Won’t Be Able to Stop Using.


  • 8 Workouts that Only Those Who Run More than 8mi a Day Can’t Stop Trying to Do.


  • 7 Things Only Wine Lovers Would Give Anything to Have.


Didn’t think the word “Only” could be so powerful, did you?

writing the best titles

Step 3) Spice them up!


Now that you know to make your title specific and adjusted to a particular audience, the next step is spicing it up! Make your titles and headlines SEXY:


writing the best titles


Disclaimer: Sometimes when trying to be creative and enticing, it’s easy to exaggerate. Make sure that your content can live up to your title, otherwise you run the risk of disappointing your readers. Your title need to be accurate and represent the content inside. Notice I did not make the title of this article “5 crazily simple tricks to writing ultra-clickable Buzzfeed-like titles, that’ll blow your mind, make you break down, and change your life within 5 minutes of reading this because you’ll get so many likes, shares, and retweets. #3 almost made me cry“… If one of  your goals is to get your readers to trust you, you should make sure you can walk the walk.


For example, what this video show is not only hilarious but let’s us on in how easily titles can get out of control:


With that aside, there are definitely techniques for making your titles SEXIER. Here are 5 of them 🙂

A) Include Numbers/Lists: Make it seem like a practical solution, or the best possible choice one might find.


  • The 15 Best Ways to Prepare Smoothies You Never Knew Existed.


  • 21 Things Everyone Who Does Body Pump Will Understand


  • 10 Unusual Phrases that Only Teachers Would Understand.



B) Generate a sense of Mystery: As they say….curiosity killed the cat.

writing the best titles

If you hint towards something, the only way the reader can find out, is by actually clicking on it. Check out how Upworthy dominates this game:

writing the best titleswriting the best titles


C) Ask a Question: Question titles appeal to the emotions of the users. Plus, they generate a conversational tone. Effective question titles first generate a doubt and then provide the answer.

  • Are You Committing These Top 5 Social Media Sins?


  • Is She Bored In Bed?



D) Express the value: People love learning new things. They want to be let in on the tricks of the trade. An easy way to entice readers is offering a simple “How to”, giving them solution, teaching something useful, or giving away “confidential” info.

  • How to Prepare Delicious Iced Coffee in 3 Super Quick and Simple Ways.


  • 80% of Readers Only Read the Headline. 5 Tricks to Attract the Remaining 20% to See All Your Content.


  • How to Iron Clothes Without an Iron in Less than 5 Minutes. (Hopefully someone really invents this – :))



E) Apply the negative:  According to some studies, negative forms of words tend to have more of an impact on readers and make titles more attractive and clickable.


  • “8 Tips For Saving Money That You Can’t Stop Doing


  • “7 Ways to Peel a Potato Without a Potato Peeler You Won’t Believe Ever Existed


  • “Apple Is Not The Most Valuable Company In The History”


  • “Linus Torvalds: I will not change Linux to “deep-throat Microsoft”


Okay those were the 5 techniques you can use to spice up your titles! Try them out the next time you go to write a title and let us know if you get more clicks!


STEP 4) Include Keywords for SEO


Including keywords in your title is extremely important for getting ranked highly on Google’s search engine. However, we’ve all been caught in the dilemma of balancing being witty and compelling with creating a title that’s SEO-friendly. SUPER AWESOME TIP: if you use  YOAST SEO: The SEO plugin for WordPress you can actually separate your “real-title” and your “SEO-title”.

no way garth

Yeah, take a look:


writing the best titles


So, how can you optimize your SEO Title? Well, including your keyword at the BEGINNING of your title helps boost your ranking dramatically. According this usability study, users only perceive the first 11 characters of a website’s links and headlines. Keep that in mind when optimizing your SEO-Title. For example, if your keyword was “Graphic Designer Interview Questions” It would be better to include the keyword at the beginning:


writing the best titles

STEP 5) Pay attention to length!


There are number of reasons to consider the length of your title. First of all, where do you want to distribute your content? Facebook?  Twitter? If you want to be retweeted by your followers, try not to exceed 78 characters (140 Twitter character limit – 22 characters from the URL – 15 characters username/hashtag – 25 characters user’s message). Keeping this in mind will make it easy on your fans to retweet you.



writing the best titles


Do you want to send your article out in an email – make sure the best title possible so it won’t get cut off in the subject line.

Then, there’s SEO. (like we forgot 😉 ) If you don’t want Google to cut off part of your title,  keep it under 69 characters. If your title is too long, try rephrasing it or cutting out certain words (it’s quite importantly actually!)


Take a look the difference between these two titles:
writing the best titleswriting the best titles

What’s the repercussion of Google taking the second title to the chopping block?


Well, with the second, we have no idea what the ‘experts’ are going to update and therefore readers searching about Facebook Pages may lose relatability to the title immediately and consequently NOT click on it.

writing the best titles

It’s not ALWAYS possible to get your title to reach the character limit, but it’s a definitely goal to set, so that users AND Google can see your whole title.


Wrappin it up:

I hope that you find these tips for writing the best titles useful. When you sit down to write you next title keep in mind these 5 steps to creating an ultra-clickable sexy title. Remember to

  • Be specific and accurate!
  • Make them sexy!
  • Keep them short and include the keyword near the beginning if you can!


Can you tell us any other tricks you use to spice up your articles? Which ways have you found the most successful? Leave us a comment below! And don’t forget to share this article with your friends!