How To Compose Seductive Page Titles That Appeal to Humans & Robots [Quick + Easy Guide]

4 min read
SEO/Content Marketing
By: Maddy Osman

Your content might be the best thing since hot chocolate, but people won’t read it if you miss one element.

So, what’s more important than excellent research and impeccable writing skills?

It’s the page title.

Online readers are bombarded with content — in a constant state of “content shock”. According to Contentsquare’s 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark report, the average time spent by online readers on a webpage (across industries) is around 54 seconds.

With the odds of breaking through the noise stacked against you, understand your page title as the tantalizing teaser that compels readers to click through and read your post. The title will decide whether your article gets clicked or skipped.

Let’s discuss how you can create the most effective page and search engine optimization (SEO) titles, how to come up with headline ideas, and how to measure their effectiveness.

Page Titles and SEO Titles: Do You Need Both?

The two kinds of titles (also known interchangeably as headlines in this guide) you need are:

1. Page titles: The title appears on the top of your post or article. It tells readers what they’ll gain by reading your article.

The blogsmith's page title

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2. SEO titles: The clickable title appears on the search engine results page (SERP). It helps web spiders understand the context of the content that readers will see when they click on the title.

Seo title

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Your page title doesn’t have to include your primary keyword.

How To Write a Page Title That Leaves Readers Begging for More

According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will only read your page title. Some of the greatest copywriters suggest spending half of the time you spend on content creation crafting a persuasive headline.

Brainstorm Multiple Page Title Ideas

The best content writers ideate several headlines before zeroing in on “the one.”

Here are some strategies to come up with solid title ideas:

Tempt Readers by Appealing to Their Curiosity

Copyhackers defines a “curiosity gap” as the space between what your readers know and what they want to or need to know.

Curiosity is a strong drive for humans. Used effectively within your headline, readers can’t deny the temptation to read more.

For example:

This Five-Minute Exercise Will Give You Six-Pack Abs in 30 Days.”

KISSmetrics’ SHINE Heading Formula

Copywriter D. Bnonn Tennant of KISSmetrics formulated this five-part headline formula that compels readers to click:

For example:

“The Latest (immediacy) Study (newsworthiness) by LinkedIn (specificity) on Minor Resume Tweaks That Land Dream Jobs (helpfulness) (+6 Real-Life Examples) (entertainment value).”

Analyze Your Headlines for Effectiveness

After shortlisting your headings, analyze them in terms of details like:

Headline analyzer tools help with that. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is one of the best, with a multitude of details to consider and tweak. It’s free to use, just gated by an email signup form.

Headline analyzer result

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How To Craft Alluring SEO Titles That Make Robots Happy

Remember that your SEO title can be different from your page title. SEO titles are also known as meta titles.

Here are some important points to remember while creating your SEO title:

  • While your SEO title must appease robots, it also needs to satisfy human readers. If readers don’t like the heading, they won’t click through.
  • To rank high on SERPs, meta titles must adhere to SEO best practices and should incorporate the primary keyword.
  • You can use a tool like Moz’s Title Tag Preview Tool to preview your title tag and make sure it’s displaying as intended.
Title Tag Preview

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Final Thoughts: How To Create Page Titles That Attract Humans and SEO Bots

Armed with some tricks for writing mouthwatering titles, test them out.

Although SEO titles and page titles can be different, they should still convey the same message. If readers find an entirely different title when they land on your page, they’ll likely be confused and annoyed.

But we’re just scratching the surface for page title best practices.

To learn more about compelling headings (and 21 additional chapters with behind-the-scenes insights for creating great content, check out The Blogsmith founder Maddy Osman’s book, Writing for Humans and Robots. It’s available now on Amazon in print and Kindle editions!

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Maddy Osman

The Blogsmith

Maddy Osman is the author of Writing for Humans and Robots: The New Rules of Content Style. She's a digital native with a decade-long devotion to creating engaging, accessible, and relevant content. Her efforts have earned her a spot in BuzzSumo’s Top 100 Content Marketers and The Write Life’s 100 Best Websites for Writers. She has spoken for audiences at WordCamp US, SearchCon, and Denver Startup Week.

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