Coming up with content ideas and creating catchy titles is an irritating part of content marketing, especially when all you want to do is create and get things done. You probably already have a strategy for coming up with ideas in place, but have you ever considered adding a title generator to your routine? What exactly makes a good headline? And how do catchy titles affect conversions?
This post is all about post titles / headlines and their effects on content marketing. We're going to talk about how titles affect a blog's traffic and conversions as well as what a decent headline looks like. We'll also go over a few different tools you can use for this purpose. Let's get into it.
- How titles/headlines affect traffic & conversions
- The importance of content promotion
- What makes a good headline or catchy title
- Using a post title generator for content ideas
How titles/headlines affect traffic & conversions
We all know what it takes to increase traffic and conversions on our site. You need a responsive design that's compatible with mobile devices and optimized for speed. You need to make sure you're handling SEO properly so search engines can crawl your website and rank your content accurately. Make sure the content you're creating is high quality and valuable to your readers. You even need to make sure you're encouraging people to subscribe to your email list with quality opt-in forms.
There's a lot that goes into it, but let's rewind and focus on that bit about content. Content marketing and email marketing are two powerful business strategies. They have allowed online business to surpass traditional business in terms what the individual businesses within each category are capable of. Content marketing gives your business a way to connect with leads (potential customers) while email marketing provides a way for you to “nurture” those leads into full-blown customers.
The process of generating leads is simple, and it’s one you’re likely already familiar with. You create high-quality content, promote that content, get people to consume that content and encourage them to subscribe to your email list. That “get people to consume that content” part is what you need to focus on when it comes to catchy and persuasive headlines or titles.
The importance of content promotion
Content promotion comes in many different forms. It comes in the form of the meta title and description you use in search engines. You see it in the way you promote your latest blog posts on social media. It even comes in the form of advertisements.
No matter what forms of content promotion you use, internet users are going to interact with them in the same way. They're going to see the featured image to start out with, look at the title and maybe check out the description. This is how your title can affect the amount of traffic your site receives.
If the content and the topic in general aren't catchy or interesting enough, they usually aren't going to attract visitors to your site. Similarly, if you don't choose a title that accurately reflects the content it's representing, you're going to isolate readers and discourage them from subscribing to your email list. This is especially true if you excessively use a method known as “click bait” or “link bait”.
What makes a good headline or catchy title
There's a lot that goes into a good headline, and it can be a little overwhelming. For starters, most experts agree that between 50 and 70 characters and about six words are optimal for headline length. You should try to avoid very long titles, especially for those that appear in search engines.
Keyword research is an important part of SEO, but many bloggers don't realize the important role it plays in connecting with your readers. Proper keyword research can help you see what topics your audience cares about. It also helps to discover the exact words and language they use to search for those topics. You should do your best to insert these keywords into your headlines.
The other words you use should drive interest in your article while accurately depicting what that article is about. You can do this through emotion and using words that “pop”. For example, if I wrote an article explaining content marketing in depth, I shouldn't use a generic, overly descriptive title like “A guide on content marketing”. I should use something along the lines of “The ultimate guide to optimizing your content marketing strategy”. This headline is catchy, and it does several things:
- It interests readers by emphasizing importance with the word “ultimate”.
- The headline uses the target keyword “content marketing strategy” that lets readers know the article is about the strategy involved rather than content marketing itself.
- It uses the word “optimizing” to let the reader know the article contains as many tips for experienced bloggers as it does novice ones.
I should also make sure the post I created is truly an “ultimate guide” and not a generic post on content marketing. This will help me avoid using a sensational, click-bait title that does nothing more than irritate readers.
Using a post title generator for content ideas
A post title generator can help you write captivating headlines and come up with new ideas for content that use angles you never would have considered yourself. We're going to take a look at some tools that can help you generate titles and come up with great content ideas. Here's a quick list of them before we break each of them down:
- Portent's Content Idea Generator
- SEOPressor Blog Title Generator
- HubSpot Blog Idea Generator
- Tweak Your Biz Title Generator
- BlogAbout by IMPACT Blog Title Generator
- Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator
- Link Bait Title Generator
Each tool handles this functionality in its own little way. Let's get started.
Portent's Content Idea Generator
Portent is a digital marketing agency that helps online businesses with content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, analytics, PPC advertising and more. They offer a collection of tools, one of which is a title generator that helps you create catchy titles and come up with a list of topic ideas for your blog. This can be helpful if you're dealing with writer's block or just need fresh content ideas.
You start by entering a keyword in the “Enter Your Subject Here” box and hitting Enter or clicking the arrow. Portent recommends using all lowercase letters for words that aren't proper nouns and using the singular versions of keywords.
Portent's content idea generator tool will generate a single result for you at a time. It'll also contain little speech boxes that explain each part of the headline. The trick with these generators is to not always use the exact headline they give you. Instead of “How title generators once saved the world”, my topic could be about “How title generators saved my blog”.
Click the refresh icon to generate more titles. The headlines it generates can be broken into the following basic categories: Lists, How, Why, What, How-To, If, When. You'll also see a few different ones, such as the comical title “Homer Simpson's guide to title generators” as well as “The unconventional guide to title generators”.
SEOPressor Blog Title Generator
SEOPressor is an application that integrates with WordPress. It helps you improve your site's SEO performance by giving you on-page SEO scores, including Schema structured data, allowing you to choose how search engines crawl your site and more. It also comes with a free tool anyone can use to generate titles. You can get endless suggestions for catchy titles and creative blogging topics.
All you need to do is enter your keyword, choose a category to describe your keyword, and click “Generate Titles”. The tool will generate five titles for you at a time, but you can email more to yourself. You can also refresh the generator to get new topic suggestions for your blog.
Similar to Portent's tool, you may need to play around with the raw title you're given to come up with a topic idea that makes sense for your blog. Most headlines are written as lists posts while other headlines are written with the following introductions: How to, You Will Never Believe, Everything You Need to Know, Why, The, Learn the Truth About, The Reasons Why, What It’s Like.
HubSpot's Blog Ideas Generator
HubSpot is a SaaS company that offers software for inbound marketing. They also run one of the most popular marketing blogs on the web. Their tool to generate blog ideas works a little differently from the first two tools we showcased in that they have you enter three nouns rather than a keyword. You'll get five post titles when you generate ideas.
You can click the “Try Again” button and then click the “Give Me Blog Ideas” button again if you want more ideas. You can also enter your email address in the field beneath your results to get a “year's worth of ideas”. This is available in the form of a downloadable XLS file. The spreadsheet I was given had 249 blog ideas in it, which is enough for four posts per week for an entire year when combined with the original five ideas I was given.
Tweak Your Biz Title Generator
Tweak Your Biz is an online business publication that publishes posts on such topics as sales, finance, marketing, management and more. They offer a free and simple title generator that allows you to use nouns and verbs as well as three different ways to display your results (title case, sentence case or all caps). This tool is not as sophisticated as the previous ones, but it does the job.
The results are broken down into the following categories: Lists, Best, How-To, Questions, Love, Sex, Celebrities, Secrets, Snark, Business, Motivation, Problem, The Kitchen Sink. There also is a box on the right-hand side of the results page. This contains all of the content ideas that are separated into each category box, giving you an easy way to copy, print or download them all.
BlogAbout by IMPACT Blog Title Generator
IMPACT is an inbound marketing agency that offers marketing services, site redesigns, training and education, and more. They also offer a free tool that allows you to generate topic ideas for your blog. It's an aesthetically-pleasing tool that's sleek and easy to use. All you need to do is delete the default keyword, add your own, and click “Next”.
It's kind of like Mad Libs if you're familiar with them. It gives you a tiny piece of a headline. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. If you like a title, click the “Heart” button to add it to your list. You can email this list with headlines to yourself when you're done. Categories include: Lists, How-To, The, What, Questions, Where, Is, Forget [keyword], Think [keyword].
Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator
Inbound Now is a suite of marketing tools for WordPress. Things the software helps you with are calls to action, landing pages, lead management and tracking, email, and marketing automation. Something it also offers is a blog title and idea generator that outputs one idea at a time.
All you need to do is insert your desired keyword to get your makeshift title. It will have suggestions for a few headlines, such as one that says, “Become [desired position/status] in [Number] Days”. Unfortunately, there's no text to copy, file to download or list to email yourself like the other tools have. You'll have to collect your own list manually in an external document.
Link Bait Title Generator
The Link Bait Title Generator tool is by Content Row, a site with a small handful of content marketing tools. This particular tool generates content ideas by creating what can only be described as “viral” titles. It does hover between the line of catchy yet quality headlines and outright generic and superficial topic ideas, but you'll stumble upon a few winners here and there.
Final thoughts on catchy headlines and content ideas
There's more you can do if you still aren't sure you're using the best headline you could possibly use. For starters, you can use a headline analyzer, such as one of these:
- Sharethrough Headlines
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer (requires email sign up)
- Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer
If you've narrowed down your options to a couple of different headlines, you can use a WordPress plugin like Title Experiments to split test them against one another. Do you have more ideas or suggestions? Share your thoughts on headlines and title generators in the comments below!
Tip: In case you want to improve your writing skills: There's an eBook called Copywriting Wizardry: Learn How to Write Spellbinding Headlines which already helped a lot of copywriters out there.