The title is the most important part of any piece of writing – whether it is an article, newsletter, sales copy, blog entry, web page, and email or business report. Without a good title there is a pretty good chance, rest will not be read.
“If you want your blog posts or copy to perform well, you have to create a magnetic headline.”
– Neil Patel
Importance of Experiment in Growth
Hitting on the idea that helps a product go viral isn’t accomplished by sitting around thinking up big projects, it is about plugging away in the details and experimenting. Growth is incremental, but over time, that growth compounds.
It is about experimenting
Growth hacking is not a magical bean stalk or a chicken that lays golden egg. It’s a methodical, rigorous and experimental approach to growth.
Tested, balanced and proven combination of chemical atoms is leads to an effective chemical formula. Thousands of blogs get published every day but how many are able to capture readers’ attention through newsletter updates or social media distribution before they start ranking on first page of google for relevant keywords?
Importance of Titles in Articles
By improving your titles you will find that your writing will no longer be ignored, dismissed or deleted as they will be hungry to find out more.
The titles is your first and sometimes only chance. Reader’s eyes will scan the title and an instant decision will be made. Does it interest them, intrigue them or amuse them or can it be ignored? There’s no second chance. No appeal. Just one chance. There is no going back and the rest of your article, brilliant, amusing and informative though it may be will never be read.
If you are able to create a great title, battle is half won you can easily write the copy. While if you have poor headline no matter how great is your copy there are rare chances of it being read easily.
“A Poor Headline will render your article invisible”
We have listed few findings after studying Neil Patel’s 500+ blogs that can be applied to blogs, newsletters or even radio and television commercials. The reason we chose to analyse his blogs is because he writes
- Successful blogs
- Always experimenting
- Capture attention immediately and compel readers to stop in their tracks
- Valuable content
Here are some of other things you should notice from various Neil Patel’s blog posts –
- They are genuine questions
- They arise curiosity
- Have few adjectives
The important thing to take away here is that his titles targets reader’s need for being “in the know.” His titles directly address the reader – which has a better chance of getting shared, re-tweeted, commented on, and liked by people.
|Read: How to Create a Successful Blog Post|
Number of Words in a Title
“How long should my title be?” Having the right length for title is necessary. Let’s start with analyzing number of words in his blog titles.
Most of his blog titles range from 5 – 15 words (not too short – not too long).
However, if you see from the engagement point of view words ranging from 3-10 and 15 – 20 have received much love ( might be because of good content).
So here, popularity of blogs cannot be really determined by number of words except do not make it too long.
By looking at the above findings we can see that Neil Patel has written more number of blogs in the range of 5-15 words. It has also got fair number of shares and comments.
Any title that lists a number of reasons, secrets, types, or ways which are intended to work for readers. These sort of posts and articles are ideal for creating hold and showing an authority of your subject matter.
These titles ask a question (obviously). If you need this to work, then it better ask a question that your readers want an answer to.
3. How to
It’s hard to go wrong with a “how to” title. Why do these titles work so well? Because they promise a solution to your customers’ problems. ‘How to’ type of blog titles addresses a need, feel almost compelled to read the article.
This type of title basically holds valuable information that appeals readers to read the blog of their interest. These type of titles suggest super useful pieces of evergreen content that readers expect to leverage.
Looking at the pie chart we can certainly say that Neil Patel’s style of writing is mostly is around listing, stating helpful ways which appeals users to follow him. Another type of titles he usually prefers is “How – To” questions.
No wonder it is said that you can never go wrong with ‘How-To’ type of blog titles. Also the blogs that have worked for him from the engagement point of view, are list and ‘How-To’ type of blogs. You can see clearly that “How-To” wins here as it has more number of shares and engagement.
Neil Patel, mentioned this in his blog about this ever working formula of “how – to” titles:
But you just can’t start writing your blog title with “How-To” without framing it properly:
Let’s move to other simple categorization of the blog titles based on their tone – how they are coming out as. This basically gives us the gist about the overall blog (what it will be like).
Tone of title
Using tone of voice in the titles effectively requires experience and sometimes a willingness to be daring (which he is), but it can have a huge impact on engagement.
We divided tone for all the blog titles into three categories:
Having which gives a tone of advice mostly attracts the user because it gives of feel of helpfulness, giving advice. It directly addresses the readers – you/your/10 things you need to do (urgency)
These titles speak to the problems your target personas are facing and promise to deliver insight on how to deal with these problems.
Examples: Neil Patel’s Guide to Internal Linking
These type of blog titles suggest that the blog is based on some facts, reports or findings.
We observed that most of Neil Patel’s blog titles are Advisory which again includes “How -To” and then “List” takeaway in them. He has written very few advisory
Example: How to Use Your LinkedIn Page as a Sales Funnel
(Shares 2154 – Comments 38)
This ‘How – To’ blog title has an advisory tone and worked well with the audience.
Another example, The 3 Important Ingredients of Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines
This blog title also sets an Advisory tone but its take away is ‘List’.
12 Risky SEO Tactics That Might Work
Audience responded really well for experiential tone of blogs. These blog titles included mostly guides –
“Neil Patel’s Guide to Internal Linking”
“The Definitive Guide to B2C Content Marketing”
All these blogs titles were derived from the range of 5-15 words.
- What makes a great title? Six, seven, or eight words is fine. Ten, twelve, or more words, is also fine. But as soon as your title starts pushing more than that, you may see traffic drop.
- Write “how-to” posts. Under each heading you would give more information, explaining what to look for, the pros and cons, and pointing out issues that might be confusing. When you’re checking out at the grocery store, look at the titles of the articles on the magazine covers; they’re all “how to” or lists. And so are Neil Patel’s blog titles.
- Advisory type of blogs always will have higher engagement as it reaches out in a beneficiary tone to the maximum audience.
- If a post did well with engagement and social shares in the past, then chances are, it’s going to do well again in the future.
- Use the word ‘YOU’. Really great blog posts sound like they were written just for you.
Have a look at the data we collected from all the Neil Patel Blog Headlines Analysis.
There are many, many other ways to write a headline. Whatever strategy you choose, don’t make a decision too quickly. Take time to brainstorm. Write dozens or even hundreds of headlines. You never know exactly what you want to say before you say it, so giving yourself plenty of choices is the surest way to arrive at the best, most powerful headline.
As Neil Patel said in his blog for QuickSprout – The Formula for a Perfect Headline:
The difference between creating a great headline and a mediocre one is huge. When I write a blog post, I typically know if it will be a hit based on the headline. And sadly, even if the content sucks, I know the post will still do well because of the headline.
Want to use inbound marketing to boost your startup’s marketing efforts?
Want to use inbound marketing to boost your startup’s marketing efforts?
Sign up for a free Growth Hacking Consultation
Finally, test your headline Look at your headline again and test it. Does it read out loud well? Can any of the words be improved? Does it produce a feeling in them or make them think that you have empathy and feel the same way? Would it make you want to read more? The chances are good that you may have two or three variations of the same headline. Try them out and go with the one that is the best.