To succeed online you need to know how to write blog headlines that earn high CTR (click-through rate) in Google search, Adwords and social.

This is half art, half science.

Do your blog titles zing. To they pack a punch? Do people want to click on your headlines the moment they read them?

Having clickable headlines is one of the most important aspects of writing, whether you’re writing for a magazine, newspaper, or blog. Online, you need to know how to write blog headlines that get a high CTR in Google search and in Adwords.

Here’s why:

  • CTR is a one of Google’s 200 ranking factors
  • High Adwords CTR improves Ad Rank and lowers CPC (cost per click) to make your Adwords ads cheaper
  • And of course, a high CTR is helpful for generating traffic too.
  • Plus, a good blog title will make people want to actually read your blog article. It is the single most important part of your above fold content.

That’s why your headline should be your top priority when writing blog posts.

Here are 12 genius ways write blog headlines people click (for a high CTR in Google Adwords & search)

In my research-backed guide to making people click internal links I revealed the top strategies for boosting the CTR of internal links.

Many of those tips can also be used to make people click headlines.

Headlines, however, need more punch than internal links.

Here’s 12 ways to boost headline CTR.

And of course, remember to follow the top copywriting rules too.

1: Boost headline CTR by using the psychology of keywords 

You probably know that one of the most important fundamentals of SEO is to include keywords in your blog title.

That’s important for Google and bots.

But more important than search engines are readers.

Your reader has a keyword in their mind. They know what they’re looking for and they want to see that keyword in the title.

For instance, if you’re looking for ways to make people click your headlines, then you’ll click on titles that have those words Precisely. You’ll ignore the titles that read “Make your blog posts clickable” and “write catchy headlines” and click on the title that best expresses precisely what it is you’re trying to achieve.

Therefore, to write blog posts that earn high clickthrough rates, express precisely what it is your readers want to know.

2: Easy way to boost organic CTR: Use numbers

Have you ever noticed how your eyes are naturally drawn to the numbers in articles more than to the words?

Some people believe you’re drawn to numbers because they make you think you’re going to get more of something. 10 Reasons Why blah blah… is more than 1 Reasons why blah blah…

For my money that really isn’t the reason at all.

The real reason why we’re all drawn to numbers is simple: Contrast.

In a list of titles where everything is words, numbers stand out more. Your eyes are naturally drawn to the odd one out, so you’re more likely to click on the title just by contrast.

Ryan McCready writes that 10 is the perfect number in headlines. He makes a great argument for why.

Either way, you can write good blog titles by including numbers.


3: Make people click your headlines by using contrast:

Make your articles stand out from the pack.

You can do this by stating a different opinion e.g. “Oxygen is really bad for you” or by using symbols *!() or by using numbers.

To write great headlines for a blog, make sure your titles stand out from the pack.


4: Make Your Headlines More Clicky With A Simply Fabulous Adjective:

For a truly sensational headline, spice it up with a juicy adjective, yeah baby.

To improve organic CTR of your title, use one really great adjective.

I researched thousands of headlines to determine what works best, and that research shows that putting just 1 (not 2 or 3 but 1) adjective in the headline makes the headline a lot more effective.

Make sure it’s a unique adjective (too many people use “Awesome”). Try something funky, something juicy, something spunky.


5: Massively increase your search and Google Adwords CTR by making it NOW:

People know that they have all the time in the world to read whatever article they want to read. They could easily repeat their Google search and click through every article one by one. They can be carefree.

You want to stop that, immediately.

You want to write a headline that makes people click right this very second.

When you create a headline, make it seem as though the person has to read the article right this very second. This will lead them to think “Oh, okay, I better read this one first. I can go back and read the rest later”.

Put a sense of urgency in your headlines and readers will choose you first.


6: Write blog headlines that imply importance

Make readers actually see the importance of your article:

A headline is just a bunch of words. If you don’t use those words artfully they’ll be nothing but a string of vowels and consonants broken up with spaces.

You want your titles to resonate with readers. You want readers to actually see the point you’re making.

The best way to do this is by expressing the benefit of reading the article. In this very article you’re reading right now, the benefit is “high CTR in Google Search and Adwords”.


7: Improve headline CTR by mentioning your demographic

So much of digital marketing strategy is based on demographics.

If your article is appealing to a limited demographic, mention that demographic in your title.

Alongside this site I run a popular site about meditation. Some of my reasons are experienced meditators, some beginners. It’s important that I mention which demographic I’m writing for so that those people know to click. Hence, “Beginners Guide To Meditating” is much better than a generic “Guide To Meditating”.


8: Hit them with some dopamine:

Dopamine is the brain’s happy drug. You get a release of dopamine when you engage in an enjoyable activity. But you also get a release of dopamine when you read about something pleasurable.

If, for instance, I mention a cold refreshing beer and a full rack of ribs, you’ll get a release of dopamine. You’ll then follow the dopamine trail, in search of more dopamine.

The easy way to take advantage of this psychology is to put one highly pleasurable word in the title. For instance “Money” or “Sex” or “Food”. References to these pleasurable experiences will lead your readers to click through your headlines in search of more dopamine.

Note, this is precisely why people get addicted to reading. And you should take advantage of this on your blog.


9: Increase headline clickiness by making it about YOU (them) 

Who me?

People are more inclined to respond when you speak to them in second person.

If you happen to know their name and are able to drop that in your headline they’ll respond even quicker.

Obviously, such things aren’t possible in the Google SERPS (though they are possible in email, where this strategy is used to good effect).


10: Improve organic CTR of blog posts by referencing something the person cares about:

As I mentioned previously I also run a meditation website.

The site caters to families.

One article on the site is a guide for teaching meditation to kids.

I could have called that guide “a guide to teaching kids how to meditate”. But that wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work because “kids” is too generic. Parents don’t care about kids they care about their kids.

I made this title infinitely more powerful by changing one word, making it “Guide to teaching your kids how to meditate”. One little word, one big difference.


11: Make people click your blog post titles by using clever negativity:

Negativity and positivity are weird things online.

Here’s why:

Negativity makes people react quickly but in a negative way. (Adweek has a great article on negativitiy). Positivity makes people happy but less inclined to act quickly.

I should clarify.

When you put a negative word in your headline people will click the headline because they want to see who the hell it is who would dare say those negative words about something they love. For instance if you say Grand Theft Auto Is Stupid you will get thousands of gamers clicking your headline because they want to yell down your throat.

So negativity gets you halfway.

You can make a headline negative and thereby make people click through to your article. But you will then need to change the negativity to positivity so those readers actually like your site.

One easy but witty way to do this is to take advantage of the fact that Google only allows short headlines.

You can have an abbreviated headline in Google and the full headline on your blog’s page. And because of that you can make people think you’re being negative, even though you’re actually being positive.

So let’s go back to GTA.

If I make the Google headline “Grand Theft Auto Is Stupid…”

And the blog headline “Grand Theft Auto Is Stupidly Awesome”

Then I get readers clicking through because they’re mad at my negativity, then realising they’re wrong and ending liking my article because it’s positive.

And that is one clever way to take advantage of people’s emotions and to make them click your titles.


By being a little clever and a little cunning with your titles you can make people click your headlines. That’ll lead your hits to skyrocket and your position in the SERPS to improve.


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Paul Harrison is a marketing copywriter in the Toronto / Hamilton area, ready to deliver all your copywriting and marketing needs. Visit the front page for details.