Simply irresistible: How to write titles that tantalise

Do you want more people to read your content?

In a content-saturated world, one sure-fire way of increasing your chances of this is to create a standout title.

Your title is your chance to make a good impression and persuade a reader to give up their precious time by reading further. So, from a copywriting perspective, how to write titles is one of the vital skills that you simply have to master.

What makes a great title?

A title has a challenging role. It should be short (no more than 60 characters to display in Google), attention-grabbing and accurately reflect the main topic of your content. It also has to contain just enough information using the right combination of words to draw the reader in and make them interested enough to want to learn more.

How to write titles in 5 easy steps

There are a number of techniques you can use to make your titles more appealing. Here are some useful tips and tricks for how to write titles:

1) Give readers a reason to explore further

Your title has to sell your piece of content. It should offer the reader a clear benefit and give them an incentive to continue reading. Think of it like an appetiser before a great meal. A well-executed appetiser should set the scene for the meal you’re about to eat, give you a taste of what’s to follow and, if done well, will leave you wanting more!

2) Keep it short and simple

Your title isn’t the place for making elaborate claims or arguments. The detail can come later. Keep your title concise and use strong, impact words that capture the reader’s attention.

3) Include numbers and data

Studies have shown that using numbers and data in your titles is an effective way of making them more attractive to readers, increasing engagement and social shares.

The perceived psychology behind this is that it sets expectations about the amount of content to follow, how easy it will be to scan your content and how varied your content will be. It can also indicate that your content has some basis in fact and that what’s being said is backed by research.

Examples of how to write titles using this approach are:

‘8 must-read marketing books’ or ‘77% of marketers need a bigger budget’

4) Get your readers’ attention

Your readers are likely to have several things competing for their attention and be browsing your content whilst doing something else or thinking of what’s next on their to-do list.

This means your content will be picked up or rejected instantly based on the short series of words in your title. Using some interesting, attention-grabbing adjectives is a good strategy to pique readers’ curiosity. Try to keep these original and steer clear of clichés!

5) Convey value

There is a sea of information out there. What you should be aiming for with your content is to one-up the rest by providing something fresh, that has real value for your readers.

Look at material from other sources and improve on it, or give it a twist that adds value. Communicate this in your title to tempt readers to explore your content. Users are often interested in tips and tricks or quick-fixes, so structure your title and content to reflect this.

Examples of how to write titles using this approach are:

‘7 lesser-known tips for hiring graduates’ or ‘5 fool-proof ways to instantly improve your writing’

So, there you have it, our round-up of how to write titles. Incorporate these tricks of the trade into your writing and see how your readers respond.