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7 Blog Title Formulas That Get Clicks (With Examples)



You’ve spent hours writing a new post, optimizing it for search engines, and crafting the perfect article to grow your traffic. But it means nothing if no one reads it.

Your blog post’s title is the first barrier to entry to getting more visitors to your content. Without a great blog title, no one will click on your post, and the quality of your content won’t even matter.

Unfortunately, coming up with a great blog title can be harder than it sounds. You have to get into the minds of your target audience and be good at copywriting.

Luckily, I’ve written a blog title or two (thousand) in my day. 

In today’s guide, you will learn:

The anatomy of a great blog title

Every blog title, regardless of your industry or what you’re writing about, has to satisfy three main requirements:

  1. It contains the keyword you’re targeting for SEO
  2. It gives the reader a reason to click (value)
  3. It offers a unique take on the topic

In other words: Keyword + Value + Unique Angle = Great Blog Title.

Using keywords properly

Using your target keyword in your title is helpful for SEO and is pretty straightforward. 

You just have to know what keyword you’re trying to rank for and include that keyword in your title somewhere.

For example, we’re trying to rank this article you’re reading for “blog titles.” The title of this page is “7 Blog Title Formulas That Get Clicks (With Examples)”. 

If you’re not sure exactly how or where to add your keyword, you can get ideas by searching your keyword in Google and looking at the other titles currently ranking. Look at how your competitors are doing it and use their titles for inspiration.

If you’re targeting a keyword that wouldn’t make grammatical sense to put in the title as-is, you can change it to a close variation.

Offering value

Think: What do your readers want? How does your article help them get it? This is value.

For example, the value in our title is the promise that your blog titles will get clicks if you follow our guide.

We know that someone searching for “blog titles” is probably a blog owner who wants their content to get more traffic, and we appeal to that.

If you’re not sure what your reader wants, that’s a sign you need to dig deeper before you finalize your title. Again, search on Google to check competitors’ titles and don’t be afraid to look on forums like Reddit to learn more about your target reader.

Having a unique angle

Does your title stand out from the crowd on the SERPs? Or is it just a rehashing of the same title everyone else uses? Why should someone click on your article over another one?

While it’s not always possible to stand out with your title, a little extra effort here can go a long way. 

For example, let’s say you’re trying to rank for “winterize RV.” If we look at the SERPs, here’s what we see:

Top search results for 'winterize rv' via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer.

They’re all somewhat similar. One unique angle mentions how to do it “with an air compressor,” but the title is cut-off. The other unique angle is the checklist.

You could make your title something like “How to Winterize Your RV Without Messy Antifreeze” or “How to Winterize Your RV in 9 Steps (Checklist Inside)”. 

Subtly different but unique enough to stand out.

7 blog post title formulas proven to get clicks

Now that you understand some of the concepts behind what makes a blog title clickable, let me share a few templates you can use to easily and quickly write great blog titles.

1. The list post title

For whatever reason, people love lists of things. The 7 best vacuum cleaners. The 11 coolest used cars. 14 weird cat photos.

These list posts, or “listicles,” can help you get more clicks. A study by Moz found that using numbers in your headline can drive up to 15% more clicks.


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2. The “how to” title

The classic how-to guide has been around forever. It just does what it promises; teaches you how to do something you want to know how to do.

It helps to include proof of some kind, similar to the data-backed title formula you’re going to learn about in a moment.


3. The what, why, or how title

You’ve seen this title formula if you’ve ever Googled what something is, why something is, or how something is. It’s a direct repeat of the question at hand.

This title is best when you know precisely what question your reader is asking. Just make your title the question itself, then (if you have enough room) give it some flair to entice the reader, as I did in the examples below.


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4. The “versus” title

When someone is trying to decide between two or three options, a comparison article putting them head-to-head is exactly what they need.


5. The ultimate guide title

When you’re looking to deep-dive into studying a new hobby or interest, you want to know everything you need to succeed, right?

Enter: The ultimate guide.

When you build something amazing that teaches the reader everything about a subject, this title formula is a sure-fire way to get more clicks.


6. The devil’s advocate title

Going against a commonly-held belief can sometimes pique a curious reader’s interest and get them to click on your title. The more you can turn a popular view on its head, the more effective this title template.


  • Why ‘Following Your Passion’ Is Horrible Advice (What to Do Instead)
  • Why Running Is Actually Horrible For You (Do This Instead)
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7. The direct answer title

Like the what, why, how-to title, a direct answer title gives searchers back what they searched for. But instead of repeating the question, you’re providing the answer right in your title.

This template is great for any questions with an immediate and straightforward answer, but there’s more to learn than what meets the eye.


How to choose which formula to use

Now that you know the templates, how do you pick one?

The answer is to research the SERPs to get inspiration. This research will also help you decide which title formula to use to satisfy searchers.

For example, the results for “office organization” show mostly list posts:

Most of the top search results for 'office organization' are listicles.

This tells me I probably need to write a list post if I want to stand the best chance of ranking on the first page in Google’s search results.

But if we look at another example, like “how to decide where to live,” we see mixed results:

The format of the top search results for 'how to decide where to live' are mixed.

Three templates are being used here: 

  1. How-to
  2. List post
  3. Ultimate guide

In this situation, I would go with the most popular formula: the “how-to” title. But you can experiment with other titles and still potentially rank on page one.

Speaking of ranking, let’s talk about how to optimize your blog titles for search engines.

How to SEO your blog titles

Satisfying Google and its users isn’t as simple as slapping your keyword in your title and calling it a day. There are a few things you need to know to have the best chance at ranking high so you can get more clicks.

1. Match search intent

Search intent is the reason behind the search. In other words, what are they searching for?

If you chose your blog title formula based on the SERPs as suggested, your content format should already closely match search intent. But it’s also worth aligning the angle of your title with what searchers are looking for where possible.

For example, if we look at the top-ranking results for “SEO tips,” most of the titles focus on the angle of increasing traffic:

Most of the top-ranking posts for 'SEO tips' talk about traffic in their titles.

Using a similar angle for our title would probably make sense, as this is clearly the outcome searchers want to achieve. 

Here are a few other common blog title angles to look out for:

  • Freshness. If top-ranking pages have the current year in the title, searchers are probably looking for up-to-date information. 
  • Speed. If top-ranking pages reference the speed and ease of doing something, searchers are probably looking for a fast solution. 
  • Simplicity. If top-ranking pages are beginner’s guides, searchers probably value something straightforward and easy to understand. 

Learn more: What is Search Intent? A Complete Guide for Beginners

2. Optimize for long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are less popular ways of searching for the same or similar things. 

For example, there are 6.8K monthly searches for “healthy dog treats.” But people search for the same thing in a bunch of less popular ways:

Long-tail keywords for 'healthy dog treats' via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer.

By considering other ways people search for your topic, you can often craft a blog title that appeals to more searchers.

Here’s how to find long-tail keywords for your topic:

  1. Go to Keywords Explorer
  2. Enter your main target keyword
  3. Scroll to the SERP overview
  4. Find the top-ranking page most similar to yours
  5. Click to view the keywords it ranks for
  6. Filter for top 10 rankings

For example, say our target keyword was “is SEO worth it?” 

Here’s the SERP overview: 

Top-ranking pages for 'is SEO worth it' via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer.

As each of these posts has the same blog title formula, let’s see what keywords the top-ranking page also ranks for. We can do this by clicking on the number in the keywords column. 

If we then filter the report for top 10 rankings, we see the long-tails people are searching for:

Long-tail keywords for 'is SEO worth it' via Ahrefs' Site Explorer.

Two of these stand out for me: 

  1. is SEO worth it for small business”
  2. value of SEO”

The first tells me that many searchers are likely small business owners. The second tells me that searchers care not only about the cost of SEO but also its value. 

Now we know this, we can cater to a broader audience with a blog title like: 

Is SEO Worth It? The Real Value of SEO for Small Businesses

3. Boost clicks with power words

Power words cause an emotional response (like curiosity or desire) and make people want to click your title. 

Examples of power words include things like:

  • Secret
  • Bizarre
  • Obsessed
  • Unexplained
  • Never

Some examples of titles with power words might be things like:

  • 10 CPA Secrets to Save Thousands on Business Taxes
  • 7 Bizarre Places on Earth that Really Exist
  • This New iPhone Trick Will Have You Obsessed
  • How One Man Used an Unexplained Trick to Gain Muscle Fast
  • Never Struggle With Weight Loss Again: 3 Key Principles to Follow

Including power words like this is good practice so long as it doesn’t turn your post into clickbait. Your post must deliver your promise. Otherwise, you’ll annoy your readers.

Check out this post by OptinMonster for a list of over 700 power words to try in your titles.

4. Make your title 50-60 characters

The ideal length of a blog title is 50-60 characters. 

This is long enough to use all the space available in Google’s search results but short enough that your results aren’t cut off like the example below.

Example of a truncated blog title in the search results.

For this reason, we recommend using a free title checker like this one before publishing. If it turns red, your title will likely get cut off in the search results.

Checking the length of a blog title using a free title tag checker.

If you want to check the title lengths for posts you’ve already published in bulk, you can use Ahrefs’ free Website Checker. Just enter your website, sign up for a free account, verify ownership, then go to Site Audit.

From there, navigate to the Content report and look for the “Title too long” issue: 

Pages with the 'title too long' warning via Ahrefs' Site Audit.

Click on that item, and you’ll see all the pages where the title is too long. You can then fix them to prevent truncation in the search results.

Final thoughts

If you want your blog to be successful, you need to learn how to write great headlines. 

You can quickly grab a template from our list of formulas and write awesome blog titles, even if you’re not great at copywriting.

Ready to learn more ways to grow your blog? Check out these other helpful articles:

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GPT Store Set To Launch In 2024 After ‘Unexpected’ Delays




GPT Store Set To Launch In 2024 After 'Unexpected' Delays

OpenAI shares its plans for the GPT Store, enhancements to GPT Builder tools, privacy improvements, and updates coming to ChatGPT.

  • OpenAI has scheduled the launch of the GPT Store for early next year, aligning with its ongoing commitment to developing advanced AI technologies.
  • The GPT Builder tools have received substantial updates, including a more intuitive configuration interface and improved file handling capabilities.
  • Anticipation builds for upcoming updates to ChatGPT, highlighting OpenAI’s responsiveness to community feedback and dedication to AI innovation.

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96.55% of Content Gets No Traffic From Google. Here’s How to Be in the Other 3.45% [New Research for 2023]



96.55% of Content Gets No Traffic From Google. Here's How to Be in the Other 3.45% [New Research for 2023]

It’s no secret that the web is growing by millions, if not billions of pages per day.

Our Content Explorer tool discovers 10 million new pages every 24 hours while being very picky about the pages that qualify for inclusion. The “main” Ahrefs web crawler crawls that number of pages every two minutes. 

But how much of this content gets organic traffic from Google?

To find out, we took the entire database from our Content Explorer tool (around 14 billion pages) and studied how many pages get traffic from organic search and why.

How many web pages get organic search traffic?

96.55% of all pages in our index get zero traffic from Google, and 1.94% get between one and ten monthly visits.

Distribution of pages by traffic from Content Explorer

Before we move on to discussing why the vast majority of pages never get any search traffic from Google (and how to avoid being one of them), it’s important to address two discrepancies with the studied data:

  1. ~14 billion pages may seem like a huge number, but it’s not the most accurate representation of the entire web. Even compared to the size of Site Explorer’s index of 340.8 billion pages, our sample size for this study is quite small and somewhat biased towards the “quality side of the web.”
  2. Our search traffic numbers are estimates. Even though our database of ~651 million keywords in Site Explorer (where our estimates come from) is arguably the largest database of its kind, it doesn’t contain every possible thing people search for in Google. There’s a chance that some of these pages get search traffic from super long-tail keywords that are not popular enough to make it into our database.

That said, these two “inaccuracies” don’t change much in the grand scheme of things: the vast majority of published pages never rank in Google and never get any search traffic. 

But why is this, and how can you be a part of the minority that gets organic search traffic from Google?

Well, there are hundreds of SEO issues that may prevent your pages from ranking well in Google. But if we focus only on the most common scenarios, assuming the page is indexed, there are only three of them.

Reason 1: The topic has no search demand

If nobody is searching for your topic, you won’t get any search traffic—even if you rank #1.

For example, I recently Googled “pull sitemap into google sheets” and clicked the top-ranking page (which solved my problem in seconds, by the way). But if you plug that URL into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, you’ll see that it gets zero estimated organic search traffic:

The top-ranking page for this topic gets no traffic because there's no search demandThe top-ranking page for this topic gets no traffic because there's no search demand

This is because hardly anyone else is searching for this, as data from Keywords Explorer confirms:

Keyword data from Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer confirms that this topic has no search demandKeyword data from Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer confirms that this topic has no search demand

This is why it’s so important to do keyword research. You can’t just assume that people are searching for whatever you want to talk about. You need to check the data.

Our Traffic Potential (TP) metric in Keywords Explorer can help with this. It estimates how much organic search traffic the current top-ranking page for a keyword gets from all the queries it ranks for. This is a good indicator of the total search demand for a topic.

You’ll see this metric for every keyword in Keywords Explorer, and you can even filter for keywords that meet your minimum criteria (e.g., 500+ monthly traffic potential): 

Filtering for keywords with Traffic Potential (TP) in Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerFiltering for keywords with Traffic Potential (TP) in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Reason 2: The page has no backlinks

Backlinks are one of Google’s top three ranking factors, so it probably comes as no surprise that there’s a clear correlation between the number of websites linking to a page and its traffic.

Pages with more referring domains get more trafficPages with more referring domains get more traffic
Pages with more referring domains get more traffic

Same goes for the correlation between a page’s traffic and keyword rankings:

Pages with more referring domains rank for more keywordsPages with more referring domains rank for more keywords
Pages with more referring domains rank for more keywords

Does any of this data prove that backlinks help you rank higher in Google?

No, because correlation does not imply causation. However, most SEO professionals will tell you that it’s almost impossible to rank on the first page for competitive keywords without backlinks—an observation that aligns with the data above.

The key word there is “competitive.” Plenty of pages get organic traffic while having no backlinks…

Pages with more referring domains get more trafficPages with more referring domains get more traffic
How much traffic pages with no backlinks get

… but from what I can tell, almost all of them are about low-competition topics.

For example, this lyrics page for a Neil Young song gets an estimated 162 monthly visits with no backlinks: 

Example of a page with traffic but no backlinks, via Ahrefs' Content ExplorerExample of a page with traffic but no backlinks, via Ahrefs' Content Explorer

But if we check the keywords it ranks for, they almost all have Keyword Difficulty (KD) scores in the single figures:

Some of the low-difficulty keywords a page without traffic ranks forSome of the low-difficulty keywords a page without traffic ranks for

It’s the same story for this page selling upholstered headboards:

Some of the low-difficulty keywords a page without traffic ranks forSome of the low-difficulty keywords a page without traffic ranks for

You might have noticed two other things about these pages:

  • Neither of them get that much traffic. This is pretty typical. Our index contains ~20 million pages with no referring domains, yet only 2,997 of them get more than 1K search visits per month. That’s roughly 1 in every 6,671 pages with no backlinks.
  • Both of the sites they’re on have high Domain Rating (DR) scores. This metric shows the relative strength of a website’s backlink profile. Stronger sites like these have more PageRank that they can pass to pages with internal links to help them rank. 

Bottom line? If you want your pages to get search traffic, you really only have two options:

  1. Target uncompetitive topics that you can rank for with few or no backlinks.
  2. Target competitive topics and build backlinks to rank.

If you want to find uncompetitive topics, try this:

  1. Enter a topic into Keywords Explorer
  2. Go to the Matching terms report
  3. Set the Keyword Difficulty (KD) filter to max. 20
  4. Set the Lowest DR filter to your site’s DR (this will show you keywords with at least one of the same or lower DR ranking in the top 5)
Filtering for low-competition keywords in Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerFiltering for low-competition keywords in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

(Remember to keep an eye on the TP column to make sure they have traffic potential.)

To rank for more competitive topics, you’ll need to earn or build high-quality backlinks to your page. If you’re not sure how to do that, start with the guides below. Keep in mind that it’ll be practically impossible to get links unless your content adds something to the conversation. 

Reason 3. The page doesn’t match search intent

Google wants to give users the most relevant results for a query. That’s why the top organic results for “best yoga mat” are blog posts with recommendations, not product pages. 

It's obviously what searchers want when they search for "best yoga mats"It's obviously what searchers want when they search for "best yoga mats"

Basically, Google knows that searchers are in research mode, not buying mode.

It’s also why this page selling yoga mats doesn’t show up, despite it having backlinks from more than six times more websites than any of the top-ranking pages:

Page selling yoga mats that has lots of backlinksPage selling yoga mats that has lots of backlinks
Number of linking websites to the top-ranking pages for "best yoga mats"Number of linking websites to the top-ranking pages for "best yoga mats"

Luckily, the page ranks for thousands of other more relevant keywords and gets tens of thousands of monthly organic visits. So it’s not such a big deal that it doesn’t rank for “best yoga mats.”

Number of keyword rankings for the page selling yoga matsNumber of keyword rankings for the page selling yoga mats

However, if you have pages with lots of backlinks but no organic traffic—and they already target a keyword with traffic potential—another quick SEO win is to re-optimize them for search intent.

We did this in 2018 with our free backlink checker.

It was originally nothing but a boring landing page explaining the benefits of our product and offering a 7-day trial: 

Original landing page for our free backlink checkerOriginal landing page for our free backlink checker

After analyzing search intent, we soon realized the issue:

People weren’t looking for a landing page, but rather a free tool they could use right away. 

So, in September 2018, we created a free tool and published it under the same URL. It ranked #1 pretty much overnight, and has remained there ever since. 

Our rankings over time for the keyword "backlink checker." You can see when we changed the pageOur rankings over time for the keyword "backlink checker." You can see when we changed the page

Organic traffic went through the roof, too. From ~14K monthly organic visits pre-optimization to almost ~200K today. 

Estimated search traffic over time to our free backlink checkerEstimated search traffic over time to our free backlink checker


96.55% of pages get no organic traffic. 

Keep your pages in the other 3.45% by building backlinks, choosing topics with organic traffic potential, and matching search intent.

Ping me on Twitter if you have any questions. 🙂

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Firefox URL Tracking Removal – Is This A Trend To Watch?




Firefox URL Tracking Removal - Is This A Trend To Watch?

Firefox recently announced that they are offering users a choice on whether or not to include tracking information from copied URLs, which comes on the on the heels of iOS 17 blocking user tracking via URLs. The momentum of removing tracking information from URLs appears to be gaining speed. Where is this all going and should marketers be concerned?

Is it possible that blocking URL tracking parameters in the name of privacy will become a trend industrywide?

Firefox Announcement

Firefox recently announced that beginning in the Firefox Browser version 120.0, users will be able to select whether or not they want URLs that they copied to contain tracking parameters.

When users select a link to copy and click to raise the contextual menu for it, Firefox is now giving users a choice as to whether to copy the URL with or without the URL tracking parameters that might be attached to the URL.

Screenshot Of Firefox 120 Contextual Menu

Screenshot of Firefox functionality

According to the Firefox 120 announcement:

“Firefox supports a new “Copy Link Without Site Tracking” feature in the context menu which ensures that copied links no longer contain tracking information.”

Browser Trends For Privacy

All browsers, including Google’s Chrome and Chrome variants, are adding new features that make it harder for websites to track users online through referrer information embedded in a URL when a user clicks from one site and leaves through that click to visit another site.

This trend for privacy has been ongoing for many years but it became more noticeable in 2020 when Chrome made changes to how referrer information was sent when users click links to visit other sites. Firefox and Safari followed with similar referrer behavior.

Whether the current Firefox implementation would be disruptive or if the impact is overblown is kind of besides the point.

What is the point is whether or not what Firefox and Apple did to protect privacy is a trend and if that trend will extend to more blocking of URL parameters that are stronger than what Firefox recently implemented.

I asked Kenny Hyder, CEO of online marketing agency Pixel Main, what his thoughts are about the potential disruptive aspect of what Firefox is doing and whether it’s a trend.

Kenny answered:

“It’s not disruptive from Firefox alone, which only has a 3% market share. If other popular browsers follow suit it could begin to be disruptive to a limited degree, but easily solved from a marketers prospective.

If it became more intrusive and they blocked UTM tags, it would take awhile for them all to catch on if you were to circumvent UTM tags by simply tagging things in a series of sub-directories.. ie.<tag1>/<tag2> etc.

Also, most savvy marketers are already integrating future proof workarounds for these exact scenarios.

A lot can be done with pixel based integrations rather than cookie based or UTM tracking. When set up properly they can actually provide better and more accurate tracking and attribution. Hence the name of my agency, Pixel Main.”

I think most marketers are aware that privacy is the trend. The good ones have already taken steps to keep it from becoming a problem while still respecting user privacy.”

Some URL Parameters Are Already Affected

For those who are on the periphery of what’s going on with browsers and privacy, it may come as a surprise that some tracking parameters are already affected by actions meant to protect user privacy.

Jonathan Cairo, Lead Solutions Engineer at Elevar shared that there is already a limited amount of tracking related information stripped from URLs.

But he also explained that there are limits to how much information can be stripped from URLs because the resulting negative effects would cause important web browsing functionality to fail.

Jonathan explained:

“So far, we’re seeing a selective trend where some URL parameters, like ‘fbclid’ in Safari’s private browsing, are disappearing, while others, such as TikTok’s ‘ttclid’, remain.

UTM parameters are expected to stay since they focus on user segmentation rather than individual tracking, provided they are used as intended.

The idea of completely removing all URL parameters seems improbable, as it would disrupt key functionalities on numerous websites, including banking services and search capabilities.

Such a drastic move could lead users to switch to alternative browsers.

On the other hand, if only some parameters are eliminated, there’s the possibility of marketers exploiting the remaining ones for tracking purposes.

This raises the question of whether companies like Apple will take it upon themselves to prevent such use.

Regardless, even in a scenario where all parameters are lost, there are still alternative ways to convey click IDs and UTM information to websites.”

Brad Redding of Elevar agreed about the disruptive effect from going too far with removing URL tracking information:

“There is still too much basic internet functionality that relies on query parameters, such as logging in, password resets, etc, which are effectively the same as URL parameters in a full URL path.

So we believe the privacy crackdown is going to continue on known trackers by blocking their tracking scripts, cookies generated from them, and their ability to monitor user’s activity through the browser.

As this grows, the reliance on brands to own their first party data collection and bring consent preferences down to a user-level (vs session based) will be critical so they can backfill gaps in conversion data to their advertising partners outside of the browser or device.”

The Future Of Tracking, Privacy And What Marketers Should Expect

Elevar raises good points about how far browsers can go in terms of how much blocking they can do. Their response that it’s down to brands to own their first party data collection and other strategies to accomplish analytics without compromising user privacy.

Given all the laws governing privacy and Internet tracking that have been enacted around the world it looks like privacy will continue to be a trend.

However, at this point it time, the advice is to keep monitoring how far browsers are going but there is no expectation that things will get out of hand.

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