7 Reasons You Will Click On This Post Title

Post titles are a key weapon in the successful blogger’s Arsenal. I’ve written about them before, but thought it was time for a refresh and I believe this particular title perfectly illustrates the point.

You clicked it right? Well, here’s why you did!

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1. It has a number in it

Our brains simply love numbers. They grab our attention, jump out at us and spark our inquiring mind.

More specifically, our brains like small, single digit numbers as they imply a focused, ‘no BS’ discussion of the topic at hand and all the better if that number is odd.

Why odd? Well, 10 reasons sounds like you have made yourself write 10 as it is a nice round number, while 7 suggests that’s it, you’ve exhausted all the good stuff and you’re not messing around!

So, the number 7 is perfect.

2. It is a list

We also love lists and that number in the title tells us that the post is going to contain one.

Lists are easy to read, simple to digest and imply organisation… another thing our brains adore.

3. It is Commanding

There’s no softly, softly here. The title isn’t ‘you might’ or ‘you should’, it is ‘you will’.

Who are we to argue with authority?

4. It Contains A Clear Instruction

The title of the post contains an instruction – ‘click on this post title’.

Combined with point 3, that’s pretty compelling for our brains!

5. It Says You In It

Using the word ‘you’ in the title strongly suggests that there will be personal benefit for anyone reading the post.

I’m not saying we’re all purely out for number 1, but let’s be honest, you are much more likely to spend 5 minutes of your valuable time reading something if you believe that it will teach you something/entertain you etc.

6. It Is Intriguing

The title itself has an element of mystery about it. It is self referential, which makes it a bit odd and helps it to stand out.

I flirted with the idea of calling it ‘7 Surprising Reasons…’ which is even more intriguing, but would be a bit misleading as they are not really all that surprising!

7. It Is Short And Sweet!

There is a time and a place for long titles (i.e. this one), but in general, (like most things) less is more.

Communicate to potential readers what they will be getting when they click through to your post in as few words as possible.

In Summary

So, that’s 7 reasons why you clicked on this post title and hopefully you will agree that the post itself delivered on the promise of the headline!

A well written post title can dramatically increase click throughs, particularly from social media and the tips above should help when crafting yours. Just make sure you back up that great headline with solid, well written and informative content.

Any comments/questions/further tips please feel free to leave them below.

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About the Author

I'm a web developer, programmer, blogger and SEO expert from Glasgow, Scotland, with over 15 years experience in the industry. When I'm not writing about marketing and SEO you'll find me strumming the guitar in my band or listening to Revolver on repeat. Follow me on twitter, connect with me on google+ and add us on facebook to keep up with all the latest trends in SEO and online marketing.

Leave a Reply 12 comments

James H. - December 5, 2013 Reply

Definitely agree, Dave! Any odd number, not just 7, has been proven to be better for lists because they seem “shorter” and quicker to read than an even-numbered list.

The intrigue aspect definitely drives the motivation behind the click, though.

    David McSweeney - December 5, 2013 Reply

    very true James… 7 is my personal favourite though 🙂

Neena - December 6, 2013 Reply

Just wrote a post after reading this article and rather unconsciously incorporated some of your tips in the title.

Since I did find something that surprised me, I used that wording and then remembered what I read on your site.

Here’s hoping for good results. 😉

    David McSweeney - December 6, 2013 Reply

    I’m not surprised… using surprised in a post title is a surprisingly effective way of enticing a surprising amount of clicks 🙂

Eric Williams - December 6, 2013 Reply

Great post! Your point about forcing a round number is quite interesting. I never really thought of it that way. Thanks for stretching my brain a little bit today.

    David McSweeney - December 6, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Eric, glad you enjoyed it!

Cole Wiebe - December 7, 2013 Reply

Hi David,

I tried resisting your title. Someone tells me I”m going to do something, I want to exercise freedom of choice. 🙂 But in the end, curiosity got the better of me. Good post.

– Cole

Ritu Singh - December 16, 2013 Reply

Very Informative post. A good post title makes huge difference in the world. A post title is a marketing tool in itself. We use post title to garner attention and entice people to start reading your post. It is all about what will appear in search engine results, links, in archives, and on social media sites.

Dilip Win - December 26, 2013 Reply

So numbers , Commanding attracts the visitors ? really great i too think soo but we can’t find such topics in SEO easily. Is that so ?

Bryan Knowlton - January 29, 2014 Reply

Hey David!
This is Bryan Knowlton over at the Daily Blogcast for Internet Marketing.

I just wanted to let you know we discussed your blog post on our show and would love if you could help get the word out to your readers!

Episode 039 – 7 Reasons You Will Click On This Post Title, Improve Facebook Enagement, Google Censorship, Affiliate Summit West

http://dailyblogcast.net/2013/12/30/39-7-reasons-you-will-click-on-this-post-title-improve-facebook-enagement-google-censorship-affiliate-summit-west/

We found the article to be well written and decided to feature it in this episode. If you would like to provide any additional comments, you can do that directly at the bottom of the page listed above.

Since this is a Daily Podcast, we will definitely be visiting your blog from time to time to find more great articles to discuss. If you would like to leave us a comment, question or a voicemail, you can do that on the right side of the page.

Again, thank you for the blog post! Without it we might have not had much to talk about! 🙂

You can subscribe (or let your readers they can) at http://dailyblogcast.net/itunes

Thanks again!

Bryan & Mark
Daily Blogcast for Internet Marketing – Because reading is hard…

What Makes Content Shareable? - March 10, 2014 Reply

[…] simple humans love lists and we love to share them! Put a useful list together and put a number in the post title and it’s likely to get clicks and […]

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