How to Write Perfect Page Titles and Headlines (7 Tools to Help Make it Happen)

How to Write Page Titles & Headlines

What’s your biggest challenge when writing an article?

If it’s crafting a great headline (which is also going to be the page title), then this list of tools is right for you!

The page title is the most important on-page element that is prominently visible anywhere your page is shared or linked:

  • More often than not, the page title is the most visible (and clickable) part of the search snippet
  • Unless otherwise specified, the page title is what shows up in the link preview when anyone shares your article on social media
  • The title of the page shows up in any browser tab. So in many cases (when there are many tabs open), this is what may drive the reader back to your tab.

Page title

No wonder writing an effective title is so challenging: you have to achieve so many goals, from creating a keyword-focused headline for higher-rankings to making it interesting and creating enough to trigger a click!

There’s a no single formula of an effective page title, but here are some tools to help you come up with your own style and method. Let’s dive in now:

1. Find the Best Keyword for Your Titles: Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a multi-purpose SEO suite with one of the most powerful keyword research tools.

There are a few ways to identify your keywords:

  • Enter your core term (your general topic) there and then click through to “All keyword ideas”
  • Type your competitor’s domain and see which keywords are driving traffic for them (and which ones you can center your content around).

Ubersuggest

The beauty of this tool is that it’s very easy to use. All you need to do is type in a keyword, and it will show you the URLs that are ranking for it so you can see your competitors at a glance.

You can also limit results by “SEO difficulty” which reflects the organic competitiveness of each keyword. This allows you to discover keywords to use in your title that are easier to rank high in Google search.

Best of all, the tool is free and there is a ton of data available in the free version, so there is no excuse for not trying it!

2. Create a Question-Based Title: Text Optimizer

Crafting your title as a question is a great way to get more people to click it. Human beings have that natural instinct of trying to find an answer whenever they see a question, so search and social media users will be more inclined to click your title when it is written as a question.

Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis tool that lists popular questions for any keyword you enter:

Text Optimizr questions

The tool ranks the questions by popularity and organic competitiveness. Clicking any question takes you to a semantic analysis of that particular question, allowing you to discover related concepts to include in your title or the page copy.

Text Optimizer

The further semantic analysis allows you to pick up even more content ideas and angles, as well as improve your current title.

Another great source of niche question inspiration is, of course, Google’s “People Also Ask” boxes.

3. Analyze Your Title: Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer

Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule analyzes your title based on multiple criteria, so you are likely to find the analysis quite eye-opening.

  • Word choice analysis (an analysis of the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline.) The tool breaks your word choice into motional, common and power words to ensure you have the right balance of everything.
  • Sentiment analysis: headlines that convey strong positive or negative emotions tend to perform better
  • Headline length analysis determines if your title is too short or too long (in characters and words). Overall, titles that are 6-8 words long tend to earn the highest number of click-throughs.
  • Analysis of the first and last three words of your title. The idea is, when skimming content, most readers tend to read the first and last three words of a headline.
  • Searchable keyword analysis: headlines should include searchable keywords and phrases so that readers can find your content easily.

Headlin analyzer

Even running the tool just once will give you a ton of ideas on how to improve your strategy going forward.

4. Preview the Facebook Snippet: Facebook Debugger

Would you like to know what your title will look like when shared on Facebook? Use Facebook’s official tool called Facebook Debugger.

Just enter your live URL to the “Preview” box and scroll down to “Link Preview” section:

Facebook preview

From here, try to decide if your title is inviting a click or if it needs some improvement.

5. Preview the Twitter Snippet: Twitter Card Validator

Twitter feeds have become richer than they were when the platform launched. Twitter now generates “rich tweets” showing the link preview whenever there’s a link included in a tweet.

If you want to see what your title looks like when your article is tweeted, use Twitter’s “Card Validator”.

Twitter preview

Here’s also a solid guide on adding Twitter cards to your site for your content to generate rich tweets.

6. Preview on Mobile: Google’s Speed Insights

Now that most people are reading blogs from their mobile devices, it is important to make sure that your title will look nice, as it is often the first thing that loads.

Google’s Speed Insights allows you to preview your page title on a mobile device and shows how fast it took to load it.

Google preview

7. Preview Google Snippet: Google, Yoast, and More

Finally, I bet you’d want to know what your title would look like in search results, and it is quite doable too!

Don’t get me wrong: no tool will guarantee that your search snippet will look exactly like what they show, but you can rest assured that it will be quite similar.

Yoast Plugin (as well as several solid alternatives) generates the search snippet preview when you are still typing your article in WordPress editor.

For published and indexed article, use Google’s SITE: command to see what its snippet looks like:

Google SITE command

There are also a few search snippet generators — including this one — that do a pretty good job:

search snippet preview

Conclusion

To create a well-performing title, you need to balance several goals and tasks, including:

  • Making sure you know which keyword you are focusing on
  • Avoiding getting too wordy: Shorter titles perform better
  • Wording your title as a question
  • Making sure your title looks good (and doesn’t truncate) in search and on social media.

While You're here

Get our complete content marketing bundle: the very best content marketing resources, all in one place.

Article Continues

What Great Brands Do That Good Brands Don't in Content Marketing

Okay content is easy. Killer content is hard. This nifty eBook shows you the difference, based on our real-world work with dozens of brands. A must-read!

[podcast]
[podcast]