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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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”.
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.
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.
For published and indexed article, use Google’s SITE: command to see what its snippet looks like:
There are also a few search snippet generators — including this one — that do a pretty good job:
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.