How to Write Blog Post Titles That Humans and Search Engine Bots Will Love
Lawyers tend to have a way with words. Perhaps, when you took AP English in high school, you used to impress your classmates during the class activities where you had to think of titles for passages you read, and you always came up with titles loaded with alliteration, subtext, and intertextual references. Those kinds of titles make for elegant turns of phrase in legal memorandums, not to mention eye-catching email subject lines. Of course, the titles that make you a superstar in the legal profession are not necessarily the ones that pack the biggest punch for search engine optimization (SEO). Writing effective legal blog content means appealing to readers in ways that search engine bots will notice, starting at the title and going all the way to the call-to-action paragraph.
The Seven Categories of Eminently Clickable Blog Post Titles
The best blog post titles give the reader enough information to know that they want to keep reading, but not enough that they can find the answer to their question just by looking at the title and without reading the body text of the post. Bill Widmer of Ahrefs identifies seven formulas for successful blog post titles, as follows:
· Listicle titles start with a number and purport to list instances of something, such as “5 Things to Do at the Scene of a Car Accident” or “6 Types of Alimony in Florida.” Most listicles format the number as a numeral.
· “How to” articles claim to teach the reader how to do something they are trying to accomplish, such as “How to Maximize Your Chances of a Fair Insurance Payout After a Car Accident” or “How to Modify Your Parenting Plan.”
· Question titles are identical or nearly identical to common search queries related to your practice area, such as “How Much Money Can You Get for Pain and Suffering” or “What Is Community Property in Divorce?”
· Comparison titles compare and contrast two terms related to your practice area, such as “Personal Injury Lawsuits vs. Workers’ Compensation Claims” or “Divorce vs. Annulment.”
· “Ultimate guide” titles claim to tell you everything you need to know about the topic, such as “The Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning” or “Everything You Need to Know About Personal Injury Lawsuits.”
· “Devil’s advocate” titles appear to state a surprising, controversial, or counterintuitive thesis, such as “You Are Probably Saving Too Much for Retirement” or “It’s OK to Be Enemies With Your Ex-Spouse.”
· “Click to find out” titles tell you to expect surprises about a topic you thought you knew about, such as “Here Is What Happened After McDonald’s Paid a Multimillion-Dollar Settlement to a Customer Who Spilled Hot Coffee on Her Lap,” or “You Knew That Most People File for Divorce in January, but Did You Know Why?”
More Than Just Click-Worthy Titles
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