Type the phrase “blog writing best practices” into your Google search field and what do you get? A whole host of sites that talk about why you should build a number into your blog title. Here are just a few examples:
Marketinginsidergroup.com: “9 SEO Best Practices for Blog Traffic and Engagement”
Socialmedia.com: “5 Reasons Readers like Numbers in a Headline”
Venngage.com: “Why 10 is actually the best number to use in a blog title.”
The list, as you can imagine, is endless. As for the title of this blog, I followed the advice of the so-called experts and incorporated a number… and not just one number, but two! Hopefully, that will skyrocket this blog to the top of everyone’s organic search and garner twice the number of visits.
It is true, though. Blog titles with numbers are far more likely to get to the top of the SERPs (search engine ranking pages). I’ve also learned, as you can see from my title, that for some reason the number 10 is the best number to use, so that’s what I did.
I find this whole number thing fascinating… and not just a little puzzling. So, I thought I’d dive in and see what it was all about. I must admit that what I did learn was fairly interesting, and I’m happy to sum it up for you. After all, it’s the least I can do after luring you to my blog with a “10” in my blog title and the promise of a ten-point list of some kind. Accuse me of click-baiting if you must, but I just don’t have 10 reasons… I only have 3. Sorry.
Simplicity is king
The pundits say that numbers appeal to us, smaller numbers in particular. And, that makes sense to me… which is why I think that the folks who claim that 10 is better than 3 are wrong! Simplicity makes things easy because we know what to expect right out of the gate. With a blog that has a number in the title, we know exactly what we’re getting.
According to SocialMedia.com: “All else being equal, a headline with numbers in it will yield more traffic than a headline without. That’s been proven enough times that it should be indisputable by now. If you’re going to write a blog on how to be a better sous chef, you might as well headline it with “7 Ways to be a Better Sous Chef”; because you’ll get anywhere from 10-20% more traffic than using “How to be a Better Sous Chef”. So, I guess it’s important that the reader know that they’re not simply getting one or two tips, which might be too few. Or, 12 tips, which might be too many. It’s important that they know that they’re getting 7… a perfect number of tips. As Goldilocks once said, “this number of tips is just right…”
An authoritative source?
Blog titles with numbers convey authority, and people tend (not always) to turn to authoritative sources when seeking information. Numbers lend credibility. When we say, “sure, more people read blogs with numbers in the title,” that claim certainly doesn’t carry the same weight as saying, “studies have shown that blogs with numbers in the title generate anywhere from 10-20% more traffic.” As bettermarketing.pub points out: “The headline, The Key to Writing Good Headlines doesn’t compare to 7 Keys to Writing Good Headlines. It not only encourages readers to click, but sounds like it has genuine, reliable information.” Would 12 Keys to Writing Good Headlines be even more attention grabbing? Why not 15, then? Just think of the possibilities!
Time is of the essence
SocialMedia.com says that “a headline with a small number conveys the message to the reader that it's a quick and easily read, while a large number indicates more of a reading investment. Either way, you are letting your reader know in advance what to expect.” And that’s what people with a limited amount of time want to know; that they don’t need to spend a whole lot of time reading your blog. Although why, then, if the supposition is that people are pressed for time, would the number 10 be more effective in a blog title than the number 3? Go figure. As it is, most people only read, according to salesforce.com, about 28% of the words in a blog post anyway. Which almost makes you wonder why bother at all?
Lastly, there’s more to writing a great blog than putting numbers in your blog title. Don’t forget to break up your text with short, bold subheads; ironically, like the ones I used here. Yet another consideration when writing a blog that you hope will score well with search engine algorithms? Length. How long should your blog post be? Ask Google with the search phrase “ideal blog length” and see what you get. Is it 300 words? 1,000? 40,000? I think I will leave that topic to another, much lengthier blog… with, of course, the number 10 in the title!
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.
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