All you want is a blog post title which will target your ideal audience and guarantee they click, then read, then buy something or sign up as a client. Is that too much to ask?
Your title functions as your blog post’s logo. Just like your accounting firm’s logo, you want it to be attractive, fitting, and simple. And when you’re putting so much time and effort into the other aspects of your blog post, you want to get the title right, too.
Here are the best, tried-and-true ways for accountants to title blog posts.
Write a title that reflects the benefit of the content
If your title communicates to your audience before they’ve even clicked that they’ll get something valuable from reading it, they are more likely to click to read in the first place. Your title doesn’t need to be TOO terribly artsy or beautiful-sounding. You don’t need it to be a play on words, a pun, or alliterated. Keep it simple and obvious what the benefit of reading is.
There are two ways to go about creating a title for a blog post based on the benefit the reader will get:
(1) title your blog post before you write it
This helps when you know you’re writing this blog post for a specific purpose. Laser-focus that purpose before you start writing, use that as the title, and you’ll have a guide throughout writing to keep you focused on your goal for the post. (Remember, though, it’s possible you get to the end and realize your initial title doesn’t match anymore: and that’s okay. Either adjust the title based on what you’ve shared, or ask yourself whether you truly answered the question you set out to answer.)
(2) Write the post and then determine what the theme is.
Sometimes your intentions with a post don’t quite present themselves the same way when you start out as you do when you end. Perhaps you started the post and then realized it was way too accounting-technical for one blog post and you needed to split it into multiple posts. Or, you started out with one topic and it morphed into something deeper. You started with “Why you should automate your credit control” and realized after writing out all your thoughts, the problem your clients are really having is “How do I get my customers to pay me on time”.
Whichever way you do it, identifying the biggest theme from the blog post and why it will benefit your clients is a good way to set a blog title.
You can also use this method of creating a blog post title, combined with tips from other methods.
Use the actual question your clients ask (word for word)
The book They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan is based on writing content around the questions your clients ask you. What are the questions you’re answering over and over again for prospects and clients? If you have a blog post to point them to instead of answering the question in a meeting, you’ll save time saying the same things over and over again.
When you create your blog post title, you want it to be as close as possible to the exact question your prospective clients are Googling. What is the exact way they ask it? What words did they use or not use?
Do they ask “How to create a cash flow forecast” or are they more likely to ask something like “How do I know when I am going to run out of cash?”
This makes it easier for your client to get answers they need and also improves your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A title reflecting the exact question Googlers are asking helps Google know what your post is about so that it can direct the right people to get information from your post.
Fun fact: the blog post you’re reading right now uses this method of choosing a blog post title.
One tool you can use to help choose a title is answerthepublic.com. There, you can enter a topic and the most-Googled questions related to that topic will come up. The caveat there is it includes questions from the entire web, not just your ideal clients. It is critical that you write content specifically for your ideal clients – considering their exact needs and what you will deliver for them. It’s always going to be important to answer the questions you get asked first, and just use this as a brainstorming tool – a way to get ideas for titles.
Avoid sensational, but consider surprising
I know what you’re thinking: didn’t I just say a few paragraphs ago that the title should reflect the actual point of the post and not be TOO creative?
If your blog title is something they don’t expect you to say, they’ll be more drawn in to read.
Recently, an accounting firm we work with wrote a blog post that started with a story about his personal life and then applied that experience and transitioned into a business tip for small business owners.
He’d titled the blog post with a reference to the personal story – something like “A Walk in the Woods”. It was a great story and gave a ton of personality to the post, but the title didn’t actually give his clients and prospects a reason to read it.
Instead, we needed to change the title of the post to reflect the surprising advice that he’d transitioned to: “Why 2020 might be the best year yet for your small business”. Say WHAT? HOW? Now your potential client is reading.
You’re not going for sensationalism here, but if your post is making a point that is contrary to what your clients might assume straight off, that will make a good title.
Promise a specific number (sparingly!)
You know those posts that promise “5 tips for making your life better in five minutes or less”?
We all click on them sometimes because humans like order and structure. So, a blog post with a list of something we’re interested in is attractive at a basic, subconscious level.
It also helps you keep your blog post organized as you’re writing – keeping you on track and making heading decisions pretty obvious.
Use these sparingly. If you’re posting a blog a week (which we recommend!), maybe use this type of title once every couple of months to keep it feeling genuine and new instead of too sales-y.
You can also simply write the blog post, and figure out the numbers after it’s written. PF has a “29 Content Ideas” PDF guide we wrote years ago, and the reason there are 29 items is because Karen started writing down all the content ideas she could think of and when she stopped the list, there were 29. There really wasn’t any particular science to it – and people can tell when you actually had only 7 tips but you expanded it to 10 so you could have 10. Be authentic. Say what you need to say, and then stop.
Name your niche in your title
Identifying your niche within your title whenever possible helps you literally call out to your target audience directly. You get their attention faster.
To continue with our example from above, instead of writing “How do I know when I will run out of cash?” your title could be “How do I know when my creative business will run out of cash?” Or “where is all the cash for my creative business going?”
For SEO purposes, Google’s algorithm knows a lot about people searching, and any of that information you can put up front will help Google help you get your ideal clients to your site.
The caveat here is that sometimes this might feel like too much. I didn’t include “accountants” in the title of this blog post because I felt it made the title too long and it sounded a little cheesy.
If you need more help with this, one way to improve the titles of the blog posts you’re putting out for your accounting firm is to join our Content Creators group. With Content Creators, you get all the content you’re writing reviewed by a team member at PF, including title suggestions, advice, and changes. Sign up here and you can get specific advice on the titles for the blog posts you’re writing from our expert PF team.