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So, should you use numbers in titles for SEO? If you’re looking for an answer, you’re in the right place to learn more about this. In this blog post, we’ll try to provide a clear explanation about adding numbers to your headlines. Moreover, we’ll also explore why and when you should use it.
As some of you might know, headlines play a significant role in getting readers interested to read your article. Generally speaking, headlines should be short, catchy, and informative. A good headline should grab attention and encourage readers to read further. However, not all headlines work equally well. Some headlines get clicks, while others do not.
If you rely on organic traffic like us, adding numbers to your headline might be one of the best ways to improve your click-through rates and boost conversion rates. In fact, some of our articles get a high ranking on search engines due to the use of numbers.
Should You Add Numbers to Your Headline?
Adding numbers to your title is a great way to improve your chances of being found by search engines. Moreover, research showed that adding numbers to your title increase the likelihood that someone will click on your link. People tend to click links that contain numbers. However, you should use numbers if it’s applicable. Forcing to use a number in your headline when it doesn’t meet the appropriate context will only do more harm than good.
Why Use Numbers in Your Headline?
There are many reasons why you should use numbers in your title. We will highlight the top three reasons why we think it’s a good idea to use numbers in your next blog post.
1. Numbers Provide Context
For people who regularly write honest reviews like us, numbers provide context to our headlines, especially as a time stamp. Many of our reviews use numbers to show the year when the content is produced or updated.
Have you seen a review that still includes the year 2020 in its headline? Would you read that knowing that it’s not the current year? That’s why adding numbers as simple as a year is a general practice in keeping a blog post or reviews fresh and updated. In fact, many of our reviews use the year 2022 to signify our content is relevant.
Brian Dean, one of the most famous SEO experts of all time, uses numbers in many of its headlines to provide a year stamp. Take a look at these examples below.
When you read those headlines, you know that the content is relevant and updated regularly according to the year you’re in right now. So, it’s not a bad idea to add them as long as you are (actually) keeping your content fresh and updated. In other words, you’re not just changing the year from 2021 to 2022 as the year goes by without adding or reviewing anything.
Another way of adding numbers to provide context is to showcase relevant features to your audience. For example, one of our most comprehensive reviews about LeadsLeap is ranked on the first page of Google, and we use the number 100% to let people know that LeadsLeap can drive genuine traffic to any link.
The same thing goes for our review of The Click Engine. Again, we use 100% to highlight the essential question about its feature to drive genuine traffic, or is it just another scam?
In a sentence, it’s safe to say that adding numbers to your headline, as long as it is relevant to your content, will help your audience meet their search intent by reading quality content.
According to the recent Google Helpful Content Update, understanding the search intent is essential for content creators to provide quality content and meet visitors’ expectations. So, as a content writer, creating SEO-friendly content is not enough because you should also create a piece of content that has a satisfying experience for your readers.
2. Numbers Are Good for Search Engine Optimization
If you’re wondering if using a number in your headline is a good or bad SEO practice, the answer is pretty straightforward. It’s good as long as it is applicable. When writing headlines, there are two main things to keep in mind. First, use your targeted keywords in your headline. Second, use numbers in your headline if applicable.
For example, many of our reviews use numbers to target the current year for better SEO performance. Take a look at these screenshots below.
As you might notice, we added the year right after our review title. We use it to target people who search for product name + year, such as:
- Copy AI Review 2022
- Copysmith AI Review 2022
- My Lead Gen Secret Review 2022
The reason for this is that these tools have been around before 2022. So, there are reviews that were published way before we did ours. That means we have a higher chance of ranking when people use product name review + year as their search terms.
Although there is no correlation between adding numbers as ranking factors, it’s still a good practice to target + year as relevant keywords. It’s still what people type as a search query.
Numbers are also great for search engine optimization if you’re writing a listicle. Listicles are types of content that highlight a list of items or opinions in your blog post. Take a look at this headline example below.
We’ve used listicles to highlight some of our reviews and put them together in one post. If people would like to learn more about each item on our listicles, they can explore more through our internal links. In fact, it’s one of the most essential content marketing strategies to drive organic traffic to our website.
Our post about 5 Free Copywriting Tools to Overcome Writer’s Block currently ranks on the second page of Google Search. Not bad for a website that is less than a year old.
3. Numbers Are Good for Improving Click-Through Rates
Previously, we’ve highlighted how numbers are good for SEO. However, when it comes to getting people to click on your headline, adding numbers also plays a significant role in appealing to your potential readers.
Take a look at these examples of some of the catchy headlines that steal your attention.
Now, imagine those headlines don’t have numbers at all. It seems less appealing, and the entire headline feels a bit empty. So, adding numbers could help improve your click-through rates, as long as it is appropriate.
According to one of Semrush SEO Split-Test Results, inappropriate use of numbers could decrease organic click-through rates. In other words, you shouldn’t add numbers if it’s not necessary.
Moreover, you should avoid writing a clickbait headline as it does no good to your overall SEO performance. People click on a headline to learn more from your content. If your powerful headlines attract potential customers but have nothing valuable in your content, you are simply tricking the Search Engine Algorithms into outranking your competitors. It does more harm than good to your overall SEO.
When is it Appropriate to Use Numbers in Your Headline?
After all the explanations above, you may wonder when you should use numbers in your titles. We’ve compiled several articles to help you and add our personal insights based on our Google Search Console data.
According to MonsterInsights, you should add numbers when appropriate. That being said, a listicle and a step-by-step process article are most suitable for using numbers. However, a how-to post with too many steps will attract less traffic than the ones with fewer steps.
You don’t want to read an article that contains “30 Steps to Make Money Online in 24 Hours.” People will likely prefer to read “3 Simple Steps to Make Money Online in 24 Hours.” So, make sure to use numbers when appropriate.
An article from SmartBlogger summarizes the use of numbers is related to psychology, and we agree with that statement. It’s an old marketing trick to put a price at $19,99 instead of $20. The same principle applies to the use of numbers in headlines in listicles, fact-based headlines, and many more.
However, as we said earlier, using numbers is not mandatory for every post. Based on our Google Search Console Insights data, we found that some of our top-ranking articles have and do not have numbers in them. So, it’s clear that you don’t have to add numbers if it’s not suitable for your content.
Here’s a list of our articles that ranks in the top 5 results.
- Gotrade Review: The Best Stock Investment App for Beginners?
- The Click Engine Review: 100% Real Traffic or Dirty Scam?
- List Infinity Review: Is it Worth Promoting? (2022)
- ListJoe Review: Is it a Profitable Safelist Mailer? (2022)
- SendSteed Review: Free Email Marketing Service by LeadsLeap
As you might notice, some of these posts don’t have numbers, and it’s still performing well due to proper keyword research and compelling content. In other words, you don’t have to force it unless necessary.
To sum up, you should use numbers in titles for SEO as long as it is appropriate and necessary to help potential readers better understand your content. Although headlines play a significant role in getting people to click on your content, it’s not one of the ranking factors you should worry about.
However, adding numbers to your headlines is a must if you’re writing a listicle because it will be more appealing to add them to meet your visitors’ expectations. Above all, you should avoid writing confusing headlines that don’t represent the content you write. It’s not about the headline. It’s about meeting the search intent with a proper headline.