Headlines are a massively important part of any content you create.
You’re competing against so much information that gets thrown at people every day, from TV ads and print ads, to other sites on the internet, so what you do has to stand out, and your headline is the first thing people see.
The fact is, if it’s a poor headline, it could also be the last thing people see of your content before they click away!
A great headline can grab attention and improve your click-through rates, to get more people reading your content.
So how do you write a headline that gets your audience to click?
Keep it Simple
You don’t need to over complicate your headlines for them to work. Writing something that’s too out there is likely to put people off, so be direct and keep it simple. Use strong, descriptive, emotional verbs and words to improve your click-through rates.
Don’t Be Too Clever
A good headline should match what’s inside the article. You could have the world’s most amazingly clever and ‘puntastic’ headline, but if it doesn’t match the content, you’ll get a whole lot of clicks, but no read through. People will realise you’re not writing about what the headline promised and click away.
Don’t try to use puns or click bait type headlines unless that kind of headline will completely suit your content.
Keep Your Audience in Mind
As with everything else you write, keep in mind the kind of language your audiences uses for your headlines. What will naturally appeal to your audience? After all, the content you’re creating is for your target market, so angle your headline towards them, and you’ll get better results.
Highlight the Benefits!
People want to know WIIFM – What’s in it for me? So, where you can, try to include your main benefit in your headline.
Use Active Voice
When you use active voice in a headline, it gives energy to your writing and that’ll transfer to your audience, encouraging them to act. Active headlines will get more attention and clicks.
If you’re writing a headline, write any numbers in digits rather than letters. It’s far more eye-catching for your readers. And, if you can, put your number first in the headline.
One of the other reasons to use numbers in your headline is that people are busy, and if you can state ‘7 Ways…’ or ‘5 Tips to…’ in your headline, they know what they’re getting, and they know it won’t take all afternoon to read your post. Just make sure that if you promise ‘7 Ways’, you actually deliver in your article!
Watch Your Headline Length
Depending on where your headline is going to go, watch the length. Think about how your headline will look in the search results, and what it will look like in an email? What is picked up in shares? All of that is important to check. You can check some of this by using a plugin for your self-hosted WordPress website like Yoast SEO.
Stating what’s in the article such as tips, reasons, lessons, facts and so on can also help your headline become more attractive to your audience, as they know what they are getting. Example: 7 Tips to Get Your Ebook Done Fast.
Use Your Keywords
Whatever keyword or key phrase you want to rank for should be included in your headline to improve your SEO.
You may not come up with a great headline straight away, but there’s nothing to stop you going back and testing different headlines to improve your click-throughs.
Creating attention-grabbing headlines for your content can take some practice, but it’s a skill well worth developing. Write your article first, and then try writing several different headlines that suit what you’ve written and grab attention.
After that, run your headlines through CoSchedule’s brilliant Headline Analyser, and you’ll be able to see which one performs best, according to their data.
Look at the content you already have and run the headlines through CoSchedule’s Headline Analyser to see how they do. Then look at how you can improve your headlines to make them more likely to grab attention.
How are you doing with your headlines? Drop me a comment and let me know!
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That’s it for Day 20. We’re a third of the way through, and there are only 10 days to go! Next we’re going to look at how to write a great call to action!
Don’t want to wait? Prefer to get all of the 30-Day Content Marketing Challenge posts in one place, so you can work through at your own pace? Here’s a link to all of the challenge lessons: https://creativeblueberry.com/30-day-content-marketing-challenge-catch-up/
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