Tips for Writing Attention-Grabbing Headlines
It’s a proven fact that once we get someone to our site, we have only seconds to grab their attention so they will stay on the site to peruse all the fantastic content there. According to one study, 8 out of 10 people will read your headlines, but only 2 will go ahead and read the actual content. See? Pretty darned important, those headlines. They get people to start reading your copy, and if that is good stuff, keep reading until the end, where your Call to Action lives. This is the power of the headline. To get started writing better headlines, try out these tips.
Give them what you promise–Don’t write a sexy title that promises one thing and then have content that doesn’t discuss or explain what was promised in the headlines. Your audience might read that content, but they will be leery of anything else you write. Obviously, this is shooting yourself in the foot.
Write for humans–Yes, including keywords in your headlines is important, but so is the actual reader. Write headlines the way people actually talk rather than stuffing them with weird keyword phrase combinations.
Make it short and sweet–Blog readers are savvy. They know if you have a mile long title, you are going to have a long-winded post (and probably no pictures). A great post should rarely be over 10 words long.
Be not-too-clever–It’s good to throw in some pop culture references sometimes, but don’t get too clever or use obscure references. If you do, you can lose readers who don’t get the reference. Remember to always write to your target audience”use language and references they will “get.
Use numbered lists–People love lists. They are easy to scan and they take out all the extraneous language. Numbered lists have become so popular in content marketing that they now have their own name: listicles.
Go for shock value–Obviously you don’t want to do this all the time because it will lose its appeal, but it’s good to shake things up. Using scandalous comparisons, for example, is a great way to get readers to move on into your actual content.
Write a lot of them–Some content marketers recommend writing dozens of headlines for each piece of content. Not only does this give you practice, but it gives your brain a way of working out the “problem in a way it prefers. Challenge yourself to write 25 in 30 minutes for a while and just see if you don’t end up with some zingers!
Test, test, test–Since you are going to be writing a bunch of headlines for each post (right?) why not pick your two favorites and test them on social media and to your email lists to see which one gets the most clicks and opens? Testing is a vital part of content marketing, so it stands to reason that headlines should be tested too.