Last week we mentioned how headlines are the most important part of your content. And that’s because it is the first thing people see when they stumble upon your site.
People scan headlines, before deciding whether to continue reading or not. You probably do it yourself too – you’re reading a newspaper, flicking through the pages, briefly checking the headlines and read the ones that grab your attention.
The same applies to the online world; headlines are what drive clicks and visitors to your content. The more enticing the headline, the more views you will receive. However that’s just half the story to getting your content read, which we covered in “How To Make Your Blog Posts More Readable“.
For this week, let’s focus on how to write headlines that make people click like crazy.
Keep the headline short
We’ll open with some of the basics, and that is the length of your headline. Although there isn’t a general rule for how long headlines should be, the ideal length would be between 10-16 words. Making it longer runs the risk of it becoming confusing and unclear.
Keep it simple and direct
Avoid using clever words or puns to impress the reader. Chances are they will not understand what you’re talking about, and find it needlessly complicated.
Instead, keep your headline simple and to the point. Remember that you are a content creator, and not in a competition for artistic writing.
Give your audience what they want
Subscribe to all the relevant blogs, forums and news sites your audience spends their time on. Take a look at the content that gets the most shares and comments to get an idea of what your audience wants.
Focus on the benefits
A powerful headline communicates the benefit readers get from your content. Give them a compelling reason why they need to read it. This is where knowing what your audience wants come into play. Make the headline appeal to their self-interests and be sure to include the core benefit in the headline.
With our previous post, “Six Simple Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More Readable”, the benefit is making your blog posts easier to read.
But, combine something unrelated to the headline and make it unique
To write headlines that make people click like crazy – it needs to be unique or written in a fresh way for your audience.
For example, “5 Must Read Books To Rocket Launch Your Inbound Marketing” is more refreshing than “Must Read Books On Inbound Marketing”.
In order to get your content read immediately, include a sense of urgency into the headline. It gives your audience a reason to act now and click on your content.
For example, “How To Get Started With Inbound Marketing In Less Than 20 Minutes” compared to “How To Get Started With Inbound Marketing”, creates a greater sense of urgency when a time element is involved.
Getting to grips with writing compelling headlines takes time, but the more you practice the better you’ll get at it.