You’ve been working hard on your content. You’ve researched, edited, and even added excellent outbound links to support your ideas.
Now you need to drive traffic. You need clicks. It will be a shame if it is not read.
Your headline is going to be something that creates interest or something that gets scrolled past or deleted.
That is just how the Internet works.
Internet readers are skimmers. They quickly look over results in search of what they need, and if a title catches their attention, they click.
But the awful truth is that only 60 percent of all people only look at the headlines of an article to determine if they want to read or share it.
Writing a solid and intriguing headline is crucial to your content’s success.
Article titles are what drive clicks and sharing, so you need to become a master at writing them.
Here are 12 tips that you can follow to help you create better headlines.
The first step to creating a fantastic headline for your content is to do a Google search on your targeted keywords and see what your competition is putting out there.
Can you see the trend in user intent? The intent is everything for the search engine.
Are people looking at listicles? How-to pages? Or, do they just want general informational content?
What headlines are they using to get on that first page of results?
Where do they place their keywords in the title?
Emotionally connecting with the reader will always draw more visits than a neutral-sounding headline.
Love, joy, fear, and anger are all powerful emotions that grab attention. You can get the reader to stop and click if you invoke a feeling. – but don’t go overboard because it’ll automatically sound like clickbait.
While anger and disgust can draw readers such as “Have You Found Rodents In Your Garage?” – you will always do better with positive headlines “Quickly Remove Unwanted Animals From Your Garage.”
Positivity wins. You will generate more clicks and conversions when you create positive headlines that offer something that makes a person feel better, you will generate more clicks and more conversions.
People love numbers because they guarantee that the content they seek will have a specific goal or facts. This gives the real content value.
If a person is looking for factual information, they need it for a specific purpose—they want to answer a question or provide data.
“12 Things You Need To Know Before Claiming Compensation For A Car Accident.”
This is a compelling headline for someone about to file a claim. However, the following headline will never get any traffic:
“Do You Have To File An Insurance Claim? – Good Luck”
Well-known names or brands are also outstanding to include in a headline if they are relevant to the topic of your content.
“Understanding The New Google Algorithm” will draw much attention from Internet marketers or others interested in finding this information.
However, a title with “New Search Engine Rules” will be skimmed over.
Of course, make sure you deliver the goods in your article. Don’t name your title something that your article does not provide.
When you were creating the content, you should have been following the 4-E method:
Educate: give your audience something to take with them.
Empower: make your readers feel stronger after reading your piece.
Entertain: make reading your article fun
Enrich: improve the quality of their lives
You want to create content with one or more of the above lists.
Answer a question or provide a solution to a complex problem. Inspire your readers to click and read their article.
Ensure the title reflects which of the 4-Es benefits your reader will get.
You need to create a compelling headline that makes humans want to stop skimming to read your content.
Thankfully, the search engines are looking for the same thing. Google is driven to provide the best user experience, so it promotes the most valuable pieces it has in its index.
To determine which pieces make it to the top spots, the content is reviewed for:
Remember to place your target keyword in your headline.
Don’t go with the first headline you write. Let this take time.
Approach the subject in various ways: a question, humor, number, tips, fear factor, etc.
Brainstorm headlines and spit them all out in a Word doc.
Walk away and have a cup of coffee, take a power nap, or wait a day or two and return to the headlines.
What looks like a powerful headline? You will be amazed at how different you think about the headlines now that you have walked away.
Why does this work?
Because you are giving your brain a break from the adrenaline of creating great content, you are done with the adrenaline rush, and now you can look at the headline seriously.
You may even go back to your original headline. But whatever you choose at this point, you know you are picking the best one for your content.
It is always in your best interest to avoid headlines with questions. Why? Because most clickbait pieces start with a question.
The only way that you should use a headline that is a question is if:
The question and answer could be clearer. People value their time and will not click on the content if they assume they already know the answer to the question.
People will quickly click off of your content if they think they are being dragged out to read an entire article before they are given the answer that they want.
Practice, practice, practice. That is what it all comes down to in the end.
The most important thing that you can do when it comes to creating headlines is practice.
Use a headline you think is great, and then watch how the public reacts. If you are not getting the desired traffic and know the content is impressive, change the headline and try again.
You will get into a rhythm of how to create headlines for your content.
It takes time to create great content. It also takes time to make great headlines.
Follow your data after you have posted a piece and see how it performs. This is the best way to track your success.
With some practice, you will write the perfect headline every time.