How to write headlines that attracts readers to your blog or website can be one of the most difficult task for bloggers and content marketers.
You spend enormous amount of time, sometimes 2 or 3 hours trying to write headlines that will attract readers to your blog. Why?
Because you want your article to be found and read. You want increased engagement on your website, meaning that the success of your article depends on the uniqueness of your headline.
Therefore, you have to write catchy headlines for your blog content that will guarantee the best results. Remember, your headline is a door to your content. It gives visitors to your website a glimpse of what they’ll get if they click through.
So, if you able to write attention grabbing headlines, your article will be read by more people.
But how can you write headlines that people will love to click?
Please, continue reading for insight on how to create catchy headlines for your blog posts.
What Makes a Great Headline?
That depends on who you’re writing to, and where they’re reading it.
As a marketing consultant, my job is to help companies grow. The content I help them create must accomplish two things:
- They must appeal to their target personas.
- They must promise to provide value to their target personas.
When I talk about the greatest headlines of all time, it gives a connotation of the most creative titles. If I was writing about creative titles, I would go with something like, “Why My Cat Has a Savings Account,” or “In Defense of the Figurative Use of Literally.” These are both intriguing and creative titles.
But these kinds of titles don’t appeal to SEO, and they don’t address the problems my clients are facing. Too many marketers make their titles too cute to be effective.
The best headlines are the ones that capture the pain points of your target personas and introduces a topic that will make their lives better. And it must be compelling.
If your headline is not compelling, you’ll lose up to 80% of your audience.
Why People Share Content
People share content because it is a reflection of who we are. In other words, it says something about us (whether we are consciously aware of it or not).
Sometimes we share helpful content because it makes us look helpful (satisfying our need for self-actualization).
We also share emotional, attention-grabbing content, because it helps us to get noticed (satisfying our need for self-esteem).
Sometimes we share opinionated content because we want to show everyone what groups we belong to (satisfying our need to belong).
When deciding what content to share, the headline says it all. The headline is what people notice first. It’s the headline that makes a piece of content stand out, get shared and go viral (or not).
How to Create Winning Headlines
#1. Write More Headlines
Want to know Upworthy’s secret to reaching 80,000,000 unique visits per month? They write more headline variations than anyone else. Every post published to Upworthy has 25 different headlines that are A/B tested to find the one that’s most clickable and shareable.
Upworthy doesn’t care about poor grammar, headline length, or any headline writing conventions for that matter. They simply write a large number of variations and let science pick the winner.
#2. Include Your Primary Keyword
This might seem obvious, but many people don’t pay enough attention to this useful headline writing tip. You should include the exact keyword you’re targeting in your headline, without exception.
This will help the users searching for that keyword to find your content easily. Headline writing tips like this one will also help your content rank well in Google search results.
#3. Write List or Numbered Headline
Everybody is looking for a solution, or a number of solutions to their problems.
Numbered headlines are so popular that every blogger and content marketer uses List/numbers for their content headlines.
List headlines tells your audience how many of what to expect when they click to read your content. Numbers suggest variety of things or solution. It offers different ways to get something done, or variety of ways to a solution.
That means, if you do not like one solution, you might like the other. That’s the beauty of numbers headline.
#4. A/B Test Your Headlines
The best way to learn what makes a good headline is to have the opportunity to split test them. I use a dead simple WordPress plugin called Title Split Testing to create a bunch of headline variations for every post I write.
The value of doing this is not necessarily the fact that you end up with a 1.5% increase in click through rate, but more that you learn very quickly what headline formats work well, and how important it is to test assumptions.
#5. Research Your Competition
Researching your competition is one of the most essential headline writing tips for brands. It’s always a great idea to research your competition when you’re writing headlines.
Check if they’ve already written content on the same or a similar topic. If so, then you can look at the headlines they’ve used. Researching your competition will also give you an idea of which headlines are ranking better on Google.
By looking at other headlines, you’ll get a better idea of how to craft yours. After all, your goal should be to stand out. Check out the top-ranking articles by doing a simple Google search.
Alternatively, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo to check which articles have the most number of shares or views.
It’s often due to a great headline that people end up reading an article and even sharing it. Checking the best performing content will help you come up with better headlines.
#6. How to’s
In this formula, you have to point out what your readers want — how to deal with whatever issues they’re facing and then mix it up with some examples of how to solve that particular problem(s).
Some examples of this type of headlines could be:
- How to Make Money Online
- How to dominate Your Freelance Writing Niche
- How to Become a Better Freelance Writer
These are just a few of the many problems your target audience are facing that will certainly get you more headline clicks.
#7. Use a Headline Analyzer
One of the best headline writing tips is to use a headline analyzer. You can come up with a list of potential headlines and run them through the headline analyzer to find the best ones.
You can use a headline analyzer such as the Sharethrough Headline Analyzer for this. It gives your headlines a score out of 100. This can give you a better idea of which headlines might work and which ones may not.
I prefer slightly long main headlines because they tend to keep the reader’s attention.
The headline must be directed at the target and start to answer the question that’s in the reader’s mind: “What’s in it for me?”
Check your ego at the door. I HATE split infinitives, but a headline with a split infinitive recently beat one without. So the split infinitive stays.
Give your emails a headline and watch open rates and conversion rates skyrocket. Whenever I get an email without a headline above the body copy, I scratch my head. And no, the subject line is NOT a headline; it’s like envelope copy.
Before writing your headline, try to figure out the keyword and keyboard phrases your target audience are constantly searching for.
Integrate those keywords to your headline to boost SEO and help your readers easier find your content. This will effectively attract more headline clicks and increase website engagement.
Obviously, there are many ways to write headlines that will attract readers and make them click to read your content.