From your own experience of trawling through the internet, you’ll know that if a page doesn’t grab your attention immediately you’re just going to move on. It’s the first thing you see and if it isn’t relevant to your search or interesting enough to moisten your curiosity then it’s failed.
So how can you write that headline that people just can’t ignore?
What do you need from a headline?
When writing my headlines there are two points to keep in mind:
- The headline is just as important as the article itself. It helps a visitor decide whether they’re going to invest their time in reading my words of wisdom or choose someone else’s.
- SEO. Using search engine optimised keywords and search terms in my headline helps search engines direct potential readers in my direction and promote me a little bit higher up the rankings.
Create a headline that attracts potential customers
To be effective a good headline should:
- Be clear on what the post is about. Vague, teasing headlines get skipped over
- Avoid clichés – be unique and creative to evoke curiosity
- WIIFM? Be clear on why the article is worth reading
- Offer the opportunity to learn something new, for example with “How to” headlines
- Attract people looking for actionable information
- Reflect the content of the piece and don’t mislead.
Easier said than done?
Yes. But here are some tips I use to help get my clients’ blogs read:
- Keep headlines short and punchy
- Use the active mood, not the passive – it’s shorter and less like a set of meeting minutes
- Ask a question to make readers curious?
- Lists let the reader know what to expect and suggest it’s going to be a quick and easy read to get the information they need – eg five ways to remove a piece of toast from your nose (that’s for fathers)
- Using the journalist’s favourites – who, what, when, why and where – they help readers understand the type of information they’ll be getting
- Be controversial but beware of exaggeration, try not to offend potential readers, and don’t mislead by overpromising
- Beware of puns – not everyone shares your sense of humour and they can obscure your meaning
- Include key search terms to help rank better in search engine results
- And re-read your headline to make sure it’s not intentionally funny. Newspapers abound with examples such as “DEAD MAN FOUND IN GRAVEYARD”.
Give your headline the time it deserves
Don’t worry if it takes several draft titles before deciding on the final version. It’s good to try out different ideas and headlines are important enough to spend the time on. I normally draft something first (very basic), have another go after drafting the article and then come back to it later.
The other advantage of spending time on this is that the working title can help guide the direction of your post. So, enjoy creating your headline and let it help spark your imagination.
Is your website not generating as many leads as you’d like? Are you still struggling to find the right tone? Do you simply not have the time to create the sort of web content you need? Then contact Bill Blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07981 269162 and we can explore a variety of possible solutions.