Headlines, to a large extent, are worth more than the body of content they are associated with.
They are the enticement, that dangling carrot that will produce the vast majority of traffic for your website.
After all, casual browsers are not going to be scanning over your content for approval – they find that from the headline that accompanies search results.
Just a few short words could be the difference between success and giving the competition a foothold over your business.
This is why it is crucial that you craft a headline that grabs the reader’s attention, sells them on the idea of your article and produces that all-important click.
With that said, below we look at five things you need to take into account when it comes creating a compelling headline:
If you want your article to be found on the World Wide Web via search engines, then you need to ensure your headlines are keyword-rich. Although a word of warning: don’t be too broad in the key term/s you use; make sure they are going to attain visibility for your website and the webpage you are promoting. To make sure you choose the right terms you are going to have to do some keyword research, but that’s for another article on another day…
If you have a keyword in mind, it also goes without saying that you should work your title (and even article) around this from the start instead of trying to squeeze it into a predetermined headline idea. If you choose to do the latter, it is unlikely you are going to produce a quality headline.
Keep it Short and Snappy
Titles should never be stuffed to the gills with words. There might be that inclination to include as many terms as possible to describe the article and what it contains to its full extent, but keeping things succinct is the way to go.
Short and snappy headlines grab the attention of users right away. These headlines offer clarity, where they are not open to misinterpretation and the reader knows exactly what they are getting. Not only that, but short headlines are also advantageous for SEO purposes.
The Use of Numbers and Rationale
When applicable, numbers and rationale – i.e. reasons, ideas, lessons, principles, and so on – should be used to enhance your headline. Everyone seemingly loves a list, and it is necessary to cater towards your audience with their best interests in mind.
You only have to look at popular websites such as BuzzFeed and WhatCulture as proof to the success of using lists as the basis for an article. Their entire ethos is built around such themes for their content. And based on their immense success, you’d have to say it is a very effective marketing strategy.
‘5 Reasons Your Website…’
‘8 Sure-Fire Methods to Improve…’
‘The Effectiveness of AdWords: 10 Essential Tricks You Need to Consider’
Trigger Words And Why it's Vital That You Use Them
Continuing on from the point of using rationale in a headline, it is important to pack your headline – no matter how concise it is – with as many trigger words as possible. By trigger words, I mean words/phrases that, in relation to headlines, cause a user to click a link due to impulse. These words and phrases come in many forms – for a comprehensive list of examples, this blog post on Buffer is a great starting point when it comes to beneficial trigger words.
These persuasive words are the key in getting audiences to your website, hence why they are so important when it comes to crafting a headline that sells.
Alliteration and Why it is Effectively Engaging
Alliteration, which is a poetic technique that utilizes the repetition of the same initial letter/sound in close succession, is a useful method to consider when forming a headline.
Along with adding a catchy rhythm to proceedings – which assists with improving memory – alliteration helps in providing emphasis to text. When it comes to producing a title that is eye-catching with a minimal amount of words, this additional accentuation (see what I did there?) could make it stand out from the competitive competition (sorry…) on the search rankings.
‘Mastering Marketing in Six Simple Steps’
‘The Seven Secrets to SEO You Need to Know’
‘Ten Tactics to Top the Search Rankings’
You don't have to implement all of these but, next time you create a blog post, these should give you some ideas to help you get more clicks on your article.