Although they say, “Don’t judge a book from its cover”, they always judge a blog post or article from its headline. How magnetic your headline is will determine how many readers actually will land on your post to read the rest.
Over 10 million blogposts are published every day. You got to stand out. Even if you’ve written the most impressive content inside, don’t expect it to gain any exposure and popularity if it has a weak headline.
So what makes a headline weak?
#When it is too generic to create curiosity
#When it is a basic topic with thousands of posts available online already
#When the subject isn’t clear
#When the headline doesn’t look useful
Before we get to address this weakness and discuss how to write great headlines, here are some other reasons why it is important to give your post a perfect headline:
It helps your post stand out in search results
Search engine users cannot read your entire article or post in search engines – all they have is a headline to decide how impressive the full article is going to be. They find 10-20 search results and a strong headline will win a user’s click. Eventually, writing a good headline will translate into more traffic coming your site’s way.
It helps you get RSS readers’ attention
Anyone following your blog through RSS feeds will have decide if they should click the link and come to your blog to read the entire post. The quality of your headline is one of many deciding factors here.
It helps you find visibility in social bookmarking sites
A good headline will help you get more visitors through bookmarking sites like Delicious.com and Reddit.com. A powerful and thought provoking headline attracts more eyeballs on social networks.
It helps you rank better in search engines
You can add a keyword to your headline and make it one of the most powerful onsite ranking factors.
It is therefore important to avoid writing rush headlines of your posts. The best thing you can do is consider your headline as a mini advertisement for the valuable content you’re going to share in your post.
Magnetic Headline Writing Rules
• Make it exclusive. People fall for rare and special things. It’s equally applicable for titles and articles.
• Make sure to keep your title short and specific. Use numbers & stats. SiegeMedia reports a 20% increase in CTR for blog post titles containing numbers. Make it no longer than 60 characters.
• Be sure to include your primary keyword in it. This is for search engines.
• Use strong action words, powerful adjectives and trigger words. Now, this is for people. Primary keyword brought your article to their visibility. This action word will get them into your site.
• Try playing with negative headlines and words. In a study done by Outbrain, they found that average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives (e.g. ‘never’ or ‘worst’) was 63% higher than headlines with a positive superlative (e.g. ‘always’ or ‘best’). Interestingly, fear and consequences drive us more than rewards.
• Make it goal oriented and write keeping your audience in mind. Emphasize the end result they will get.
• Don’t include any stop words when writing your headlines such as is, am, are, etc.
• Make sure the title justifies the content you are going to write/have written
• Pay attention to title caps. Say no to all caps.
These are some of the basics of writing quality headlines, but you can follow some other specific rules to make it a lot more impressive. For instance:
• Start by stating the most important benefit your readers will get by reading the post.
• Explain a discount or special offer they are going to enjoy when they do what you have mentioned in the post.
• Be sure to keep it all understandable with no ambiguity whatsoever.
• Attract your readers by using powerful advertising words such as discover, guarantee, love, health, money, safety, etc.
• Make it look great and interesting by sharing strange, intriguing adjectives in your headline.
• Don’t go with headlines that are a little on the shorter side. You need to stick something that is more than 8-word long. Give your readers a clue about what you’re going to share in the post.
Who doesn’t want headlines formulas? I love Jeff Goin’s headline formula and it has brought me huge traffic every time I used it.
Under no circumstances should you be making outrageous statements just to pique people’s interest in your post – they will start reading and when your post doesn’t fulfill the promise you’ve made in the headline, you will lose credibility. So, keep these points in mind and be able to create magnetic headlines that get you loyal readers.
Would you like to share anything from your experience? Would love to hear your thoughts. Bring it on!
Or why not go over your old blogposts, change their titles and see how it improves your blog traffic and search ranking.