Why is the headline that important? Doesn’t it all boil down to the quality of the content? The way I see it, great content is pointless if you can’t even get people’s attention enough to read it in the first place. I recall having read somewhere that people who write great headlines in media even sometimes get paid more than those who produce great content, and with good reason.
Effective headlines grab attention; they have impact and compel the reader to click. They are also straight to the point, concise, and clear.
Coming up with a good headline can be very tricky because unlike with the main content, the slightest change can have a huge impact on its overall effect. It can either drastically increase or decrease a website’s click-through rate, depending on the interest it generates from visitors.
Check out these following word pairs: Money – Cash; Start – Ignite; Get – Grab. Notice anything? The second word in each pair carries more emotion: they’re stronger. This is what can drive a person’s decision to click.
DIFFERENT FORMATS IN WRITING HEADLINES
There are different approaches to attract readers to your content.
Benefits – Show your readers upfront what they’ll gain by reading your content.
e.g. How To Market Old Business To New Customers
Question – Engage your readers by asking them questions to encourage them to share their own opinion.
e.g. Do You Only Fuel the Blogosphere or Reap the Benefits?
Curiosity – Spark your readers’ curiosity. Make them guess.
e.g. When is the Best Time to Start Monetizing Your Blog?
Proof – Whenever possible, exemplify a credible source.
e.g. Blogger of the Year Shares Some Of Her Personal Blogging Tips
Controversy – Use headlines that will make your readers go “What?!”
e.g. How Writing Poorly Equates to Blogging Well
Go ahead and play around with these approaches until you find what works best for you. A well-crafted and effective headline will play a huge part in bringing traffic to your blog and keeping it there.
Let’s say that you’re already at ease with writing attention-grabbing headlines. Now how do you make sure that it entices readers to click? Answer: KEYWORDS.
That’s right, incorporate keywords in your headlines. It sounds easy at first until you notice how it makes you headline sound. Do your keywords fit in with the rest of your headline without sounding silly or a bit off? Does your headline retain the same connection with the actual content?
Writing effective headlines doesn’t just involve the use of clever lines or catchphrases, it also involves SEO.
The trick here is not just about choosing the right keywords but also a couple of other things:
Keyword placement – Whenever possible, place your keyword phrase in the beginning of the headline; Google likes that.
Keyword choices – Don’t limit yourself to your initial keyword choices. Take as much time as you can to come up with other options.
Simplicity, relevance, and readability – Again, stick to simple keywords with the highest possible results. There are dozens of free SEO keyword tools to help you out.
Keywords are only supplemental to your cause, though. For long-term success, it’s far more important to learn how to write incredible headlines first before venturing into SEO. Good luck!
Photo credits: netdna.copyblogger.com, deafexpressions.blogspot.com
KEITH FRIAS sees himself as an artist whose talent is in a state of coma, and a tech gadget freak who also loves to dabble in photography.