Headlines are so important to the success of your content. Majority of the time, headlines are the only thing people have to go on when asking themselves if your link is worth their time.
Is this what I’m looking for, Will this solve my problem, Will this help better my situation and so on. So, how do you go about answering these questions for them in about 55 characters? This is not an easy task to accomplish!
I came across a statement by David Ogilvy, an advertising executive, who stated that “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cent out of your dollar.”
That is some very interesting information we should all pay attention too. A man who spent his career catching others attention, is telling us that about 80% of the success of our content falls on the headline!
There are plenty of different factors in finding the right words to include in your headline. We will go over 25 of the most interesting tactics and resources that will help in creating a stand out headline. These 25 things are super easy to start using and will give you much better results than the lucky guess type of headline!
How To Craft An Engaging Headline
1) Pique Readers Curiosity
Things like, “You Will Not Believe What A Guy Did At His Wedding.” You have a headline like this during wedding season and you will be sure to peak a lot of people’s interest on this topic. It’s interesting that headlines of this nature do well without actually letting readers know what the content is about.
2) Let Them Know Your Content Is To Valuable To Pass Up
All of our content should be value driven. Letting someone know that they will get tons of valuable information that will benefit them, will make your content more appealing. Unfortunately, if you do not locate the proper words, the right people will not find your content in search results.
3) Find Keywords That Others Are Searching For
There are plenty of tools out there but I prefer to get my information from the source, Google Keyword Planner. Something as simple as adding an ‘s’ to the end of your keyword could open the door to hundreds or more of new potential readers. Finding the right keyword is easier once you decide on a topic that readers want to know about.
4) Use BuzzSumo To Find And Create Topics That Are Share Worthy
BuzzSumo is an interesting and easy to use tool, that will let you know what content is spreading nicely on social media. Simply add your niche or subject of choice into the search bar. Then take a look at the topics that come about and see what is being shared the most. This will give you not only interesting topics that are currently being shared, you will also see what potential social platforms will be a good place to target your sharing.
5) Tell Readers How They Should Feel
This is a more controversial one but effective none the less. If you can tap into an emotion that is desired by many and let them know how they will feel, readers will notice. For example, “Do ‘This’ And You Will Feel Less Stressed Immediately”, is something that will appeal greatly to people who are stressed.
6) Use Content Creation Tool
The ‘Content Idea Generator‘ is one of many tools that will help you come up with content ideas and headline possibilities as well. This one is definitely worth a look and great for those writers block moments as well. Just fill out everything as accurately as possible and let it do all the work.
7) Appeal To Readers Emotions
If you are not out right telling readers how they will feel as mentioned in #5, you still have to connect to readers on an emotional level. There are 5 main emotions that work best when trying to connect with readers. Hitting one or more of these emotions will create a more engaging headline.
8) Test Your Headlines
If you are not sure that you are hitting the right emotions, use the ‘Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer‘ by Advanced Marketing Institute. Through text, meanings can be misunderstood as mentioned in my post ‘Infographic: How To Respond To Negative Comments On Social Media And Blog Post‘, but we always interpret the tone of words the same way. You can learn more about Emotional Marketing Value here.
9) Make It Easy To Understand
Everyone will not get your sense of humor or understand all the technical jargon that you know. Keep things simple and make it easy to understand. Leaving readers confused is an easy way to get them to ‘not’ take action.
10) Use ‘How To’
People search for ways to get things accomplished all the time and you letting them know how, will work well in your headlines. For example, write a title like, ‘How To Find Google+ Communities That Drive Traffic To Your Website‘.
11) Write On A Controversial Topic
Find a topic that others have very opposing opinions on and write an informative post on where you stand. This works well when a topic is trending well, as mentioned in #4 and many are searching into the subject as well. For example, ‘Why Commenting On Blog Post Should be Taken Seriously.’ Plenty of people use and agree with the benefits on this post but many do not agree with this tactic at the same time.
12) Use a List
When you let readers know you have a certain number of ways to get a desired result, it is registered as being more valuable. Find a topic of choice, Google search it and aim to add a list that surpass any that you see on the first couple of pages. A headline like the one on this post or one like ‘7 Steps To Finding The Best WordPress Plugins‘ work well. I found a high of 16 when I was searching on the topic of headlines, so I set out for over 20.
13) Ask a Question
Find questions that many are asking and ask the same question in your headline. If they are wondering the same thing, they will be curious to know if you have the answer they are looking for. For example, ‘Why Am I Still Tired After A Good Nights Sleep’.
14) Let Them Know You Have Visual Content
Even if the same information is shared, now of days, visual content will seem more interesting and fetch better results. Pamela Vaughn mentioned on Hubspot that
15) Make A Promise
Will your post really make their task easier or increase visitors to their website? Your reputation is on the line so make a promise you can deliver on. You can use something like, ‘Find Out How To Save $200 Every time On Groceries’.
16) Use appealing adjectives
When you use adjectives like Effortless, Incredible, Essential, Advanced, Approved, Improve and so on. They make your headline more appealing. Anything you can do to spice up your headline is a good addition to any headline. Adding adjectives is an easy way of achieving that.
17) Use the Formula Of Other Successful Blogs
If you need a little assistance when crafting a headline on a topic, use tools like BuzzSumo and use the formula that they used for their content. For example, if the formula that was used was something like, ‘Number or Trigger word + Adjective + Keyword + Promise‘, use this same formula when crafting your headline.
18) Make Sure It’s Sharable
If you are being offensive, others may not want to associate your content and headline with their network. Be sure that it is something that can be share with the masses. Adding this small detail can result in a lot shares and click troughs to your website.
19) Announce Something New
‘New’ is an appealing word in itself. Using this to our advantage will bring you good results. It is also an easy way to bring out #1, Peak Readers Curiosity. Let readers know about the new thing for the summer, a new technique that will be beneficial and so on.
20) Use A Command
This is a bold move but telling readers what they should do actually is proven to work very well. Now of days we use tools that technically takes the thinking out of what we have to do on a daily basis. It may sound a little weird but telling readers to take action is an effective method to get more clicks.
21) Create A Sense of Urgency
You see this tactic all the time. We naturally don’t want to miss out on a good thing. Using something like, Limited Time Offer, Going fast, Limited Supply, While Supplies Last etc can lead to more clicks. Give readers a reason to act fast and take action.
22) Mention A Trustworthy Person Or Brand
This benefits you in several ways. Building trust is difficult but if you add a trustworthy source, it automatically raises your trust level a bit. It also helps you get noticed and build a relationship with influencers.
I recommend doing this sparingly and be sure to do it well. Mentioning someone can help or hurt your cause if it’s not done properly. This is not only a representation of you but someone else as well. Represent them to the best of your ability.
23) Use The Word ‘You’
‘You’ is one of the most popular words used in some of the most viral headlines ever created. It makes the reader feel as if you are talking directly to them. This allows the headline to connect with them on a deeper level. For example, a headline like, ‘25 Action Words And How They Help Customers Make The Decision YOU Want‘.
24) Use A Testimonial
Testimonials are one of the best ways to build your credibility, immediately. Using an honest testimonial that also lets the reader know what your content is about. For example, “XYZ Company has increased my sales a very real 257%”.
25) List The Problem and The Solution
If you have a solution to a problem that many are having, let them know in your headline. For example, ‘Gained To Much weight over the holidays, Here’s How to Lose It Fast’. I’ve seen this type of headline more times than I can count but I click on them a lot because that is a very real problem I have during the holidays 🙂
Spend the extra time necessary to create an effective headline. It will benefit your content more in the short and long-term. Your headline is the first impression many will have of you and your content, before they even decide to click.
Make sure that your content backs up your headline. Trust was mentioned earlier in the post and if you do not want to lose it quickly, then stay on topic, add value and be yourself when blogging. We will appreciate your content much more.
Do you use any of these tips? Which is your favorite?