What makes headlines special? Is there really a “How-To” or a magical mix to go about creating the perfect header? Headlines are very important because they depict the nature of the article; if you want some good clicks then your headline better be good too!
According to a study done by Copyblogger, “For every 10 persons who read your headline only two will actually click through to read more.” Those numbers are low.
If headlines are that important, how do you create effective digital marketing headlines that get people to click over to your site, read your content, or buy what you are selling? There’s a lot that goes into crafting the perfect headline and because marketers and business owners are always trying to increase web traffic, a lot of studies have been done on what drives someone to click that header.
Let’s dive into some of the top tips for creating headlines that generate clicks and conversions.
1. Leave clickbait at the door.
If there’s one thing that you need to do in your topic headline to establish authority and credibility, it is to never, ever lie. Don’t try to increase drama about your post by exaggerating in your headline or creating something fake just to get clicks. Sure, maybe you’ll get a click, but you’ll also get an immediate exit, no return, and possibly a bad reputation. Ensure that whatever you say in your header is 100% true.
2.The Principle of KISS
The principle of KISS works perfectly when creating headlines: Keep It Simple and Short. Your headline is not the time to tell stories using fluff. Storytelling definitely works when creating professional emails, blog post introductions, and “Thank You” cards, but not in your digital marketing blog header. Studies shows that headers with 8 words perform 21% better than others.
You don’t want to bore your guests with a bunch of fancy words in your headline just because you think it sounds better. Your headline should state exactly what a reader is going to get out of your blog post in as few words as possible. Make it very simple, short and precise.
3. The Numerical system is your best bet
People love a good list. If you’re creating a list of things or ways to do something, include the number of items in your headline.
While top 10s are still immensely popular, headlines with odd numbers perform better than those with even numbers. The next time you’re trying to decide how many items to include in your list, consider capping it off at an odd number, place the number into your headline, and watch to see if your reach increases.
4. Negative posts perform better.
Including words like “never” and “worst” in your headline tend to appeal to readers. Negative words bring out the curiosity in your readers. They want to know what the worst things in your industry are or what they should never ever do. It channels their inner drive and brings more clicks for you.
Keep this in mind when creating your headlines: instead of talking about “How to” do something, perhaps you want to go over “How not to” do that thing.
According to research, headlines with these types of words performed 59% better than those with positive words; there is no harm in trying.
5. Use power words.
Power words are adjectives that give your headlines some serious allure and energy. These are words like ‘ultimate’, ‘essential’, ‘powerful’, ‘actionable’, ‘wild’, ‘quality’, or ‘proven’. Instead of saying “3 Ways to Do X,” let your headline read “3 Powerful Ways to Do X.” It might seem a minute change, but it can completely change the way your headline is read. It gives your header a stronger edge and makes it much more compelling, earning that click-through to your blog post.
6. Create a guide.
In the world of blogging and information, people love guides and how-tos because it creates a spark of intrigue in them. For example, “The Ultimate Guide to…” or “The Step-by-Step Guide to…” and words like “DIY” or “Beginner’s Guide.”
The age of information is strong, and people love the idea of learning how to do something completely, from start to finish. Especially for free in an online article or blog post.
7. Your headline should be able to stand alone.
Think about it this way: where are you sharing this blog post? Likely on social media and in emails, and at least initially, all your readers are going to get a taste of is your headline. Without the post accompanying it, does your headline make sense? Or do readers have absolutely no idea what the context is?
If it’s impossible to tell what your headline is trying to convey without having the rest of the content on the same page, it’s not a good headline. And it’s definitely not going to entice anyone to click through to see what it is you are talking about.
8. Don’t ask questions
Questions in headlines can be tricky. The reality is, some work and some don’t. Although many people think that posing any type of question in their headline makes people think and wonder how the post can answer that question, some of these headlines can be ineffective.
In conclusion, your headline is an incredibly important part of your inbound marketing strategy. It’s what gets people to your website, reading your content, clicking around to learn more about your business, and ultimately becoming a customer.