Your headline is the most important part of your content. It is the first impression you get to make on readers and the words that you choose will be the deciding factor for whether those readers click or skip to the next thing. A headline might seem like a small, inconsequential detail, but if you learn the right strategies you will find that the right headline will increase conversion and move your entire company forward.
Use an Emotional or Power Word
Words that denote a powerful action, evoke the senses, or give emotional value are more likely to get clicks. In other words, headlines with a human touch are more likely to appeal. Some examples of these types of words are “astonishing,” “breakthrough,” “ultimate,” “essential,” and “unfailing.” These are all words that express power and/or emotion.
If it’s relevant, include a number in your headline. Does your content include any numerical values? Is this a list of tips? Tell your readers how many tips they can expect. Does your post include a timeline? Include the amount of time in the headline, such as “How to Revamp Your Social Media Presence in 7 Days.” The brain is attracted to numbers because they make information feel logical and organized, so a reader is more likely to click a headline that includes numerals.
Use a Formula
There are a few common formulas you can use for different types of articles and blog posts. For example, are you writing a headline for how-to content? Use the formula “How to (specific action) to (result/benefit). Here are a few other formulas that can be tweaked to accommodate many common types of topics:
Relatability – “Who Else Wants to (Action/Desired Result)?”
A problem that needs fixing – How to Stop (Problem) for Good!”
Filling a knowledge gap – “What you Need to Know About (Topic)”
Don’t Use Your First Draft
Write 25-30 headlines down. Yes, it will take time, and yes, it is worth it. Many large successful companies like Buffer use the 25-30 headline draft technique. You will find that your first few headlines are probably your weakest, and as you keep writing you will come up with more creative, thoughtful ideas. Brainstorm everything you can think of and pick the best few at the end.
Analyze Your Favourites
Pick the headlines from your brainstorming session that you think are the strongest and enter them into a free online headline analysis tool like Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer (https://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer). This will help you to see which headlines are most likely to convert and figure out how to tweak what you’ve written to be more powerful.
Add a Subheading
Once you’ve come up with a catchy headline, you may want to add a subheading that includes a little more information. Your subheading should be more about letting the reader know what they can expect in the article than it is about grabbing their attention. Keep it simple, clear, and state exactly what your article or blog post is going to do. The subheading is usually preceded by the main headline and a full colon (for example, How to Write Powerful Headlines: Tips for Creating Headlines that Boost Conversion Rates).
You take the time to write amazing content–don’t let it go unnoticed! A good headline is the gateway to your carefully written web page, so follow these tips to make sure that users feel welcome to step through the door and stay awhile.
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