Guide to Writing Clickable Headlines
posted July 28th 2017, 8:00 am by Chloe Harbach
Blogs are an important part of digital marketing, and one reason for this is that blogs attract new clients. Well, if they are done well they will. Here’s the thing. You could have the most amazing blog post chalked full of hours and hours worth of research, but if you don’t have the right headlines, people are not going to click on your post. You need to persuade them, entice them to click that link and get to your post. Today, we are sharing our guide to writing clickable headlines.
Pay attention to the first and last words.
Perhaps it has something to do with the serial position effect or perhaps people are just scanning in a hurry, but the first word and the last couple of words are the most important to people who are reading headlines. When we read a headline, we don’t pay much attention to the fluff in the middle. So, choose each word carefully.
Example of poor headline:
We could have named this post “RedMoxy’s Official Guide to Writing Clickable Headlines that Anyone Could Use”. If you were a skimmer, you would likely pay the most attention to “RedMoxy’s, Anyone, Could and Use”. Those are not the important words in the headline, though, and now, we have lost your attention because you are looking for a better blog.
Be specific about the content.
We can branch off of the last point by adding that the more specific your first and last words are, the better. You are going to want to exclude as many fluffy words as you can, so that your headline is crisp and clean, and, most importantly, specific. Make it clear what the benefits of reading your blog will be.
Example of poor headline:
“Words that get Clicked on the Internet” would be just an awful headline for this post. It is far too vague, and it almost seems to imply that the post is meant to be funny or crass. Humor is not our top priority in blog writing, and we certainly do not ever intend to be crass. This headline would waste people’s time, and it would mess up our CTR majorly.
Make a realistic claim.
Think about who your ideal client is, and what s/he is going to want to hear from your blog. What would your clients want to gain from reading your blog? Be sure that if you are going to “guarantee” something that your ideal client (someone who really cares about what you are saying) really would be able to achieve what you are claiming.
Example of a poor headline:
“Headlines that are Guaranteed to Make Your Company Rich” is just such a bold claim… This could be better crafted to say something like, “Headline Elements that Will Improve CTR.” This automatically appeals to your ideal client, because it tells what specific action steps one should take to achieve specific results. Your client needs to write using the elements you provide to improve her/his CTR.
Appeal to Emotions.
Make people feel something. Try using these words.
6 Ideas for Writing Clickable Headlines
- How To. People like to learn from blogs or content posts, so the “How To” is a definite attention-grabber.
- Guide. Here is another similar route you can take. "Guide" implies that the content will be easy to follow and that anyone would be able to understand what the content means.
- Questions. “Are You Doing X? Here’s Why You Should Stop.” This is effective because it causes people to look a little deeper into their own lives. Questions often get people thinking critically and makes them curious.
- Numbered lists. Numbers imply that a post will be short, or at least easy to follow. The content will likely be more digestible.
- Do’s & Don’t’s. Like a numbered list, "Do’s" and "Don’t’s" are generally pretty simple. They are direct, which means that someone can figure out what behavior is beneficial and what is detrimental pretty easily.
- Secrets. Talk about sparking curiosity… Who doesn’t want to hear a secret to success? I mean, "Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets are for everyone". (And so, boom, you click the post.)
If you weren’t spending time developing clickable headlines before, be sure you start now. The headline is just as important (if not more important) as the actual content itself because it ensures results. Once you have developed stronger headlines, take time to analyze which headlines have been the most effective. That is going to be your ultimate ticket to success.
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Related post: 10 Tips for Writing Great Headlines