There’s a general consensus amongst content creators that high-quality headlines are essential to success. However, those not in the know have a tendency to slap a headline on the top of an ad or article with little more than a second’s thought. This can be detrimental for a very simple reason: your headlines have to be compelling in order to persuade people to carry on reading the rest of what you have to say.
David Ogilvy claimed that only two out of ten people who read a headline actually make it through to reading the rest of the content. In essence, you have to sell your ad or article before you can sell anything else. Here’s some tips on getting it right:
1) If you can put a number in your headline, that’s great.
If you can demonstrate through your headline that you’ve backed your content with relevant numerical data, that’s even better.
2) Don’t publish a headline until you’re confident that it conveys a benefit to the reader
There are countless articles and adverts online, so readers need to be convinced that taking the time to read yours will be worthwhile. This can often be achieved by using “Why” or “How” as a key element of your headline. “How to” posts are difficult to go wrong with, particularly when they promise to teach readers how to do something useful with less effort or at a lower cost.
3) Be specific and original.
Vague words (such as ‘things’) are uninteresting to potential readers and don’t do much for SEO. Identifying keywords that you can use to target a niche audience and including them in your headline can be advantageous, not only for SEO purposes, but because they also appeal to real people.
4) List posts are a go to for many content creators for two simple reasons
They’re specific, and they generally work. Add a “how to” element to your list post, and your headline will basically be irresistible.
5) Develop an understanding of why certain headlines work.
While this may be time consuming and require extensive research, it’s worth doing.
Obviously, content creation isn’t everyone’s forte. For further assistance with content marketing, get in touch!