So, you wrote this great content and all set to publish it. You sure have covered everything like subheadings, table of content, high readability, quality-research, keywords, actually anything and everything an SEO expert suggest.
You know what’s missing, right?
But just go back a few seconds and think what made you click on this article instantaneously from those all other articles. Well, it sure is the headline.
‘How to write catchy and clickable headlines in 3 easy steps’ – this intrigued you. Subconsciously, you trusted this article because it gives you a sense of profit. Also, ‘ in 3 easy steps’ sounds to you quite accessible and easy to do. The question intended in the title ‘How to’ grabbed your attention and offered you a solution which you are desperately looking for.
So, isn’t this headline itself made you click on it and that’s what you want for your blogs?
One thing is for sure, the title sells the content. Whether it is a search engine, email, social media, and any other platform, the title is the promise you make with the audience. It is the face of the content.
It surely plays a huge role in the success of your blog or article in terms of receiving huge traffic. So, here are the 3 easy steps to create catchy, powerful and clickable headlines
STEP 1: Be specific in headlines, use numbers & data and make a promise
You need to understand it doesn’t matter how much effort and hard work you put in the content of the article if the headline has gone wrong.
According to certain studies, the headlines or titles with numbers tend to generate 73% more engagement and shares than others.
Nobody is going to click on a title which is not promising, effective or powerful enough to pull them in. When your content provides value, the title must reflect that as a promise in the title with maximum impact.
Now, what can be the most impactful or attention-grabbing? It is the benefits which must reflect in the headline. They only give 2 seconds attention to a headline and decide to either click or scroll down.
So you better promise them something very precise and specific which should answer for reader questioning you ” What’s in it for me?” In those 2 seconds, if they do not hear something really beneficial in it for them, they will bail.
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See, the titles above! Such articles tend to drive more traffic than any other article without specific numbers and data.
There is a whole psychology behind this attraction towards numbers and data. The human brain loves these specific numbers and data because it gives your brain a sense of organization and logical pre-order. So basically, a number like 5 or 7 is brain candy to your mind which desperate to be organized.
Then, there are various studies around it like odd numbers work better than even numbers. Smaller numbers seem more comfortable and accessible than larger numbers. Using numbers like ‘5’ instead of ‘five’ is better. It enhances the scannability of web content. That’s what you can notice in all viral content on the web.
So, in nutshell for this step :
a) Be specific in the headlines
b) Use numbers, preferably odd numbers and in the form of digits and other data as well. It makes the headlines more promising, attractive and scannable.
c) Promise what benefit you are going to give your audience. Again be specific and impactful with your promise.
Step 2: Understand what should be written
There are a lot of content on the web but not all driving the traffic. As a matter of fact, the very least percentage of blog posts are driving the maximum number of total traffic on the web. Most of the content is not read or shared. Even you can see that 89% of blog posts are getting less than 100 shares.
Now, what does this tell you? It tells you to be more rational about your content. You need to think about whether the audience is really going to read what you are writing. Is it something worth spreading or sharing, solving any problems or providing something?
Now that ideology, you should implicate on your headlines. There are some terms which people are attracted to and are looking for. These terms are Tips, Strategies, Ideas, Reasons, Ways, Advantages, best products, secrets, principles and more on.
If your content intends to share the information in the context of these terms, you must have to include them in your headlines. It can be ‘ 5 Social Media Marketing Strategies to promote your brand’ or ‘ 3 Secrets which nobody tells you about SEO’ and more like this.
You should reflect that the content you are offering is helpful, insightful and going to help them. If that so, then those headlines will receive maximum clicks and more shares.
Step 3: How to make headline catchy?
Now you know how important is to make your headlines specific and with numbers. You also know the fact that content should be highly relevant, informative and truly significant for the audience, so to make it helpful, hence shareable.
The third step in the process to make your headline or title catchy, powerful and clickable is about attention. It is the most important part and mostly remains in shadows to crack.
Here are the following factors which participate in the making of a good catchy headline.
a) Make it Accurate
It is necessary to be accurate in your headlines to show confidence in the content. Whether it’s a promise or strategy, make sure it reflects accuracy in the headlines. It gives the audience a conclusion or positive result in their mind. e.g 10 Online Brands Killing Marketing With One Strategy.
Now, you know there’s not all true in that line or such lines but it is catchy still doesn’t exploit the ethics of blogging, for sure. It just shows them the possibility of results they will get after reading this content. The headline is the sales pitch for the content inside.
b) Make it Creative
You need to make your headline crispier, sexier and hit like a boom. Be creative while making a headline. You can also start from a working title and then decide after writing it. It helps you decide better.
Use little phrases to make it more impactful like ‘101% Working Strategy’ or ‘ Foolproof Formula’ or anything which people will remember for a long. Use strong words to hit them with what you have to offer.
Focus on a particular set of words to highlight it. Put some hard words like ‘ Hate’, ‘Brilliant’ or ‘Game-changer’ etc. into the headline. Use the phrases in the moderation and have a bit punch or throw in your headlines so it stuck in people’s head.
c) Make it Attention-seeker
Make the whole purpose of your headline to resolve the problem of your audience. It surely going to be inside the post but that’s why they are going to click on it.
Give them something they get attracted to. You have very less time to grab a reader’s attention as today they are consuming a lot more than ever.
So better make it convincing and highly relevant. It should provide a sense of accomplishment to the readers, hence get them attracted.
Let me quote a line from the movie Godfather “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” So promise something that they cannot refuse to try it. The best thing about it, these strategies also help your content by driving a good amount of sales.
d) Make it Unique
You do not want to write something, especially in the headline which has been seen a thousand times earlier.
The aim is to if someone searches for content related to your topic and see your title in Google search. Even if it is not the topmost page, the title should something stand out among others, even the article above yours.
Do not forget to search your title in Google with double quotations to see whether similar content exist or not. Writing something unique will always make your content rank the highest.
e) Make it short
The title should be not too short and not too long at first. So try to make your title under 70 characters so it can go by the on-site SEO title rule.
You can customize your headlines for the different social media platform. That means you should have a different title on twitter and another on facebook. It doesn’t have to be completely different, just some editing for differnet title sizes.
Again, the best is to make it digestible. Make it something people can read quickly. It should not be so much mouthful or chewy to even find the meaning.
f) Make it Ultra-specific
You got the point about headline should be accurate, straight, short and helpful but ultra-specific is adding another dimension to it.
It clarifies the target audience and even drives more traffic than other usual content in competition. Like You can write ‘ 10 Best SEO tips for beginners‘ or ‘steps to configure your website on WordPress in just 20 minutes‘.
Adding some phrase which can make it more specific for the readers. It gives a certain positive aspect to it or sometimes it simply makes a target audience in the headline itself.
g) Make it Urgent
You have to create a sense of urgency in the headline to gain more clicks. Like making a headline more user-intent, promising and intriguing, it gets more shares and engagement. Similarly, the sense of urgency gives more clicks to your post.
Use the terms like ‘Now’ or put a timer on the content ‘quick’. You can also make it more interactive as questioning the audience or promise a time to fulfil their purpose. 12 Blogging Mistakes Which Cost Me $1000 bucks. How much you gonna lose? or How you read a book in 30 minutes?
So you noticed? ‘How much you gonna lose?’ and ‘ 30 minutes‘ in these two headlines are creating a sense of urgency.