If you’re using a blog on your website as part of your marketing campaign (or for any other reason), you may have noticed a lack of users visiting your content. This can be very frustrating if you’re actually creating and sharing great content, but nobody is reading it.
So, what is the problem? If you’ve written great content, and supported it with a great social media marketing campaign, what is preventing users from clicking through to your website?
Mostly, it’s your headline. It’s a simple fact that people are five times more likely to read a headline than the actual blog, so surely you should put five times more effort into it? Don’t worry though, we’re here to give you some tips on writing the best possible headlines for your content.
Short & Sweet
Imagine you’re scrolling through your favourite social media news feed, and you stumble across an article with an excessively long title. Chances are, you won’t even read the whole title, let alone the actual article. You might not even notice how often you skim over content on social media either. Next time you’re there, make note of the content that catches your attention. Majority of them will have a title with less than 50 characters.
This is the same for your users. Keeping your title to-the-point quickly sums up what the blog is about, and catches their attention.
You don’t want your users to read your blog later, you want them to read it now. In order to do this, you have to promote a sense of urgency within your title. There are many words you can use to achieve this, which all work within different context.
For example you will see the word “now” in many headlines, used in order to achieve this. “How To Improve Your Conversion Rate Right Now” is much more engaging than simply, “How To Improve Your Conversion Rate”.
Some other words that you’ll see that achieve this sense of urgency include “next”, “first”, “stop”, and “start”.
This is one of the most commonly used techniques to improve click through rate on content. Buzzfeed, one of the largest content sharing platforms going, popularised this technique to great effect recently. For a while, it was impossible to search the internet without coming across list-based articles with numbered titles. Our example above would become “10 Ways To Improve Your Conversion Rate” if using this technique.
How does this help? It gives the user an idea of the length of the content, and how much detail it will go into. Also, list-based articles have developed an image as being easily digestible, causing people to click through more often.
The worst thing about list-based headlines though, is that someone may have released a similar piece of content with more points. Would you be more likely to click on “10 Ways To Improve Your Conversion Rate”, or “20 Ways To Improve Your Conversion Rate”?
We mentioned that you can’t have a headline that’s too long, and this point kind of sits hand-in-hand with that. In order to keep your titles down to a bare minimum, try and avoid anything that doesn’t add to the subject. Get straight to the point, and let your users know what the blog is about.
For example, “We Look At A Variety Of Different Marketing Campaigns To Show How You Can Improve Your Conversion Rate” is a terrible title. We don’t need to know about the contents of the article, we only need to know the overall subject.
What benefit will your reader get from your blog? Whatever it is, you should make that perfectly clear within the headline. In our examples above, there is a clear benefit to the blogs. The headlines outline that by reading the blog you will gain a better understanding of how to improve your conversion rate, which means more money for you.
As well, you can tell from the headline of this blog that you will be able to learn how to write better headlines. There’s a clear benefit there.
Use A Well-Known Phrase
One of the best ways to increase engagement from users is to promote a sense of familiarity with them. This can be easily achieved by using one of many familiar phrases with which people can identify. Using our examples above, this would become something like “Ways To Improve Your Conversion Rate That Are Better Than Sliced Bread”.
Ok, we forced that one a little, but you get the picture. Well-known phrases, idioms, and catchphrases are already ingrained in the minds of your readers, so they’re already familiar with part of your headline. As they can relate to part of your title on a subconscious level, they’re more likely to click through and read the whole article.
Don’t Be Vague
This probably sounds very similar to our “no nonsense” approach highlighted above, but we’re actually talking about particular words you should avoid here. Steer clear of any “vague” words that could cast doubt on what your blog is truly about.
For example, the title of this blog could have been named “Ways To Start Writing Better Blog Titles”, which is very vague. By adding the word “tips” instead of “ways”, we provide more information on what the blog will be about.
Another word you should avoid at all costs is “things”. It’s incredibly vague.
Be The Reader
Whenever you’re writing a blog title, take a step back and properly look at it. Is it something that you would read yourself? Is it something that would grab your attention amongst the sea of articles being shared on social media?
As with the content of your blog, the title should be designed specifically with the reader in mind. It’s no good creating a blog title that is designed to sell your product/service, if nobody is going to click on it. Make sure it highlights the benefit for them, and makes your blog seem like something that is aimed directly at them.
Another great way to do this is to use words such as “you” to speak directly to the audience.