Think of a newspaper headline – enticing the masses to buy the paper and read further, acting as a teaser which invites you to find out more information. Titles can be used effectively to generate emotional affiliations, resonance with a particular subject and just plain curiosity, tempting your reader to read further.
We take a look at 5 key elements to create a magnetic headline which invites your audience to read your content while serving to optimise for social and search engines too.
1 – Brainstorming a headline
Write down 20 different possible versions of your title. Start with your first headline and use it as a springboard for the next one, following this sequence until you have 20 + possible headlines.
The idea here is to write anything from the mundane or ridiculous to the more profound, without judging your work. By focussing on the subject, you set your creativity in motion, enabling you to produce at least a few headlines which can either be used or which show promise.
2 – Ensure title is relevant
Your audience reads your title first, so it needs to not only captivate your reader but to have an accurate indication of what your reader can expect to find in the blog itself.
Your headline is the opportunity to set the stage for the rest of the content, providing a context and framework for the information which follows.
We are all faced with a huge amount of online information each day, so making the headline easily scannable drawing attention to the topic which is fleshed out in the content which follows.
3 – Keep it short
One of the key aspects of a scannable headline is its length. As Google’s title length in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) is 70 characters before it becomes cut off with ellipses (…), it is best to limit headlines to this number in order so that the whole of the headline is visible on the results page.
This parameter means that you need to choose your words carefully in order to make your headline as impactful as possible.
4 – Adding the secret ingredient
Some words or phrases are more effective than others. ‘How to’ search queries are an effective way of starting a headline, evoking the reader’s curiosity with a question. Using numbers also attracts your readers attention (for example 6 strategies to maximise SEO).
Using descriptive words enhances the headline. Attention can also be created through the use of humour, using your headline as a controversial statement or solving a problem for your target market.
Adjectives can also be used to empower your reader, using words such as actionable, simple, easy, quick.
5 – Importance of Words
The use of certain words can further motivate the reader to engage with your content. These words, often referred to as ‘rationales’ provide the reader with the justification for reading further.
Rationales include words such as: secrets, facts, strategies, keys, ideas, solutions, tricks tips etc.
Crafted strategically, the headline becomes a key tool in driving audience interest and establishing your blog as valuable worthwhile content.
For this reason, it is important to spend time crafting your title, ensuring that you have the right elements in establishing a clickable heading which resonates with your audience and drives traffic to both your website and your blog.
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