You’ve seen click-bait used on many sites including on major news websites. Hyperbolic headlines and titles seem to have become the norm. But, most people express displeasure about it. Due to the high usage of these types of headlines, people are starting to become blind to them. Thankfully, you can get clicks without using click-baiting phrases. In fact, you’ll even build up more of that know, like, trust factor you need.
Tell Them What It’s About – The fact is, your readers want to know what’s inside the article. If you can tell them in the headline, then you’re going to get more reliable clicks than if you use hyperbolic headlines. Think about what you want them to do after they click through. You want them to read the content and answer your call to action. Will they do that if they click through to read and what you said was inside isn’t?
Tell Them At Least One Benefit – Your audience wants to know why they should read the article. Try to tell them why within the headline, so that they know if they click through they’ll learn something. “How to Write Click-bait Free Headlines Every Time” is a headline that gives the benefit of click-bait free headlines in combination of what exactly the article is about.
Test Your Headlines – Most auto-responders allow for testing of different titles, which can help you create better headlines. Split up your list and use one headline for one side of your list, and the other for the other side, but send them out at the same time. Send the most opened headline to those who did not open from either list.
Include Stats in Your Headlines – People love facts and the more facts you can include in a headline, the more likely you are to get clicks. Stats aren’t manipulative either; they’re based on fact and mean something. “29% of Marketers Love This Software” is a great headline if you want marketers to click. They key is to truly give them the rest of the information within the article too.
Optimize for Keywords – Anytime you can use keywords in the first three words of your title, do so. There isn’t anything manipulative about that because you have to have a way for your audience to find your content so that you can help them.
Don’t Leave Out the Dek – This is the area below the title that shows up often in search engines and on social shares. Make sure this part of your share is showing up and further explaining what the article is going to be about. It can explain the title further for the reader.
Avoid Tricks and Manipulation – It’s been said elsewhere in this article but it can’t be repeated enough. Tricks and manipulation might get clicks, but they won’t get results. If you’re after results, buys, conversions and sales, don’t trick your audience. Respect them enough to be honest.
Take a Stand – Even though this might seem like clickbait, if you really do take a stand as the headline states, it’s not. For example, you can write a title such as “End Clickbait Forever” and mean it. Sure, forever is a long time, but you’re taking a stand and you’ll explain in the article.
Speak Directly to the Reader – When you write a headline or any content for your audience, try to write to an audience of one. Use personal pronouns like “you” in your titles and in your content, and you’ll connect better with them without even trying.
Avoid Superlatives – This is when you add words like “ever”, “best”, “perfect”, “smartest”, etc.… as an explanation to your title. Adding in too many extraneous words clutters up the title and takes away from the meaning. It also does little to let the customer know what’s inside.
Headlines are central to getting more eyes on your content, but you don’t want to be manipulative to the point that you’re misleading them. Just think of how you feel when it happens to you, and think about how your audience will feel if you do it to them.
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