More people read the headlines than read what’s inside the headline. Therefore, if you want people to click through to read your content, you need to learn to write headlines that get attention. Your headline matters more than almost anything if you want people to consume your content.
Your headline should be original and specific, stress urgency, and be valuable. But, most of all, the headline should never be misleading or “clickbait” – your audience will not appreciate clickbait-type of headlines and will lose trust for you. While you may increase click-through rates initially, over time your audience will stop clicking through due to being tricked. This brings us to the five rules of effective attention-grabbing headlines.
Your headline should be:
1. Original – Make each headline stand out so that you can give your audience a reason to click through and want to know more about your company. Remember that your audience is super smart and want to see something new from you. Make your business and content stand out with your choice of words and phrasing. For example, if you’re irreverent in your copy, be that way in your headlines too.
2. Specific – Rather than being mysterious and clever, it’s best to be direct and give specific information to your readers to get them to click through and hopefully read at least the first line of the content you are providing to them. If you can identify a benefit to the reader for clicking through and reading, that’s even better. For example, if you can improve your audience’s weight loss success by 15 percent with the information in the content, say so.
3. Urgent – By conveying a sense of urgency in the headline, it will make the reader want to read the content now rather than later. You don’t have to say things like “click now” or give a date or anything; just make the headline express something that might signify loss if they don’t read it. For example, if your audience consists of dieters, they might like to read about how they can “Eat More & Still Lose Weight” or “Start Eating This One Thing to Lose More Weight Fast.”
4. Valuable – Making the value and usefulness of the content behind the headline apparent is a great way to get your audience to click through. In the examples above the audience immediately sees that they can lose more weight eating, which is what ever dieter wants to hear. The second headline is going to provide the secret food that the dieter can eat to lose more weight. These headlines express value to the reader.
5. Honest – We mentioned clickbait. You may have even practiced a little of this trickery on your own due to the seeming popularity of doing so. You see clickbait strongly on YouTube and many different types of blogs and email subject lines. Do they work? Well, yes, they do actually work, but only short term. You want your audience to trust you; therefore don’t be drawn into this because ultimately clickbait headlines don’t serve your main purpose, which is to increase sales.
Following these tips for writing attention-grabbing headlines will improve your click-through rate exponentially. Using these five rules for writing headlines will work. Make a sticky note to help you remember.
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