Driving Traffic with Carefully-Constructed Blog Headlines

Here are some things that you need to do to become a pro at writing compelling headlines that will appeal to your audiences and search engines.

Nov 06, 2017 Digital Marketing

Driving Traffic with Carefully-Constructed Blog Headlines

When it comes to digital marketing strategies, content marketing is high on the list. It is specifically designed to attract traffic and drive it to your website and/or landing pages. However, the thing with content marketing is that you have to know what you are doing. You can be the best writer in the world and still not attract anyone – or at least not the audience that you need and want. This is why it is so important that you know how to write an attractive and effective headline.

Consider your audience as a group of hunters and gatherers. They are constantly on the move – scanning and searching for what they are in need of. As a general rule, they do not find it. But, when they find that headline that is able to grab their attention – that headline that entices them enough to get them to click on it and read through the article to solve their problem, it will result in lead generation prospects for your business.

Therefore, it is crucial that headline writing is a priority for you and your content marketing strategy. Here are some things that you need to do to become a pro at writing compelling headlines that will appeal to your audiences and search engines.

1. Make Use of Relevant Keywords.

While keywords in your headlines are important, you only want to focus on one. Major search engines will place more emphasis on the headlines if you do so. You also want to ensure that the headline has something to do with the text of the article, as this will also help it get indexed by search engines.

2. Try to Appeal to Emotions.

According to research, 80 percent of individuals will read a headline, but only 20 percent of them will actually read the rest of the content. Therefore, you have a single chance to get your visitors to click, and using the right words – powerful ones – will help. You need to use a combination of power, emotional, common and uncommon words to captivate your readers. Some beneficial phrases are “You need to” and “What happens when”.

3. Avoid Clickbait.

The last thing that you want to do with your headlines is be unclear and/or misleading simply to get your readers to click and read your content. This turns people away.

You want to make sure that you are direct, clear and to the point. You want to let people know exactly what they are going to be reading about and what they will learn after clicking on your headline. Let your readers know whether they will find a solution to a problem they are having, receive an answer to a concern or question that they have, or if they will learn how to do something.

If your headline is unclear or confusing, readers will leave your page and click on the next search result to see if they can find the information that they failed to find on your website. This is known as a bounce. Google doesn’t use bounce rate when they are ranking sites, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take something like this into consideration. This is because when a user bounces from your site to another site, it means that they aren’t enjoying the content on your site or converting into customers.

4. Make Sure You Know Your Audience.

What kind of information is your target readers searching for? This is an important question for you to answer because you need to develop your headlines off of the answer since your readers will find value in them. You will use this information to create headlines that are focused on your target audience’s wants and needs.

There are multiple formulas available that can help you with this, such as “definition + guide to + action + keyword + promise. An example would be as follows: “An amazing guide to creating effective newsletters for B2B companies”.

5. Use Numbered Lists.

As a general rule, lists are more attractive to readers because they get a clearer picture of what they can expect when they click on a headline. For example, “7 Healthy Foods You Should Eat for More Energy” and “3 Effective Ways to Close More Real Estate Sales” both inform you exactly what you are going to get out of the article if you click on the headline and delivers a specific benefit in a particularly compelling manner. These headlines also let readers know what type of length they can expect.

According to research, odd numbered lists tend to attract 20 percent more clicks than even numbered lists.

6. Use Captivating Words.

While strong keywords should be used whenever possible, you also want to use captivating adjectives that can increase your audience’s engagement. There are certain words that tend to generate more engagement from an audience, such as “easy,” “free,” and “new”.

You also want to try to use words that suggest exclusivity, specificity and urgency – after all, who doesn’t want to get the latest and greatest information before everyone else?

7. Keep Things Short and Sweet.

Don’t forget that you will want to try to keep your headlines as short as possible so that your target audience can read your headline quickly and make the decision to click on your headline (hopefully) or not. This improves the chances of your headline getting noticed prior to others. One reason for the shorter headline is because, in some instances, your headline will be cut off where part of it is not seen (such as in e-mails).

The blogging world is a competitive one, but it is possible to stay ahead of your competition with the right information – and the aforementioned tips for headline writing is a great place to start. For more information, contact WebDetail. 

Do you have some insight? Do you have questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Let’s Start Increasing Your Bottom Line