The ratio of people reading a blog to its body is 5:1. This means if you have the headlines right, you have saved 80% of your money and retained 70% of your visitors.
You see hundreds of headlines every day, in social media, viral news sites, emails, push notifications from apps, and so on. The viral clickbait stories that you see on your Facebook and Google feeds get their top position due to their high click-through rate or CTR that could be a like, click, or comment.
- Essentially, this means that you cannot just write whatever headline first comes to your mind. Writing headlines require efforts, twice as much you put in writing your content body. It is the first thing that a searcher looks at and probably the only way your article can find legitimate readers, user activity, comments, and likes.
So what do you do?
You just simply follow our tips on how to write better headlines.
A/B/n Testing Titles
Figures and data are the best way to ascertain the effectiveness of a title. It is like voting the best title based on real data and not based on emotional effects on words. WordPress has a unique, free title tester plugin, called Title Experiments that tells you which title received the most attention, whether A or B or n.
A refers to the original title ‘reason why you fall out of love’
B refers to a variation title ‘why you fall out of love’
n refers to one or more variations ‘how to keep yourself from falling out of love’
The Title Experiment plug-in assumes you have already published the blog or article, so it is more effective than many such tools.
You will be interested to learn that explanation implicit words like ‘ways’ and absolute implicit words like ‘the most’ get the least chances of being shared or commented, according to Garrett Moon’s study. The study also revealed that list posts stand a higher chance of being shared compared to the rest of the choices.
The study also recommends other words that make list posts much more attractive and shareable, such as ‘Things’, ‘Reasons’, ‘Every’, ‘Should’, and their combinations. Example: 10 Reasons Why Your Child is a Picky Eater.
Bring Out the Emotion
Often human beings act out on their emotions. So, an ideal way to pique your readers’ interest is by playing the emotional card. Your headlines should evoke the right emotions and there are several tools that let you measure the emotion level a headline produces.
Here is a simple tool that analyses the Emotional Marketing Value of a headline. Don’t go by its unappealing nature, because that is not its USP. Since you and I do not have the luxury of hiring full-time editors to optimize headlines, like the big publications, Forbes and Huffington posts, you can use this tool to find your answers. In fact, if you use both Title Experiments plugin and Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer, you will realize that both pretty much agree to each other.
Factors that Make a Good Headline
The following information is sourced from an infographic created by Quick Sprout.
Use the formula to create the perfect headline – Number or Trigger Word/Adjective + Keyword + Promise
A headline should be short and sweet, having a perfect length of 65 characters or 6 words. Search engines cut off the rest. People usually read the first and last three words of a headline. So, lesser the words, better the impact.
Refer the reader in your headline as if you are speaking to the reader directly
Use interesting adjectives, also known as Trigger Words. There are different types of adjectives, such as assertive, negative, questions, emotions, happy, sad, etc. You have to provide the right one to attract the right reader. Essential, painstaking, incredible, effortless, unique, strange, dynamic, absolute, promising, and inspiring are few examples.
Increase curiosity by personalizing your content or adding a bit extra. Example: 10 Odd Accident-escapes in History. Number 8 is really Hair-raising.
Use negative words, such as stop, no, unless, and without. These words invariably prompt shares and boost likes. Example: Before you start your cardio exercises, Stop, and read the tips.
Use numbers to fulfill people’s need, to spread the post further, and to make your content efficient. Use digits instead of words, such as 100 Different Ideas for Taglines.
Let us know in the comments below how your headlines did after following our tips.
About The Author:
Aarif Habeeb is the founder of DMC, a full-service digital marketing Company based in Jaipur. Aarif specializes in high-caliber content strategy and SEO. He regularly shares his digital marketing insights on many blogs. He holds a master’s degree in Computer Application. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.