If you take an embarrassing amount of pride in the outcome of each of your blog posts like me, then you probably spend the majority of your writing time on the actual content creation portion. Of course, we want to ensure that we are providing our audience with an overwhelming amount of value, since they are taking the time to read our piece.
How much time do you usually spend drafting a stellar headline? Maybe 5, or 10 minutes? How much thought do you really put into it?
A fantastic headline is a MUST for bloggers these days, and you should definitely be paying more attention to how you word them. Your headline can actually make or break your blog post in three very distinct ways, which I will detail below. Spending a small additional portion of your time to craft your title could result in exponential benefits for you and your blog. Trust me it’s worth it…
Here are my 3 made up words that explain why you should be taking more time to write unparalleled headlines:
You want your article to be found as the answer to your customer’s search query. Bottom line, including a keyword in your title still matters for SEO purposes. If you are writing a blog post, I’m going to assume you have done at least some minor keyword research to find out what your target audience actually cares about via what terms they are typing into Google.
Once you have chosen a topic, your chosen keyword (longtail keywords are best for being found more easily against the competition in a certain area) should reflect the exact way your audience is searching for the information you are providing in your post.
You may think that the customers of your anti-wrinkle cream are searching for “premium anti-aging cream for dehydrated skin” when they are really searching for “easy way to get rid of wrinkles at home”. By arming yourself with the knowledge of exactly what your audience is looking for, you can help yourself be found as the answer to their question.
Having your keyword phrase in the headline shapes the direction of your post, and helps you get found in search by the people who are likely to make a purchase.
Make your headline so catchy, the person scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. can’t HELP but click to open your link. Obviously, how tempted one is to click your link will also depend heavily on how meaningful the information inside the post is to that particular person.
Clearly a die-hard Lakers fan will be exponentially more inclined to click a headline that says “2 Easy Steps for a Chance to Win Court Side Seats to the Lakers Finals” than a person who is not a basketball fan; however, the target audience of the Lakers would definitely be interested in clicking into that post.
My point being: make your headlines as compelling as possible for the audience that you want to be reading your post. It may not work as universally as a humorous, gimmick-style post as I mentioned above.
When it comes to content marketing and social media sharing, your headline is the single most important factor. It’s sad to say, but true nonetheless – many people will share and post your content without even reading it if the title is compelling enough. Make your headline interesting, shocking, or useful enough for someone to click the social sharing buttons before they have even clicked the link to the article.
Peers in your industry, blogging about similar topics, may include third party content as a portion of their content curation and content marketing strategy. Many of them don’t have the time to read an entire article, and will rely on the headline to decide whether or not they are going to include your post in their social media rotation. This can become especially beneficial for you if your content is consistently reliable and valuable, and your readers know that they can feel confident in sharing the post without reading it.
This also comes into play for sharing with family, friends, co-workers, etc. If your title is compelling enough, people will be more likely to assist you in taking your content viral. Usually humorous, emotional, or fear-evoking posts do best with this. Although, it’s possible to have a highly informational post be shared more easily by having an incredible title.
If you want your blog post to be successful, you have to make sure it is “findable”, “clickable”, and “shareable”. Taking the time to write an amazing headline is the easiest and most effective way to lead you down the path of success for each post.
I’ll describe 6 Sure-Fire Tips to Help You Write Irresistibly Clickable Headlines that will make the 3 words above seem like a walk in the park!