Remember I said I was going to write a blog post about headlines? Well, this is it.
As my clients have heard me say endlessly, if you can’t get someone to open your blog post to read it, then you’ve failed before you’ve begun.
It’s why that damn headline is so bloomin’ important. It needs to be `clickable’.
6 super simple tips to writing a highly clickable headline:
1. Add a number
I always find this one a little ridiculous really – this idea that we will click a headline simply because it has a number in it. But guess what? It works! Numbers do what contrasting colours do for the human eye – our eyes are naturally drawn to them. And considering most of us are lazy online readers, it tells us we’ll be able to scan the post easily too.
2. Ensure your headline has clarity
Be clear on what people can expect to read in the post. I’m not a fan of bait and switch posts. If you’ve told me I’m going to read a post about Joey Chestnut setting a new turkey-eating record, I don’t want to open it to find it was actually chicken. Vague headlines also turn off, rather than attract, readers.
3. Write it for your ideal client
If you’ve done any work on your ideal client, then you already understand what their pain points are and what their hopes and dreams are. Your headlines, like your blog posts, need to be written for a human being – your ideal client preferably. If they identify your ideal client (aka `female entrepreneur’, rather than `Jenny’. That could be weird!), then readers are further drawn to your post.
4. Use keywords
While I mentioned you need to write for human beings, that’s not to say you can’t include one of your keywords. Using a keyword does two things.
- It helps your ideal client find your post in search and
- It becomes clear what your post is about.
And just a little Google tip: keep your headline under 70 characters, so it doesn’t get cut off mid headline in the search results. That can result in some rather unfortunate headlines.
5. Problem solving
Why do you usually Google? To solve a problem, right? People search online as a way to educate themselves and to solve everyday problems. Or sometimes weird problems too, but let’s not go there! This is why the `how-to’ post is so popular. Of course, you don’t want to start every how-to post with `How To…’. Be creative. Think about:
- The Complete Guide To Blogging
- Blogging 101
- 3 Easy Ways to Write a Blog Post
- 7 Strategies for Increasing Blog Traffic
Now wasn’t that more interesting than How To…?
6. Choose words to entice people
OK, let’s not go overboard and lie here. But… you’ve got to get people excited to want to click on your blog post and devour every word. There are some common words that work. Things like:
- You and Your – this shows you the content is for you, the reader. It’s got nothing to do with you, the writer.
- This – there is an immediacy to this word, which is why it works in headlines.
- What, Which, Why and When – these are all question headlines and we hate seeing a good question left unanswered. So we click!
Then there are the words that add spice, intrigue or excitement. Like:
Before you head off to work on that next headline, I thought I’d leave you with some headline formulas for you to use and have a play with. Here goes:
(HOW TO) How to ________________________ while ____________
Ie How to travel the world while raising a family
(WHY) Why __________ is crucial to_____________
Why silence is crucial to sales success
(AUTHORITY) How I ___________ in _______________
How I grew my email list by 601 people in 30 days
(NUMBERS) _____ must-have _________ for _________
10 must-have apps for creative businesses
(DATA) Survey/Research finds/shows ___ of __________________
Survey finds 75% of working women in the US aspire to be their company’s next CEO
(ULTIMATE GUIDE) The Ultimate Guide to _________________
The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Business
(CELEBRITY) What ________________ can teach us about ___________
What Madonna can teach us about business longevity
(QUESTION) Are __________ all they’re cracked up to be?
Are sports drinks all they’re cracked up to be?