Creating Blog Headlines That Generate Clicks

2018/10/24 08:00

blog headlines

What it takes to create a blog headline that everybody wants to click on.

Content has become an integral part of all marketing strategies. Whether it’s the content you include in an email campaign, social media post or a blog, content is one of the best ways to engage with your target audience and drive more traffic to your website.

While creating content on a regular basis is all good and well, actually getting people to want to read a blog is a whole other thing entirely, and it all starts with your headline.

Think of your headline as one of your brand’s many first impressions. It’s what a potential customer will first encounter when they find your content online and if your headline doesn’t make them want to read the rest of your blog, you’ve spent a whole lot of time on content that isn’t going to help you achieve your goals.

Many writers don’t always give their headlines enough thought when it could be the one thing standing in the way of your next sale. In fact, a report by CopyBlogger showed that almost 80% of users never actually make it past the headline, which just emphasizes the importance of this line of copy.

What Makes a Blog Headline Effective?

Let’s start with the fact that your blog headline needs to fulfill a few different roles, the main one being website traffic generation.

Whether you’re posting your blog on your website or sharing it on social media, it should be encouraging people to visit your site and spend time on it. Blogs can also play a key role in your SEO strategy. The more useful, entertaining or educational your content is, the higher the chances that it will appear in search engine results, which in turn, will drive even more traffic to your website.

So what boxes should a headline tick for it to be deemed effective?

A headline should really only accomplish one thing: Appeal to your target personas.

This means that you should first have a thorough understanding of your target personas, what their goals and needs are and how your brand can provide them with something of value. What is it that drives your customers? How do they make decisions? What would be required for them to trust your brand and your business?

It’s understanding how your target audience thinks that will help you create headlines that will appeal to them.

Tips for Creating Blog Headlines That Convert

Once you have an idea of what you want your content to achieve, here are a few tips that will help you develop blog headlines that encourage all the right people to click.

  • Be clear and concise. While there is nothing to stop you from creating a catchy headline, a user should always know exactly what they’re going to get when they click through to your website. Misleading potential website visitors will not only cause mistrust but it will harm your SEO efforts in the long run when users keep bouncing away from your site.
  • Create a few different options. By developing a few different blog headlines, you really force yourself to think outside the box and consider every option. What you’ll be left with is several headlines but the right one will jump out at you immediately, making the headline selection process much easier.
  • Don’t forget the keywords. Since SEO still needs to be a consideration during the headline development process, it’s important to keep a list of your keywords close by so that you can work them into your headlines. With that being said, it’s still absolutely crucial that you write for your customers and not for search engine bots. Because at the end of the day, the more people click through to your website, the more it signals to search engines that your content is worth indexing.
  • Work some numbers into the mix. A study by Moz showed that people are far more likely to click on a headline that contains a number. Blog headlines with numbers are generally more appealing because it makes the headline less generic and makes the blog look more credible too.
  • Break your headline up. Another study by HubSpot indicated that headlines that included parentheses or brackets were far more likely to be clicked on. Hyphens and colons had the same effect and are definitely something to work into your headlines if you’re looking to change things up.
  • Ask a question. Using a question in your headline is another effective way to draw users in, particularly if it’s a question that they would really like the answer to. This fits in with creating headlines that will appeal to your target personas.
  • Do a little research. Before you start creating a headline for your blog, search for the topic in Google to see what other brands are already using and why they’re possibly ranking so well. These learnings can be invaluable when creating your own blog headlines.
  • Keep testing. Finally, don’t forget to actually keep track of headline performance and to test out different headlines to see what works with your specific target audience. This way you can keep using formulas that work, saving you time and effort in the future.

By creating curiosity and appealing to your target personas, you’re already well on your way to creating blog headlines that convert.