Today’s marketing puts loads of emphasis on SEO, and rightly so because search engines offer ample opportunity to reach new customers in their time of need.
But the challenge is that your prospects might land on your website from a variety of sources. If you’re putting the time into building a social media following, you should also be considering how click-worthy your headlines and page titles are.
When you post a link on social media or when your fans share your website with their network, the preview will pull in the page title. Instead of focusing only on SEO here, think like your customer and create irresistible headlines that people will want to explore.
How to Write a Great Headline
Instead of writing your headline around your SEO keyword, write it focused on your customers’ wants, needs and emotions. Here’s a look at the elements of a great headline.
1. Include Emotion
In the split second that it takes your audience to read your headline, they’ll develop an emotional response to it. That response could be happiness, fear, anger, anticipation, etc.
Think about what you want your followers to feel to motivate them to click the link. The more passionate and connected they are to the content, the more likely they’ll be to share it onward, leading to greater exposure and opportunities.
2. Use Numbers
Lists of information are easier for our minds to comprehend. It breaks up the concepts and material in an article and helps us absorb and retain it. Our minds love numbers.
Numbers can be eye-catching to draw in the reader to make them want to learn more.
3. Lead with the Benefits
Is it worth my time to read this article? That’s what customers ask themselves when they see your headline. If you lead with the benefits, it will tell customers what they’ll get from the content to know it’s worth their time.
4. Write More Than One Headline
More than likely, the first headline you write won’t be the best possible way of communicating the article’s greatest benefits and big idea. Iterate on the idea until you find a winning combination. And if you write a few headlines that you like, ask for some second opinions to find the one that attracts people.
Perhaps you’re too close to the content to see what would encourage your audience to click on it. Don’t feel too protective of what you write and be open to the ideas of others.
5. Test Your Headline in Other Mediums
Email marketing is an outstanding place to A/B test headlines to see what gets the best reaction from your audience. Use the headline as the subject line and wait 24 hours to see what works best to get readership. Then update your website and share the content on social media.
6. Use Question Headlines Carefully
Asking questions in your headlines can get users thinking and entice them to seek out the answer to the question you’re posing. But not every piece of content is ideal for question headlines.
As a rule, don’t write questions that have obvious answers. Ensure that your questions are relevant to the article content. Don’t withhold too much information to the point where your question headline is simply clickbait. Questions with yes or no answers should not be headlines.
7. Keep it Positive
When your customers are scrolling social media, they are there to be entertained. Don’t try to scare them into reading your content. You want them to feel motivated by happy emotions.
The more positive your headlines are, the greater results you’ll likely see. Don’t tear down your competitors or be rude to them in any way. Just demonstrate why you’re company or product is so great with positivity and let the reader fill in the rest.
Important Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Headlines
Ultimately, SEO is still crucially important. But if you’re choosing highly relevant keywords based on your topic, you shouldn’t have a problem integrating your keyword into your blog headline. In fact, if it’s the right keyword for the content, you won’t be able to keep the keyword out of the headline.
There’s so much to think about when you write a headline. But keep in mind these factors in writing quality article titles.
- Always deliver on the promise you make in your headline – meaning don’t write clickbait that entices readers to land on your content but then your content isn’t what you told them it would be
- Focus on customer-centric copy and everything else will follow
- Remember, search engine results pages (SERPs) are flooded with great content. Your headline matters for search engine click-throughs as well. It doesn’t matter how great your content ranks if it isn’t getting clicks.
- Time on page is an important SEO metric. Search engines want to know that your content is delighting web surfers and answering their queries.
- The more clicks you get on social media, the more likely your content is to reach more people due to the way these platforms build their algorithms
Make the most of the time you put into your content marketing by thinking about how to get the greatest readership on every marketing channel.