If you don’t know how to write headlines that make people want to read the rest of your article, what’s the point?
You’ve written a killer article that you know people are going to want to read. It’s helpful, informative, and speaks directly to a common problem that your audience is having. After you post it on your website, you sit and wait…and wait…and wait. If you don’t know how to write headlines that make people want to click, this is probably you.
According to Copyblogger, it’s not unusual, either—only 2 out of 10 people will actually click and read.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. These nine tips will help you figure out why your audience isn’t clicking on your content.
Offer to Solve a Problem
When you google something, you probably notice a pattern: the top results usually offer to solve a problem associated with the term you searched. If you want to show that your content is valuable, you need to be a problem-solver for your audience.
Use Emotional Language…or Don’t
According to a study conducted by the folks at Moz, readers sit at two ends of a spectrum when it comes to emotional language in headlines. The respondents’ clicking tendencies tended to favor either headlines that use positive or negative superlatives (think best, worst, most, least) once or less (51%) or four times (25%).
Put the Most Important Words at the Beginning
When you’re learning how to write headlines that lead to clicks, the structure of your headline is perhaps the best place to look first. If your most important words—the words that have the most impact on a reader—are not toward the beginning of a headline, you may lose the reader’s interest before you even begin.
Take Advantage of Your Audience’s FOMO
FOMO is a powerful thing in marketing. Use the reader’s fear of missing out to your advantage when you write your headlines. To do so, you must create a sense of urgency. Mention a limited time offer. Suggest that your reader might fail to achieve their goals if they don’t click on your article first.
Rewrite Your Headline as Many Times as Necessary
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy
What advertising legend David Ogilvy is getting at in this quotation is that your headline is the most valuable part of your content. You need to invest the time you spend on it accordingly. Learning how to write headlines means learning how to rewrite headlines. Don’t just write one headline and call it quits. Write several different versions, then pick the best one.
Be Specific about What Your Article Offers
Is there anything worse than clicking on an article and then realizing halfway through that you aren’t going to get what you came for? If your headline doesn’t accurately reflect the content that people are going to get when they click, then you’re just wasting their time and abusing their trust. People don’t like that.
Ask a Question
By their very nature, questions imply a solution. Writing your headline in the form of a question is an excellent way to pique the reader’s interest.
Use a Headline Analyzer
A simple Google search will reveal several different options for headline analyzers. It’s important to understand that each will have different ideas about what makes a good headline. Try as many as you can until you find one that works for your audience.
Look at What Has Worked for You in the Past
You might already know how to write headlines that work and not even know it! Look at the headlines you’ve used in the past and use them as templates for future headlines.
Learning How to Write Headlines Takes Time
Now that you know some of the basics of headline writing, go and put these tips to the test in your content! You may not have success right away, but the more you practice, the better your results will be—and isn’t the result what really matters?