Are Your Headlines Pulling Their Weight?
Headlines are like doorstep of your blog posts. If you want readers to cross the threshold and enter your home (or rather, place of business), your headline needs to offer an irresistible incentive to step onto your porch in the first place.
However, I find that the value of these hardworking sound bites is too often overlooked. You could be creating the best content around, but it’s a shame if no one is seeing it because your headlines don’t provide sufficient incentive to click through to your posts.
Your blog posts deserve headlines that are:
- Authentic: Your branding and your brand voice should be consistent throughout your content – and this includes your headlines.
- Memorable: A headline can stick with someone for a number of reasons. Humour, a promise of something of value, or strong language can all grab the reader’s attention. One of my clients titled a post “How is your F/U?” She was referring to “follow-up,” but it made readers look twice and click through to find out more.
- Congruent With The Post: Whatever the tone of your post — be it educational, formal, conversational, humorous or a call to action — carry it through to the headline. If your post delivers something of great value to the reader, don’t be afraid to use words like “easiest,” “fastest” or “secret” in the title to communicate what you’ll be delivering.
Using Lists and Numbers
They may be common, but numbers and lists are popular in the blogging world for good reason: readers love them! Think “10 Tips to Simplify Your Life,” “5 Steps to a Successful Blog,” or “The 10 Best Travel Destinations for 2016.” By incorporating numbers and lists into your headlines and content, while making sure they’re authentic, memorable and properly set the tone for the post, you can increase your blog traffic and make it more likely that you’ll come to mind the next time that reader needs information on your area of expertise.
A Note on SEO
Along with other considerations, your headlines should also include keywords to increase SEO, ensuring your post will show up high in search results. The headline still needs to meet the requirements outlined above, but how your post shows up in searches determines how likely readers are to click through and read it.