How to Write Better Blog Post Headlines
Writing a great headline can be one of the trickiest things you will do as a blogger. The headline is the make or break moment and is the #1 determining factor whether the reader will continue to read your post or not. The ultimate goal of a headline is to make someone stop long enough to be interested in what you have to say. In order to create a clickable and effective headline, you’ll need to do the following basic things:
Grab their attention
Deliver an important point
Explain the importance of your point
Make people believe your point
Present your call-to-action
USE A WORKING TITLE
These are meant to be followed in order if you want your readers to act upon your given point. And since this post is focusing on writing an attention-grabbing headline, the very first item on this list is the most important.
A good headline is suppose do 2 things – 1) catch your reader’s attention and 2) entice them to keep going. You want to make it compelling for someone to click your post and make them feel like they’re missing out on something if they don’t. You want to aim on creating something that grabs your reader’s attention longer than a split-second. Your headline needs to be meaningful enough to your reader in-order for them to continue. A good way to do this is to start with a working title. Instead of using something like “best restaurants in Las Vegas” you could derive the following from this:
Top 10 Affordable Restaurants in Las Vegas
My Favorite Family-Friend Restaurants in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Restaurants with the Best Happy Hours
By creating a specific title, you’ve given your reader a better idea of what to expect once they’ve visited your post. This helps the reader determine whether or not this post is something they would be interested in reading further.
MAKE IT “POP”
I didn’t want to use the word the vague word “pop” because I hear it all the time from clients trying to explain their design styles to me. When it comes to your title, this is EXACTLY what you want to do. You have to find the appropriate language that will resonate positively with your core audience.
Use strong language for example: “Bloggers Hate This the Most” or “My Least Favorite Things About Blogging” will pack a (unfortunately negative) punch.
Be sure to make your point clear and focus on the “who’s” instead of the “whys.” Headlines with the word “who” in them tend to do generate a high CTR than headlines without it.
KEEP IT SHORT
I cannot stress this enough! Although there is no set length when it comes to creating the perfect attention grabbing headline, there is a limit you should be sure to stay within if you want to ensure the highest CTR. Focus on staying under 70 characters otherwise your headline will get cutoff in search engine results. This isn’t ideal.
When it comes to social media, the best way to optimize your title is as follows:
8-12 words average – Twitter
12-14 words average – Facebook
I know this doesn’t give you a lot of wiggle room, but it’s always a good idea to keep your title on the shorter side and run a few tests before hand to see what your audience responds to more.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The real secret to writing a compelling headline is understanding your audience. You’ll need to be highly aware of what they’re keyed into and what they like and don’t like. Be sure to experiment with your headlines and don’t feel bad if you have to completely scratch one. Play around with it and always remember the main goal of a headline, to make your audience keep reading.