Any experienced digital marketer or journalist will tell you that an eye-grabbing headline is essential for a blog post to be successful: It’s usually the first thing people see on social networks, emails (subject line), search engine listings, adverts and print media. So it’s important that it grabs people’s attentions early on, enticing them to click-through to your website.
The amount of content on the internet is increasing exponentially, and it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out. So what can we do? In this blog post we’ll explore our top 5 tips for writing an attention-grabbing headline:
A good call-to-action makes it obvious what users can go on to do when they’ve clicked through to your website.
For example, if I searched for ‘buy men’s shoes’, then I will be more tempted by a headline that signals that I can buy shoes for men on their website. I’ve come to the internet for a reason, searched for what I want, now I want to know that the website I’m going to spend my time visiting and browsing is going to have exactly what I’m after.
Make it clear from the get-go exactly what users can do on your web page.
#2 Include Numbers
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably noticed the fact that I’ve wrapped actionable ideas for writing headlines up into 5 digestible tips by the fact that I included a number in the title: were you tempted?
Including numbers shows that you’ve spent time eliminating a lot of waffle to arrive at a list or final conclusion. For example, ‘76% Of All Headlines Don’t Use Numbers’ shows that research has been done, and a conclusion has been arrived at.
#3 Bigger Is Not Better!
People just don’t have the time or patience to read long headlines. Try to make it concise and within the 60 characters allowed by Google for search result listings (don’t forget to allow for your website’s name in the title also!).
#4 Include Dates
One of Google’s known ranking factors is what we call ‘content freshness’ – basically, the most up-to-date content is more likely to rank higher in the results. Including a date in the title can help tempt searchers looking for the most up-to-date content.
For example, if Jessica searches for ‘fashion trends 2017’, an article with the title ‘See The Latest Fashion Trends of 2017’ – This is instantly eye-grabbing, relevant, and contains a call-to-action.
#5 Do Your Research!
While content quality and relevancy are among the most important ranking factors, keyword research is still relevant. Be sure to include the keywords you used in your article in your title. For example, in the fashion trends example from the tip #4 the words ‘fashion trends’ and ‘2017’ are used in the title; exactly what Jessica was looking for, thus making it highly relevant to her search.
Not all of these tips should be used in conjunction with each other: An article probably won’t need a ‘Read More’ in the title, but product/category pages may benefit from having ‘Buy ___ Online’. SEO and digital marketing in general always stem from the user’s intent. Step into your customer’s shoes and ask yourself what you’d want to see if you were them. A useful way to see if changing the page’s title was a good idea is to look at click-through rates and compare the different before and after you altered the headline.