Headlines are an important part of the content that you create. A good headline will improve click-through rates ensuring that more of your audience gets the benefit of your content. A bad headline may distract your audience and cause them not to click through, or worse, click through and then leave without using your content.
- Keep it Simple – Headlines don’t need to be complicated. The most direct and simple headlines that you can create will usually perform better than trying to think outside the box too much. Strong, descriptive, verbs and words will improve clicks exponentially.
- Don’t Be Too Clever – A good headline should match what’s inside the article. You don’t want people to just click and not read past the first paragraph, right? Therefore, don’t try to be tricky or use puns unless it makes sense for the article. The more straightforward you are in your headline the better. After all, the content you’re creating is for your target market and they want to read your information.
- Use Active Voice – When you use active voice in a headline it will help your audience feel active and encourage them to act. Active headlines will get more attention and clicks. The verbs give energy to the headline and when you choose a single action it’s a lot more direct, descriptive and effective.
- Capitalize Appropriately – Proper nouns should be capitalized, anything after a colon unless it’s only one word. It’s best not to capitalize every word because you want to break up the view for the reader. However, if it’s proper for every word to be capitalized then that’s okay.
- Use Numbers – Don’t spell out the number in a headline even though it is less than ten, use the symbol for the number. The number looks better online than words because it helps break it up in the viewer’s mind. If you can, put it first in the headline. If you have data as well, you want to try to compose a headline mentioning that data.
- Watch the Length – Depending on where the headline is going to go, watch the length. What will the search result look like? What will it look like in an email? What is picked up in shares? All of that is important to check. You can check some of this by using a plugin for your self-hosted WordPress website like Yoast SEO. (https://yoast.com/)
- What’s Inside? – Stating what’s in the article such as tips, reasons, lessons, facts and so forth can also help your headline become more productive. This way you don’t lead them astray. They know what they are getting. Example: 7 Tips to Write Blog Headlines Expertly.
Creating attention-grabbing headlines for your content takes a little practice. But realize that you can adjust titles after you’ve finished the article. Starting with a title to help guide your content and then changing it to make it more SEO friendly later is the best course of action. Because once the article is written and edited you’ll have a clearer picture of what the content will mean to the reader which will enable you to create a better headline.
Over the next 30 days, we will be talking exclusively about quarterly planning to maximize your productivity by learning the core values and habits needed for success.
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