3 reasons why catchy headlines are as important as the content writing itself
A great headline will create any of these three feelings in your audience:-
You spent days crafting a perfect blog but no one is reading your post? Blame it on your headline. In 2018, your content writing skill is not enough, you need content headline mastery as well. So, how to write a captivating headline that will make users read your content. With my experience in digital marketing and blog writing, I will show you how it’s done and a whole lot more. Before I share the tips, I want to state that this works most of the times but there is more than one way to succeed.
Read on the important stuff.
1) A good headline is like a door to your content. Make it inviting
Like I mentioned in the beginning, a good headline should be able to connect with the audience instantly. Your content might be serving the user interest. But, if it does not contain an exciting enough heading, there are high chances that they will browse to other websites. How can you stop this from happening? Let’s understand with an example.
Suppose, if your audience is looking for top 10 deodorants under Rs 500, it is highly recommended you include this valuable information on the title itself. But, is it enough? What about generating curiosity? Here, I would encourage you to use the search term or the keyword (‘deodorant ‘will work in our example) in the headline itself. This will serve the purpose.
What does an exciting headline look like? The one that user exactly wants.
Another way to engage the audience is to shock your audience and give answers that satisfy them. This is achieved by providing something unbelievable to the audience. Let’s go back to the example of deodorant
If your target audience is searching for deodorants under Rs 500, imagine what a blog on deodorants below Rs 200 can do. Wouldn’t it be shocking and at the same satisfying the searcher query? Yes, it would. You can find more about the importance of searcher query and target audience on the AdEngage blog post: Content writing for SEO: 5 things you are ignoring in 2018.
Always remember your headline is the first impression to the user. An inviting & compelling headline is critical to bring traffic and engagement. A lot of research in understanding user interest will help in making good headlines.
2) Attention span has greatly reduced. That’s why headlines with relevant terms can make a difference
I have gone through a number of blogs with fascinating content. But, they have very less number of likes and shares. What’s the reason behind it? A closer look at the blogs gave me the impression that the content is missing the mark when it comes to attracting users with engaging headlines. Another fact is that our attention span has greatly reduced.
Studies have shown that our attention span has come down to 8 seconds. That’s too low, right? Content marketing people would agree with me. Even if it isn’t the case, we can agree to the fact that we are low on patience. A research was done by HubSpot which showed that 43% of readers skim through the content. I too skip through the page to find what I actually want to read. Don’t you do the same?
In 2018, I believe you have got very less time to engage the user. One right word in the headline can make a huge difference. Therefore, learn about the keywords your audience is searching for. When the user is browsing hundreds of pages on Google SERP’s, I am sure that headlines with right search terms are the winner.
These are some Headline Analyzer tools which tell how engaging your headlines are:-
- CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
- ShareThrough Headline Analyzer
- Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer
Use Hemmingway Editor & The Readability Test Tool to scan headlines. These tools will assist you to make your headline content and words more impactful.
3) Sub Headings: It’s not just about the headings anymore
After writing quite a number of blogs, I realized enticing headlines are not enough. Your content writing and content marketing strategy are incomplete without brainstorming the right sub-headings. Now why I say subheadings are equally important? As I mentioned before, lack of patience leads users to skim through the content and they end up reading only the sub-headings. So, if the user finds subtopics relevant, they will prefer more to read the whole content. We at AdEngage always structure our blogs with lots of subheadings which are useful to the user.
Here, I must reiterate that you should give enough time and thought to come up with remarkable subheadings. This will surely improve your blog readability and engagement.
I hope you are clear as to why a brilliant headline is a must for content writing & content marketing strategy. Now, if you are wondering how to make one successfully? Here are few headline tips you can’t afford to miss out.
Use these 3 important tips to create a winning headline:-
1) Include a number in the headline
I always recommend making life easy for your readers. What does that mean? Well, many times, a headline fails to convey what’s intended in the content body. Avoid writing such headlines which are click bait and too clichéd. It won’t work. The user expects to find what’s promised in the content. If they don’t, they might not return ever.
One of the smartest ways to engage an audience is to include numbers in the headline. For example:-
- 5 ways to select the best deodorants
- Make your perfume scent last long with these 7 tips
This helps the user to easily know what they can expect from the blog, the length and so on. If someone is looking for a list of top 15 trending summer perfumes, a blog post with a title containing the same will help.
After a lot of research and reading expert blogs, I would suggest using the following numbers for a great headline: 5, 10, 15, 7. The odd numbers are better and less than 20 is always recommended.
2) The right length that converts
How long your headline should be? Research suggests that the right length of a headline must be as follows:-
- Words: 16 – 18
- Characters: 90 – 99
It is often seen that the headlines with the above-mentioned limit often converts users to leads. This is indeed helpful information digital marketing experts & Search Engine Optimization specialists can take note off.
I highly recommend Charcounter tool to calculate words & characters in your headline.
3) Search Engine Optimization is equally important
I have always stressed the importance of Search Engine Optimization in content writing. This is because most of the content written on the web is lost due to lack of Search Engine Optimization best practices. Keeping right keywords in the headline is very essential to rank well on Google SERP’s. Also, as part of digital marketing strategy, I believe you must strike a right balance to optimize headlines for Google as well as for the audience.
I hope you understood how a great headline adds immense value to content writing. Also, I have shared 3 most important tips to write a powerful headline that can actually turn a visitor to the reader. For more interesting trends taking shape in the content world, keep following my blog at AdEngage.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much I enjoyed writing it, goodbye.
If you have more ideas on how to make wonderful headlines, feel free to write in the comments section.
An avid reader and writing enthusiast, Jobin crafts all types of content for digital platforms and others. When not writing, you will find him enjoying food, travelling or trying new things.