You see when you finally get ranked on the first page in Google search results you still have one more hurdle to clear.
Yes, your headline needs to grab the attention of your potential readers. It seems like an obvious statement now, but are you creating clickable post headlines for the future?
The experts suggest you should be spending as much time on your headline as you do the blog post, why? Because unless your headline is attention grabbing, what you write in the blog post is pointless.
No click = No readers
Let’s look at INC.com which is a highly successful website enjoying a few million views per month.
Now they didn’t get that good by accident. Sure Inc.com are prolific publishers of content but that’s only part of the story. The most important part is people are clicking thru because of their catchy headlines and it’s only then the content makes the readers want to share it.
Traffic = Headline + Content
Now if you’ve got great content but your headlines suck, then forget enjoying that passing traffic. But what is a good headline?
Let’s take another look at INC.com and some headlines they published to twitter within a 2hr window.
Great Twitter Headlines
7 Places You Can Learn To Speak Another Language for Free – Which places?
Employees Say These Are the Worst Things About Working for Google – What are the employees saying?
How 10 Millionaires Got Their Start – Who doesn’t want to learn how to become a millionaire.
6 really good reasons you should never be late again – Yes they are ‘really good’ reasons.
How to quietly and rapidly innovate like Amazon – Or how to innovate like a ninja.
The Smartest Entrepreneurs Are Listening to These 10 Podcasts – Which podcasts?
Study: Millennials are the most brand-loyal generation – It’s a study so must be real, right?
The One Word You Should Never Use To Start An Email – Ok, which word because I start emails all the time?
Those are some really impressive headlines from INC.com and what amazed me was they just kept on coming. One after another, after another, after another. So what are some of the headline tricks they use?
Headline Tricks Breakdown
‘7 places‘ – Numbers make the reader feel more organized, odd numbers are more intriguing than even ones and large number make the reader feel it’s an exhaustive list.
‘worst things about Google‘ – Worst is more interesting if it’s happening to someone else.
‘the Smartest Entrepreneurs’ – Who are these people and what makes them smarter than us?
‘quietly and rapidly‘ – Contrasting words gives the heading more energy and interest.
‘one word you should never use‘ – Makes you want to know what it is so you can be smarter than your friends.
But hey don’t take my word for it, let’s look at the most popular pieces of content for INC.com and the headlines they used. It’s no coincidence the most popular posts are lists and the only one in the top 5 that wasn’t only got there because of the 161,000 Facebook shares it received.
How to create a better headline?
Well you can use a Content Idea Generator like the awesome one at Portent but although it’s great for brainstorming, it has it’s limitations and you won’t catch a real copywriter using one of these.
More likely they’d be using the more sedated Headline Analyzer at the Advanced Marketing Institute. This is the one professional copywriters use and recommend and it’s the one that keeps me on track with my headlines.
To use it, you simply type in your headline, select the target audience and click submit. The Analyzer then looks at your headline and gives it an Emotional Marketing Value percentage score with 30% being the pass mark.
It’ll also indicate which emotion the headline is likely to invoke in your readers mind with the choices being; Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual.
I ran it over one of those earlier headlines and not surprisingly it had above average results. Try it on some of your own headlines to see how you rate.
A Blog Headline Case Study:
Yesterday I posted a new article on my blog titled ‘How to easily create a favicon for your blog‘, but this wasn’t the headline I started with.
You see when I tested the original headline ‘How to create a favicon and add it to your Blog’ it wasn’t producing the results I was hoping for.
But that wasn’t where I actually started. Here are the steps I took to create that headline:-
Define your topic
I regularly see new bloggers getting started with Bluehost and they still have the ugly default icon in the browser tab. This is called a favicon and its obvious to me people need a little help replacing it because it’s not obvious how to do this.
Find a suitable keyword or phrase
So now I have a topic in mind it’s time to find a suitable keyword to target. I’ve blogged about the importance of using keywords in content to improve your organic traffic so I’m not going over that again, but I found the phrase ‘Create a favicon’ had 1,600 global searches so that was a good place to start.
Create a new headline
Next, it was time to put the thinking cap on and try out a few ideas using the AMI Headline Analyzer I revealed to you. Some people prefer to create the headline last, but I find it helps to guide me in the right direction, so I like to create it first. However, it might change as you’ll see later.
So I decided on “How to create a favicon and add it to your Blog” which gave me a 27.27% EMV Score.
Find a better one
I usually try for a minimum 30% but are ecstatic when I hit 50% like this post’s headline. The key is to try and try again and over time you just start to understand what is going to work and what doesn’t.
Now a small change made a solid improvement at 33.33% and finally meet my criteria.
The blog headline final results:
There is one more thing to consider when creating powerful blog headlines and that’s considering the headlines emotion classification. In the first example, it was predominately Spiritual, whereas the second example was Intellectual which is actually a better fit for a ‘How To’ blog post. Happy Days!
Hopefully, you’ve learned a little more about improving the quality of your blog headlines to capture the attention of those people passing by, and if you’re serious about getting organic traffic to your blog you must use a keyword research tool so you are targetting the right search terms all the time.
Did that answer you question today?
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