David Ogilvy, who is now known as the Father of Advertising, was one of the best copywriters who ever lived. And what did he have to say about the importance of headlines?
On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
Therefore, we can say that the most important part of your blog post is your title. If you don’t grab your reader’s attention with the title and get them to actually read the post, nothing you put inside the post (or article) matters. It doesn’t matter how great and helpful your content is. It doesn’t matter what offers or affiliate links you have in your post and it doesn’t matter who sponsored you to write it. If you can’t get them to read it, the blog post doesn’t do you much good. Period.
And when it comes to getting free search engine traffic, your title is important as well. It is the most important factor when it comes to getting your content to rank. Yes, there are plenty of other factors, but a good title with the right keywords in it will do more good than anything else you do.
How do you go about writing a good, attention-grabbing blog post title then? I suggest you start with a working title for your post and craft your content. Then come back and work on the finalized headline, implementing as many of the tips below as you can.
Make it Interesting and Tell The Truth
You want to write an attention-grabbing headline. With that comes the temptation to hype it up and stretch the truth just a little bit. While that may get you some extra clicks, there’s a trade-off. You’ll lose credibility if you’re exaggerating or telling little (or big) white lies. You see a lot of those headlines on social media. You click through and end up disappointed because the post doesn’t fulfill what the title promised.
Instead, make it interesting without all the hype and stick to the truth. A great way to do that is to think about what’s in it for your readers.
Keep It Short and Engaging
Shorter titles tend to do better both with click-throughs on your blog and social media. Keep it short and to the point and think about engagement straight from the title of your post. Ask your readers a question. Make a statement that makes them think. Put numbers in your titles to get them thinking about what’s in the content (i.e. My 5 Best Tips To …)
Keep an eye out for titles that catch your attention. Copy and paste them into a swipe file and see how you can tweak them for your own needs and market.
Work In Your Keywords
Last but not least, don’t forget to work your keywords into the title. I tend to do this last. Always write for your readers first and then work in what you need to do to make sure the search engines recognize what your content is about.
Ranking well for something your readers don’t want to read or don’t want to click on doesn’t do you much good. Focus on your audience and then optimize for search as an afterthought and you’ll do well.
Implement these tips and get a few blog posts out there. Pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. Each market, each blog, and each readership is different. Use these tips as guidelines to help you find your own style that resonates well with your audience and gets you the results you want.
There are some online tools to help you with writing better headlines. Some of them include:
- Sharethrough Headline Analyzer
- AM Institutes Headline Generator
- Sumo Kickass Headline Generator – a cool tool that actually helps BUILD you a headline
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer– it may ask you to opt-in
Good luck with writing your headlines! Let me know how you come up with yours! Drop a comment below.