You can write the most comprehensive, engaging, and well-researched blog post but without a powerful headline, none of it will matter.
On average, 8 out of 10 people read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 read the rest, according to Copyblogger.
While that’s alarming to note, it also means that for your blog posts to be read, you need to write headlines that capture attention, attract clicks, and drive traffic.
What’s more, with the sheer deluge of content today, content creators need to create blog headlines that cut through that noise and appeal to readers, compelling them to click and read your content.
Let’s take a look at six proven tactics to help you craft powerful and clickable blog headlines.
Being 50-80 characters in length, you might think blog headlines will take the least of your time but that’s far from the truth.
They aren’t something you could quickly write up and move on to the rest of the article. They demand time, attention, and research.
An important blogging tip to consider is drafting your headline at least 11-19 times. Studies suggest that bloggers who draft several headline options are more likely to succeed.
It’s a good idea to work on your blog headline after writing the entire article. This way, you are in a better position to craft appropriate headline options, review the different variations, and choose one that is best suited for the article.
For instance, Upworthy drafts 25 headlines for every post. They say, “We obsess over headlines because we want our content to go viral — and writing a brilliant headline is the easiest way to make that happen.”
“What’s in it for me?” — that’s a question your target audience will be asking and you should too while crafting a headline for your blog post.
It’s well-established that every person online is looking for answers to their questions or a solution to their problem. Why not demonstrate the usefulness of your article through the blog headline?
Create a headline that reflects the value of the article, compelling people to click and know more. Use it to capture their attention and let them know why reading the article is worth their time.
Take a look at this headline example by Shopify. It’s simple and communicates what readers can expect from the article — finding your first profitable product to sell online.
Another way to offer value and make your headline appeal to readers is by being specific.
Take a look at these two headlines:
- How to Increase Organic Reach
- Increase Organic Reach on Facebook: 7 Tactics that Work in 2020
Which one are you more likely to click? It’s probably going to be the latter.
That’s because it’s more specific and stands out to readers who want to know about increasing organic reach on Facebook.
Be sure to narrow down your headline and add details, making it as specific as possible to get people to click on the blog post.
Here’s an example of a specific blog headline. It tells you that in addition to learning about what is an infographic, readers can also expect to find examples, templates, and design tips.
Emotion has been a powerful content marketing tool for years together and the same holds when you apply it to blog headlines.
According to a study by the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow, there are four “basic” emotions:
- Afraid or surprised
- Angry or disgusted
When you use words in your headline to tap into any of these emotions, you are more likely to incite action in readers such as encouraging clicks, views, or even shares.
For instance, look at this headline. It uses words such as “warning signs” and “shouldn’t ignore” to instill fear in people and makes them want to know more.
And then there’s this article that creates intrigue and leaves you curious, tapping into the ‘surprise’ emotion.
Entrepreneur Mike Hamers says numbers are brain candy. He says, “Our brains are attracted to numbers because they automatically organize information into a logical order.”
This explains why numbers and data are so effective in capturing attention and generating interest in readers. They create a sense of predictability, tell people exactly what to expect, and add a sense of structure which aids readability.
Look at this powerful headline by Buffer. They’ve tactfully included data in their headline (241% in 8 months) which instantly hooks the reader and makes them want to read how they managed to achieve this.
According to an Outbrain study, headlines containing negative superlatives (“never” or “worst”) performed 30% better than headlines with positive superlatives.
This proves that people are more attracted to negative headlines because they grab attention, evoke curiosity, and generate interest. So, the next time you’re crafting a blog headline, try telling people what not to do instead of the usual straightforward article.
Look at this negative headline example by HubSpot. It makes you wonder if you’re making any of those sales closing mistakes, doesn’t it?
“When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar,” said David Ogilvy, emphasizing the importance of headlines.
So, consider these six tactics and craft the right blog headline that does justice to your article and successfully attracts clicks, and drives traffic.
Remember: you get one chance to make a first impression and a powerful blog headline can help you achieve that.