The power of the internet lies in its vastness in content and options. For consumers, it’s fantastic, but for businesses trying to reach them – not so much. Headlines are the deciding factor in whether you get a click. In fact, eight out of ten people will read your headline, but only two will read the body of the piece. Don’t be dissuaded though! This means you should really be putting some thought into your headlines. There are specific things you can keep in mind when creating a headline that readers are more drawn to.
Number or List Headlines – There are several classifications of headlines which we’ll explore, but having a headline with a number in it is key. For example, 5 Natural Ways to Keep Your Teeth Clean. Obviously you won’t want to have every Nashville blog headline fall into this category, but it has impressive click-through rates and is an easy go-to. There’s a reason why sites like BuzzFeed and magazines like Cosmo lean heavily on list headlines – it’s because they work universally, regardless of which platform you’re using.
Don’t get too creative – Don’t try to be too clever or ambiguous, thinking this will draw readers in. It doesn’t normally work. It’s important to be concise and honest in your headlines. You don’t want a reader leaving disappointed with the content because it wasn’t what they were expecting or didn’t properly fulfill what they were searching for.
Pictures – Including a thumbnail photo as part of your headline will increase your likelihood of getting read. We’re drawn to graphics with everything, which is why magazine ads and billboards don’t contain very much text. The same is true of the internet.
Address Your Nashville Reader – Adding a simple ‘you’ can go a long way with a headline. For example, changing a headline from ‘Ways to Improve A Golf Swing’ to ‘Ways You can Improve Your Golf Swing’ has a much higher success rate by directly addressing the reader and sounding less general.
Keywords – Your keywords are important but don’t obsess over it. You’ll only end up hurting yourself in the long run by focusing on these and generating a headline that doesn’t sound organic. Google is responsive and can pick up on synonyms and the gist of your content so long as you’re consistent.
Here is a quick overview of the most popular headline options.
- Benefit Headline – Focus on one benefit and create a headline around it – ‘How Gardening Can Improve Your Blood Pressure’.
- Question Headline – Every question has an answer, so by using this kind of headline you can help draw readers in. Try to keep it open-ended if you can – ‘Are You Having Trouble Sleeping at Night?’ vs ‘Why Let Insomnia Keep You Up at Night?’
- How-To Headline – These are an easy way fulfill a promise to a reader and set yourself up as an Nashville industry expert – ‘How to Save Money by Going Green’
- Direct Headline – This doesn’t necessarily include a call to action, but it has its time and place – ‘Drive Away in a New Car Today’ or ‘Ways to Clear Up Your Skin’
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