Last Updated on August 1, 2020
Pulling People From the SERP
Writing a good headline can make or break your blog posts. Your headlines appear on the search engine results page as adverts for your writing, either pulling people in or putting them off. So the minimal characters you’re allowed need to be used wisely to sell your content to as many readers as possible.Ready to Talk?
Follow these six steps to get more clicks on your content:
Get to the Point – Make your headlines direct and clear. Vague statements don’t bring clicks. You’ve got around 8 words to make an impact, so don’t waste them. You can tease the conclusion of an article to some extent (but be careful to avoid falling into the click bait trap here), but make it clear what the topic is.
Walk a Mile in Their Shoes – Changing the point of view of your title can give you a different approach. Often we will write about “Google’s Change to SEO Ranking” or something similar, but that title could easily be changed to “Changes to SEO Ranking Benefit Small Businesses”. This change of perspective puts our intended reader front of mind.
Add in Emotion – Does what you’re writing about inspire emotion? Is it Cool/ Sad/ Happy/ Boring/ Brilliant? If it is, say so. Emotion gets more clicks than anything else on social media, so express the emotion you feel about the article in the title to pull in more readers. As an aside, if the article doesn’t inspire any emotion in you, is it interesting enough to write about?
Question Words – When I was in my High School History class I was told to always remember the ‘question words’; Who, What, Where When, Why and How and I think about them when writing headlines now. If you’re stuck for something to write there will be an option you can think of with one of these 6 words at the front.
Don’t PUNish Your Readers – Puns are fun. But if you’re writing all day your mind will often wander off into its own little creative world where you’re Oscar Wilde and Jimmy Fallon combined. Avoid that little voice that tells you to stick a pun in the title. Inside jokes won’t bring in readers, and neither will showing off the thesaurus you swallowed. Save that for inside the article instead! Write the title for your reader, not for you.
Rewrite it – Like with any other aspect of writing, the gold is in the rewrite. Write your title down, then try to make it more snappy. Are there any words you can remove or contract? Making it short and sweet gives you more space and also makes the title more appealing.
Head to the Top With Your Headlines
Do you have any other tactics you use when writing headlines for your articles? Always write the headlines last? Always include a number? We’d love to hear how you get your articles read!