Are you a reader or a skimmer? We’re going to guess you’re a skimmer. After all, in a world overrun with information, who has time to dissect every detail?
But what if you need your clients or potential clients to read? You’ve written a blog or published an article and the information you’ve included would actually help them, but alas, they don’t think it’s worth their time.
There’s one way you can increase the chances that people would actually read your content: your blog titles and article headlines should be both obvious and promise a pay off.
Vague or off-beat titles may be fun to write–and you may even call yourself clever for writing them–but those titles do not get clicked on. Headlines are read six times more than the article itself is. You have a split second to get your reader’s attention and about two seconds to keep that attention. You’ve got to give it your best shot.
With that being said, here are three tips to help you draw readers in with your headlines.
Tip #1: Keep Character Length to 70 or Fewer
Unless you’re trying to be funny and you know your audience will get the joke, don’t name your blog post like the new Kristen Bell show on Netflix. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here it is:
The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window
If you want a click-worthy headline, make it clear and easy to read in under two seconds, preferably 70 characters or less–unlike the above example.
Tip #2: Bait the Hook Early
Tell your readers the most important thing they need to know first. Not only does this help with SEO because the “bait”, or most important thing to your reader, is most likely a keyword, but it makes them want to read more.
Example: Which of these two titles would you click on?
Bad: Digital marketing practices are helpful to most businesses.
Good: 67% of businesses experience business growth using SEO.
While both statements are helpful, the second cuts to the proverbial chase more quickly and is therefore more effective.
Tip #3: Use Numbers, “W” Questions, or Reveal a Secret
Nobody wants to feel ignorant. Pull in your readers by using information that they want or would feel foolish not having.
This includes information that you can use to answer “W” questions, such as who, when, where, what, and why. It also includes numbers, as people tend to focus on what stands out in an article or title–aka numbers in a sea of text.
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Bonus Tip: Act Like You’re Writing to a Real Person
When writing content for clients or potential clients, write like you’re writing to a person.
Not to people. Not to search engines.
To one singular person.
It may feel weird at first, but the writing connects better with your audience when you act like you’re writing it to one person.
It takes a minute to get the hang of headline writing, but when you’re a small business owner, learning on the fly is what you do–you got this!
Find out more about how you can enhance your content marketing for the better by booking a free discovery call with GoBeyond SEO today.