Are you not able to draw the right kind of people towards your content?
Does your headline leave a dull impact on the readers?
Are you not getting great ideas for making great and killer headlines?
No tension, buddy.
In this article, I will clear your doubts by discussing the following topics:
- Some Interesting Statistics About Headlines.
- Why are Headlines Important?
- Seductive Approach for Writing Powerful Headlines.
- Two Free Awesome Tools for having Strong and Effective Headlines.
Let us understand the Importance of Headlines with my Personal Story:
One day, I had to visit my relative house. Firstly, there was no one of my age group. So, I was sitting there like a dumb person. I was not having any internet data card on my smartphone. On top of that, they were not having any WIFI connection.
What a deadly combination, isn’t?
As I didn’t have any other option, I saw some magazines from the side rack. I picked up a random magazine. It was related to Men’s health. I was reading only selected articles from that magazines.
Do you know the reason?
The left ones didn’t pass the ‘SEDUCTIVE’ Headlines’ Test ( I will come to this acronym later in the article)
From the index section of the magazine, I was selecting the articles with a catchy and powerful headlines only. The other articles didn’t have the right amount of appeal. They might be better than the selected articles. But, I was not interesting in reading these articles.
Now, this is the power of Strong and Catchy Headlines.
Consider the Following Statistics:
1) I have taken the stats for the highest and lowest numbers of posts in a particular month. In the month of October (2014) alone, more than 64 Million Posts were published.
Are you still rubbing your eyes by seeing the mind-boggling numbers?
This is the statistics of WordPress sites only. I can’t even imagine the numbers from other platforms. I need a water break to calm myself 😉
2) Copyblogger states: On an average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and this determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.
3) According to Okdork study, headlines with a higher EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) Score are more likely to be shared than the post with a lower EMV Score.
In their report, they found that posts with a high number of shares reached an EMV (We will discuss on EMV in our last section) Score of 30 or 40. This score was several points higher than posts with fewer shares.
4) Across a random sample of 2 billion page views generated by 580,000 articles on 2000 sites, ChartBeat Study found out that ‘One in every three visitors spend less than 15 seconds reading articles they land on’.
This means that you have so much less time to engage the readers. By having an effective headlines of on ‘Related Post’ or ‘Popular Post’ section, you can increase the page views and bounce rate of your site.
5) As you can see, the internet is flooded with the articles for writing a great headline. At last check, there were more than 51 million results in a Google search on “how to write a Headline”.
As you have a direct competition with various bloggers on the same topic, you need to seduce the readers with a great and killer headlines.
Why Headlines Are Important
David Ogilvy, the father of Advertising, famously said:
On the 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.
Digital News Report 2015 by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism finds that headlines are a stronger source of clicks for people consuming news via search than social media.
The chart from Marketing Land is based on the above report. Though the report talked about the news consumption habits of 20,000 people in 12 countries, this chart comes with information from the six countries.
Did you notice one important thing?
In all the six countries, more than 50% of People are clicking on the link with interesting headlines. They are not bothered whether the link is from trusted sites or not.
This shows the importance of Headlines.
In order to grab the attention and stand out from the crowd, you must craft strong headlines. They act as an entry door for your articles. If this door will remain closed, your article will not feel the digital footprints of the readers.
Headlines aren’t just an add-on to a keyword-loaded SEO maximized post. They are an integral part of the post by doing the work of telling search engines what the content is all about.
According to American Psychological Association article, we don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
In the blogging world, we don’t get a second chance to get clicks on the article. As the Internet market is crowded with lots of content, headlines frame the golden chance for grabbing the positive impression.
By making a unique, effective and powerful headlines, you can easily shift the mood of the readers towards your content. After clicking the headline, the half work is done. Now, you just have to show the caliber by your valuable content.
SEDUCTIVE Approach for Writing Powerful Headlines
After analyzing nearly 1 million Headlines, Garrett Moon, Founder at CoSchedule, came up with interesting results:
He went through a few common words and phrases used in headlines that were shared more than 1,000 times.
Headlines with ‘You/Your’ were the second popular word/phrases after the list post. Post which were using ‘I/Me’ were three times likely to be shared.
By using ‘you’ and ‘your’, you make a close bond directly with the readers. It makes them feel special. You are solving their issues by pointing them out.
Though the post is written for the large audience, this little trick creates a one-on-one interaction. It increases the chances of clicks and shares.
Let us understand the importance of Second Person by looking at two live examples.
In this post, the author is focusing on the group who are fired recently. A fired employee will definitely click the link. In spite of feeling depressed, he finds some ray of hope to come out of the messy situation as early as possible.
This article from Mary Jaksch utilizes the importance of Second Person in a different way. In the first example, the author was providing the solution by pointing the exact problem. In this post, Mary is also providing the solution. But, she engages the readers by taking a quiz.
Curiosity gap is the space between what we know and what we want or even need to know ~ Joanna Wiebe
Upworthy knows how to provide information in small yet interesting bits. It generates curiosity among the readers. As a result, they click the headlines to fill the information gap.
It is also possible to attract more traffic by instructing people to take the step. We can say, headlines turns out into a call to action. Here is the example:
Tim Ferris is an angel investor/advisor to big names (Uber, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and many more) and author of three New York bestsellers (including ‘The Four Hour Workweek’).
With this headline, he is creating a curiosity among the readers. He is calling everybody to share their story in his next book. Though the headline is short, the impact is very large.
You might be asking:
What if, I don’t have a big following like Tim.
In that case, you can opt for the second option:
This is a wonderful way to gain authority in your niche. They are niche specific and address the issues of the readers in a planned manner.
Gael, one of the founders of AuthorityHacker, explains the whole process of income generation by breaking it down in different components. He makes it look easy by revealing everything in a detailed manner.
These types of headlines act as a natural magnet.
They provide the assurance of earning money after reading the article. As a result, people click the link to gain the insights.
Apart from gaining authority in your field, you create a lovely bond with your readers by making case-studies.
Present your story with a unique spin. Sometimes, come out of the traditional trap of writing headlines. Inject your creativity by making a powerful title.
This is the headline of one of the blog post from my Personal Development Blog: Buddytation
Did you notice two things:
- I came up with a new term “Interchores”. It means to implement the Inner Chores (tasks) on a daily basis. It is a self-cleaning process in which we carve out a peaceful inner zone.
- I deliberately used the number ’69’ for this post. I am sure you can easily find out the connection between them. If you didn’t find the relation, just type ’69’ in google. You will get the answer.
Everyone has a unique story to share, isn’t?
Storytelling is a wonderful way to turn your one-time reader into long term follower.
Personal experience adds ups life to the words. People get more engaged by reading personal stories. They are not looking for theories only. They want the real impact of the story.
Ryan Biddulph, Founder of BloggingFromParadise, is an inspiration to many writers. Today, with his dedication and patience, he is the author of more than 90 E-Books.
Hats off to Shari Alyse, the co-founder of the Wellness Universe, for sharing such a topic with the world. It needs lots of courage to reveal such dark truths of life.
Do you know the best part?
Writing a unique headline is not a tough job. You just have to add personal feelings. Instead of finding the right keyword every time, give some unique touch to your readers.
Our personal stories always have a big lesson behind them. Never underestimate them.
Headlines must have the power to attract the attention by their unusual, extreme or prominent nature.
Outbrain came up with a striking study:
They overruled the popular belief by telling about the supremacy of negative superlative as compared to the positive superlatives.
Headlines with a neutral stand ( Neither containing positive nor negative superlatives) was compared with the headlines with positive superlatives and headlines with negative superlatives.
Negative Superlatives were 30% Better and Positive Superlatives were 29% Worse.
The most unusual output:
The average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives was a staggering 63% higher than that of their positive counterparts.
In order to have an effective headline, understand the current trend. If people are getting bored by the traditional headlines, serve them with a different twist.
According to a study by Emory University and Baylor College of Medicine researchers, brain like surprises. It finds unexpected pleasure more rewarding than expected ones.
What does it mean in the context of Headlines?
Surprise your readers with unusual headlines. Let us understand by going through two examples:
Ramsay Taplin, Founder of BlogTyrant, help readers in dominating their blog and niche. This headline is quite surprising, isn’t?
The above article from Psychology Today clearly adopts an untraditional approach. The author is talking about making a change by getting angry.
Make a solid promise to your readers. Always aim for delivering the content based on the commitment shown in your headlines.
Don’t waste the time of the readers. If they are showing some respect by reading your article, you must appreciate their kind efforts.
Never provide a post without any connection with the headline. You can fool them only once. Next time, they won’t entertain your post.
Here is the Cheat Sheet from Coschedule to write Headlines that Promise Results.
The readers are the backbone of your business. They determine whether you will climb the ladders of success or will fall down rapidly.
While writing the headlines, always keep your target audience in mind. You cannot impress everyone with a single post.
I got the lovely chance to read Don’s Guest post on Adrienne Smith’s Blog. The whole article was based on focusing all the attention from mass-media marketing to target marketing.
Here is some extract from this post:
He talks about the importance of converting traffics into prospects and customers. He asks the readers to follow a simple strategy:
One Article – One Person – One Problem – One Solution
In a similar manner, focus on your target audience by serving them a focused headline.
Kissmetrics states: According to the usability report, people not only scan body copy but headlines as well. They tend to take in only the first and last 3 words. This suggests the perfect length for a headline is 6 words.
What do you see in the above image?
First Headline doesn’t convey the proper information. As Google have a restriction of 70 characters, they replace the extra ones with dots.
The second Headline projects an ideal length. There is no confusion in the mind of the reader. He can easily judge the relevance of the article by reading the whole headline.
Outbrain analyzed 8 months worth of click-through data on over 100,000 English headlines for paid links that ran in Outbrain’s network.
For English language headlines, they discovered that the highest click-through rate is 61-100 characters. Anything above and below saw reduced click-through rate.
After reading your headline, People want to know the benefit of your article. If your headline doesn’t convey the right kind of information, readers will switch to other articles on the net.
‘Guide’ Headlines are capable of generating lot of clicks. When I entered the field of blogging, I was completely unaware of WordPress Platform.
Today, I am a proud owner of two blogs. This was not possible without the support of my virtual mentor: Harsh Agarwal.
His WordPress Guide is a power-packed article for the beginners. After reading this article, I came to know about his other valuable articles.
One headline created a chain of different articles. All these small things have a wonderful impact in the long-run.
This is another example of an informative post with a valuable headline. The title suggests lots of usefulness to the freelance writers. Sarah provides an awesome blueprint for launching a freelance business.
By combining the massive database of more than 1 million headlines, Coschedule came up with the following analytics.
Posts with higher emotional value were getting more shares as compared to posts with lower emotional value.
With more and more practice, you will develop writing more emotional headlines. Try writing 5-10 headline ideas for a particular post. After every try, you will come up with something stronger.
Do these things, before judging the emotional content:
- Place the target audience or customer in your mind.
- Understand the feeling of your headlines by becoming an observer only.
- Tap the immediate reaction after reading the headline.
If the headlines connect with you at a deeper level, choose it. Otherwise, keep working on different ideas.
Two Free Awesome Tools to Have Strong and Effective Headlines.
This tool is very effective in analyzing the strength of the headlines on the basis of four type of words:
- Common Words (How, To, Why)
- Uncommon Words ( Right, More, Beautiful)
- Emotional Words (Unique, Attractive, Valuable)
- Power Words (Powerful, Effective, Strong )
After entering your desired headline, click ‘Analyze Now’
For this post, I tried three headlines:
The First headline generated a score of 61
Second Headline generated a score of 69
Third and finalized headline generated a score of 73
Don’t waste your time in aiming to get a score in the region of 90-100. You will sharpen your skills with time.
Enter your desired headline in the text box. For this post, I entered ‘ How To Write Unique Headlines for Seducing Readers’. After this, select a category from the drop down menu. Then, press ‘Submit for Analysis’.
Higher emotional Marketing Value (EMV) invokes higher emotions of the clients. With better headlines, you develop the strong connection with the readers.
For the headline of this article, I got the score of 62.50%. As you can see in the above image, most of the headlines come in the range of 30-40%.
In addition to the EMV score, there are three types of emotions which are created in the customer’s mind by the headlines:
But, the site says: No group is ‘best’ or even better than any others. Each group appeals to different aspects of an individual, and each EMV impact group is suited to different types of people. Balancing your headlines between two EMV impact groups or balancing among all three of the EMV impact groups can bring more power to your headlines.
In the end. I want to leave you with six Important Questions for framing the Headlines by Clayton Makepeace in his EarlytoRise Article.
1. Does your headline offer the reader a reward for reading your sales copy?
2. What specifics could you add to make your headline more intriguing and believable?
3. Does your headline trigger a strong, actionable emotion the reader already has about the subject at hand?
4. Does your headline present a proposition that will instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?
5. Could your headline benefit from the inclusion of a proposed transaction?
6. Could you add an element of intrigue to drive the prospect into your opening copy?
Over to You Buddies
What proportion of time do you devote in planning your headlines?
How do you plan for writing the headlines?
Do you use any other tools for making a strong headlines?