If you’re reading this article, you probably know how important headlines are.
You’re darn right — captivating headlines can encourage your visitors to “read” your content.
According to David Ogilvy, the Father of Advertising, “On 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.”
He also said this:
To put that into perspective — when you haven’t done your headline right, you can be sure to lose 8 out of 10 visitors that land on your website to read your article.
And, that’s a lot of visitors to lose, given how hard it is to create content these days.
No wonder then why so many companies around the world invest in A/B testing to come up with the most effective headline.
How to Make Your Headline Irresistible
As a content marketer, you definitely want to make your headlines irresistible, allowing your content to live up its full potential.
Among all kinds of stuff we read on how to create epic content, headlines arguably merit a lot of attention. In fact, tons of articles have been devoted to just how to create eye-catching titles for the content we create on a daily basis, be it a drip campaign, newsletters, or a blog post.
But, to be honest, it all boils down to your creativity.
Nevertheless, here are three such tricks that help me write better headlines for my content pieces. At least, better than what I could possibly come across without following the template given below.
According to research conducted by Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, and current CEO of MobileMonkey and Brian Dean, founder of BackLinko, the following tricks are proven success with content marketing and PPC campaigns:
Use Words that Evoke Raw Emotions
One of the best ways to get your prospects to click on your headline is to use words that carry an emotional tone.
There’s something about the emotional hooks that draw people to click on the headlines like crazy.
Perhaps, they see immediate benefits.
Whatever it is, it’s definitely better than cold and dull headlines that get ignored all the time.
So, what exactly does an emotion-evoking headline look like?
Ordinary Headline: “Last Screen Breast Cancer: 10 Things You Need to Know”
Emotional Version: “With Late Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Survival Rate Falls to 22% — Get Screened Today”
There are different types of emotions you can employ in your headlines to make them work. Of course, it will vary depends on your industry and target audience.
No matter what your product is, you can you come always leverage a range of emotions to come up with the kind of headlines that click.
From inspiring hope to instilling fear to generating interest, your headlines can carry emotions to become irresistible.
Use Personas in Your Headlines
We’ve all heard how personas play a huge role in content marketing. Creating personas involve gathering demographic data about your prospects. The data helps us build content that resonates with our target audience.
Indeed, it’s an approach to making data driven decisions.
The good news is you can apply the same approach to optimize your headlines.
Write your headlines from the perspective one of the four personas:
Let’s see how an ordinary headline stacks up against its optimized version:
Ordinary Headline: “Husband Cheating: How to Find Out the Truth”
Personal-Focussed Headline: “Who’s Your Husband Sleeping with NOW? Get Revenge and a Smile on Your Face”
Use Numbers in Your Headline
Much like emotional hooks, you can also use a numbered list in your headlines to make the work.
According to research from Conductor, you can boost your CTR (Click Through Rate) by 36% simply by using numbers in your headline.
Conductor found the headlines that used a numbered list were clicked more often.
Let’s compare an ordinary headline to its optimized version:
Ordinary Headline: “How to Easily Improve Your Website Loading Speed”
Optimized Headline: “27 Hacks to Make Your Website Load Like Lightning”
The Most Proven Headline Template
So basically, when you put all the aforementioned tricks into one headline template, it looks something like this:
The template essentially offers insights into how you can make your headlines grab eyeballs.
For example, for this article, I can come up with a headline like this:
“4 Shockingly Easy Ways to Build Magnetic Headlines”
Follow this template and you can build definitely more enticing headlines moving forward.
3 Free Tools to Build Powerful Headlines
While building irresistible headlines is a matter of creativity, it still takes some practices.
The following tools will help you analyze your headlines and suggest ways to make them more attention-grabbing to your prospects.
Sharethrough: Sharethrough is a headline analyzer that is based on a multivariate linguistic algorithm.
Combining the principles of Behavior Model theory, Sharethrough’s neuroscience and advertising research, the headline analyzer tool offers your headline a score based on its potential performance.
The algorithm takes into account over 300 unique variables such as Natural Language Processing and EEG Data to help you optimize your headlines for stronger impression and higher engagement.
Blog Post Head Analyzer: The blog post headline analyzer by CoSchedule is one of the most popular tools, which evaluates your headlines based on their ability to generate readers’ engagement and social media tractions.
Moreover, the tool also lets you preview your headline in Google Search results and Email Subjects.
Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer: The EMV Headline Analyzer by Advanced Marketing Institute is a great tool evaluate your headline against the best headlines in the industry.
When I used EVM Headline Analyzer, I got the following results.
It evaluates your headlines based on how many EMV words it contains. By comparing your EMV score with that of the professional copywriters, you can get an idea of how captivating your headlines are.
Let’s face it — no matter how awesome your content is, it’s the title that creates the first impression. Be it Facebook, Twitter or Google SERPs, only an attractive title compels your prospects to click on the snippet and read further. Therefore, it makes loads of sense to take some time to build the title that your content deserves.
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter: @ugosus.