Get a head start with a great headline
So, you’ve written your article. It’s thrilling. Maybe even ground-breaking. But without a great title to represent it, people are far less likely to read it.
So, how can you write a great headline that engages readers right from the start?
Leave headlines until last
Generally speaking, ignoring the fact you have to do something is a pretty strange way of getting it done. But instead of stressing about your catchy title from the beginning, start by simply noting a short topic sentence (sometimes called a ‘working title’) at the top of your piece. This is designed to help you, not engage your readers. Then, use it as a reminder of what you’re trying to achieve through the piece you’re writing.
For example, for this blog, my working title was ‘how to create a title that will grab their attention’. It’s a simple reminder of what this blog needs to say, which you can then focus on improving once you’ve finished the main body of the piece.
Grab some friends
It’s time to call in the reinforcements and have a collective thought shower. A useful way to go about it is to discuss the piece and have a think about key words; then throw about ideas, create a mind-map, doodle on your notepad, write a list, whatever works for you.
The aim of the game is to get as many catchy phrases and great words jotted down as possible. Best case scenario, you come out of the meeting with a catchy title. But more often than not, you’ve got plenty of material to work with to create one.
Keep it real
There are some practical considerations to consider before writing your headline. The first is to be accurate and keep it realistic. Respect your readers. If you lie to them or mislead them in the title, you’ll lose their trust.
Keep it short
- Concise and clear is important. Generally, six and eight words generates the best click-through.
- Use strong language.
- Include numbers and lists where possible.
- Try interesting adjectives.
- If you can, use a good pun.
- Try a little hyperbole (but remember not to stray from the truth).
- Use your title to solve a problem – i.e. ‘How to manage business accounts’.
Know your audience
You need to know what is likely to be compelling to your readers.
If you don’t intuitively know your audience, there are ways to get an insight. Google Analytics can reveal your best-performing pages and outline what your readers like. You can also track onsite queries and use Google AdWords Keywords to find out what terms are popular.
Whatever audience you’re trying to capture, find out what matters to them, and shape your title (and your writing) around that. It makes you part of their group, and many of us can’t resist an in-joke, so it’s a great way to get people clicking.
But be careful. You can easily get into a black hole of trying to make a bunch of keywords work as a title, and this can end up distracting from the flow of your writing. If you’ve got a catchy title, that follows the tips I’ve outlined above, don’t worry too much about trying to wrap it around a keyword generator.
Here at asabell, we specialise in creating content for our clients that captivates audiences and generates conversions. If you’d like to find out how we could you with your next B2B marketing campaign, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.