The Importance of Headlines and 3 Tips to Improve Them
Headlines are the most important part of any blog post. With so many blogs to choose from, how will your blog stand out? According to Copyblogger, 80% of your visitors will read your headline, but only 20% of them will read the rest of the article.
The importance of headlines is not just for small businesses; even Google looks at them before ranking your website. This means that you need to take extra care when writing them in order to increase traffic and rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
So we're here to talk about the importance of headlines and a couple of tips to help you improve them! Let's get started.
Why Are Headlines Important?
You want to get the most out of your blog posts, we all do. The best way you can do this is by making sure that people are actually reading them!
Headlines are the first thing people see when scrolling through their newsfeed, Google, and your website. So if you want to get more traffic, then writing them correctly will increase your chances tenfold! As we mentioned before, only 20% of people that see your headline will click to read on it. So you need to make people want to see what you have to say!
Another reason why headlines are important is because it one of the ways that Google knows what your article is about; which can help to improve your SEO rankings. But this means that you need to make sure that your headline matches up with the content within your post or else search engines will learn that it's low-quality content and won't rank you in search results.
How to Write Headlines for Small Businesses
Now that you know why headlines are important, you definitely want to make sure your content is up to snuff. It can be hard for people to click on something if the title isn't catchy enough or relevant to their interests, not to mention the psychology behind it all! (We'll get to that in a minute)
There are a few things writers like us do in order to get more clicks and stand out from the crowd! Here's how we write amazing blog post titles.
Tip #1: Use Numbers and Data
Numbers and data are a great way to catch people's attention. People love facts! (Go back to the top of our headline, hint: we've got numbers in it). Side note: This should stop with just your headline, using it in your content is equally just as important, go check out our first paragraph in this article.
So if you have some interesting stats or numbers that go along with your topic, then definitely use them in order to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Numerous research studies have shown that headlines with numbers tend to generate more engagement and shares.
If you don't have any statistics or facts on hand, try looking up what other writers choose as their most popular post topics. Use those headlines for inspiration! But make sure they're still relevant to your blog otherwise Google and your readers won't like it.
According to Debra Jason, one of the reasons why using numbers in headlines works is that they are addicting. Our minds can't get enough of them and this helps to increase your clicks.
Use Odd Numbers
To continue our conversation about how important numbers are in your headlines, using odd over even numbers is also better for more engagement. According to the Content Marketing Institute, brains appear to trust odd numbers more than even ones. Odd numbers aid in the digestion and recall of information better.
Furthermore, when they tested their hypothesis and modified their headline to include the number 7, click-through rates rose by 20%.
Tip #2: Write for Unique Rationale
When you write your headlines, always remember to keep them unique. There are so many blogs out there and it can be hard for people to figure out which one will provide the most value.
The term “rationale” simply means "a reason for something to be done." Do you have a decent explanation for why your material should be read?
A great way to do this is by talking about something that hasn't been said yet instead of recycling old information. Or if you really want to talk about a popular topic, then try giving your opinion on it or add a new spin in order to make it stand out from the rest!
We need to make sure that our headlines appeal to people who will read our content if we want them to share it. Give individuals a powerful incentive for clicking, reading, and most importantly, sharing your material in order to avoid spending time on it. A statistic shows that 59% of people will share content without even reading it first based just on the headline! Yes, you read that right.
Tip #3: Get Their Attention
The attention span of the typical person has shrunk to between 12 and 8 seconds. So you only have a few moments to really catch their attention before losing them altogether.
You must persuade your consumers and prospect to continue reading. The headline may help you create that momentum. We all want to increase sales, traffic, SEO ranking, ext, but it all starts with an eye-catching headline. SO TRY focusing on using headlines to get people to JUST read the first sentence.
You can boost your headlines by using four U's
Let's talk about each one real fast.
1. Unique Headlines
Stand apart from the rest. It's a different take on an old topic, but in a way that people can relate to and find appealing.
Once you've come up with an idea, simply plug it into Google and enclose the headline in double quotation marks to see if anyone has used that exact headline before. If not, consider using it!
2. Ultra-Specific Headlines
Give your headline a very specific purpose. What is the goal that you want to accomplish?
For example, “How I got 1000 Twitter Followers in One Month” when compared with "Achieve Massive Growth on Social Media" will make people think about clicking and reading it more because they know exactly what will be covered after reading this title!
Your prospects are inquisitive, and they want answers. You can convert them into devoted readers and clients if you can offer them with an extremely precise headline along with the answer to their queries.
3. Urgent Headlines
Urgency is an effective way to increase your chances of getting clicked on and read. You can do this by creating a sense that time is running out or something bad will happen if they don't take action right away, such as “this offer ends tonight” or "50% off for the next 24 hours only!" This will get people's attention because there might not be another chance so they better click quickly!
If you don't inject urgency into your headline, readers are likely to put off reading your content or bookmark it and never return to it. The objective of the is to get people to click on your headline right now.
4. Useful Headlines
A useful headline is one that directly addresses the pain points of your audience and their questions.
The more you can prove to them how they will benefit from reading your material, or even just clicking on it, then the better! It's all about being able to pinpoint what kind of information people are looking for and giving it to them right away instead of beating around the bush by using empty phrases like "improve productivity" or “increase sales” - which tells us nothing about why we should read it... so let's stop doing that okay?
Remember that no matter how much urgency you use, your headline and content will fail if they aren't useful. In fact, there is no way to produce a unique and informative piece of writing without it also being helpful.
Last Tips to Improve Your Headlines
Now that you know why headlines are important and how to write them, let's go over a few more tips on writing better ones.
State the obvious: like stupid obvious, you don't want your reader second-guessing the content
Use Interesting Adjectives: This can make them more attractive and give your article a little boost
Personalize with "YOU": Using the word YOU can help to make it about the reader.
Use Emotions: We're emotional people, which can give a headline power by utilizing it!
Use a Formula: A map that will guide you through crafting the perfect headline every time. (Here is one you can use, A. Identify a problem. B. Offer a solution. C. Show that solution and its benefits.
Writing Headlines for Small Businesses
Now that you've made it this far, you know the importance of headlines and how they can help your small business grow.
Use all the tips we talked about in this article and don't forget to use these four U's when writing new titles for your content: unique, ultra-specific, urgent, and useful. If possible try using all of them in the same title - it will make it stand out even more from others!
Your readers are sure to appreciate all of the effort you put into making each post interesting and valuable. They want what YOU have... so give it to them by giving yourself an advantage through strong headlines right away!
If you have questions about what we talked about today or looking for help with SEO for small businesses, send us a message. We're here to help!