It’s a shame that writing great copy doesn’t necessarily translate to page views. In fact, writing great copy in and of itself will rarely take you far. If people aren’t "buying" the headline, they won’t click: You may have written War and Peace, but your copy will simply languish in digital purgatory, unless you give it a headline with a whole lot of bite.
Trust me: This is a problem that a lot of businesses face. About 70 percent of businesses that come to me are struggling with getting their websites read. And in most cases, the problem lies with how poorly crafted their headlines are.
If yours is one of these companies, don’t worry because I’ve included below a few short tips to get you started on writing great headlines. I always give these tips to clients, and as a result, they've improved their headlines and increased their chances of seeing a spike in click-through rates (CTR).
Here are the tips:
1. It’s a numbers game.
Using numbers in your headline isn’t a revolutionary idea, but is, without a doubt, worth mentioning. Numbers are rated as highly effective by seasoned marketers, in terms of drawing in readers. For example, I’m pretty sure that what led me to click the article I read a few minutes ago about neighborhoods in Honolulu was the headline: “Top 15 Upscale Neighborhoods in Honolulu.” Why: because it had a number in it that made the topic more descriptive.
Also, “Top” suggested that the site had listed nothing but the best neighborhoods. So, along with numbers, a punchy adjective will encourage readers to read a post.
2. Create a sense of mystery.
You need to make sure your readers can’t sleep at night without reading your articles. I don't write this to be mean. Stimulating your visitors’ curiosity is a powerful tool to increase your CTR because it compels visitors to investigate further. Here are some examples, just off the top of my head:
- "This One Marketing Method Shot Her Conversion Rate Off the Roof!"
- "You’ll Never Eat Ice Cream Again after Watching This"
3. State your reader's problem.
It doesn’t get more descriptive than that. We all know that when most people consume content, they do so in the hopes of getting their problems solved. In short, they have a problem, and they’re hoping to uncover the solution by reading a relevant article about it online.
The technique I'm describing has two elements: First, state the reader’s problem, then state the possible result, once it’s solved. The first element tells your readers off the bat whether your content is what they’re looking for. The second element tells them the positive outcome, and makes seeking the solution that much more necessary.
Here are some examples.
- "No Website Traffic? Triple Your Website Visitors Now Using These Easy-to-Use Techniques"
- "Not Enough Email Subscribers? These Time-Tested Strategies Will Double Your Sign-ups in 2 Months"
4. Take note of "the trifecta."
Easy. Simple. Free. The mental picture that these words creates is obvious: convenience. I think we can generalize, and say that everybody loves convenience. That explains, for instance, why there is a proliferation of apps for almost everything we can think of, and why the app-creation industry is in such a boom. Convenience enhances our lives because it gives us more time for other things.
As you may have noticed, this is a technique I used in my headline, “Easy-to-Use.” Couple that with a benefit that’s very specific (“Click on Your Headlines”), and you’ve got a winner. That you clicked on my headline is proof that the headline worked.
The trick to a powerful headline, then, is to engage the reader’s curiosity and to create a sense of convenience. It isn’t rocket science, which is precisely why you should be engineering your headlines with these tips, to win immediate increases in CTR.
Happy writing! If you have any tips of your own on how to craft the perfect headline, please share them below.