It’s no news that the easiest way to get more traffic to your blog posts is to write better headlines.
Eight out of ten website visitors will only see your headlines and nothing else. Only two of those ten will read your article, according to Copyblogger.
So your best chance to attract attention in a crowded online world where two million blog posts come out every day (see infographic) is to write awesome headlines that appeal to the emotions.
What makes a great headline?
The British tabloid press has understood for a long time that you need to create emotional tension to get the attention of readers. Just take a few recent examples from Flickr photos:
- Horror in Garden Hot Tub
- Edinburgh: 3 Hurt as Fridges Explode
- Elvis Fan Jailed for Cruelty to Pigs
Garbagy headlines, whether in print or online at such sites as Buzzfeed or Gawker, should make a writer with any self-respect blush. But serious bloggers on business sites can still learn a lot from headline writers who’ve proven that they know how to get readers.
In the long term, you can certainly make a science out of it. And headline kings agree it’s worth the extra time to make your titles sing. Quicksprout suggests spending half the amount of time it took to create your content on writing a powerful headline. And according to CoSchedule,
Upworthy is no stranger to investing a lot of time into finding the perfect headline for their posts, often writing at least 25 headlines for every single thing they publish. To those guys, getting 500% more traffic by investing a bit more time into writing awesome headlines is worth the extra effort.
But for now, you can just start the easy way with three simple tips.
1. Make headlines short
Blog post titles tend to earn the highest number of click-throughs with this length:
- 55 characters
- 6 words
2. Use one of the top three headline structures
- Numbered lists (“7 worst mistakes that will kill your business”)
- How-to advice (“How to increase your revenue by 75%”)
- Questions (“Are you leaving money on the table?”)
3. Choose your words carefully
Along with any keyword dealing with the topic of your blog post, use words that are
- Uncommon (such as “actually,” “awesome,” “baby” or “beautiful”)
- Emotional (such as “bravery,” “spotlight” or “zinger”)
- Qualify as so-called “power words” (often phrases, such as “in the world” or “will make you”)
Get some help by testing your headlines on CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. That’s how I got the title for this piece up from an initial low score of 62 to a high of 80 in its current form. And maybe that helped you click on it?
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group