Research shows that 80% of readers never make it past the headline. 8 out of 10 people will read the headline and only 2 will read the full article. You are losing 80% of your audience if your headlines are not inviting. The websites as Huffingtonpost, Buzzfeed, Upworthy have mastered the art of writing clickable headlines.
“There is something going on with headlines; they are way more important than they were for a while. If I can notice it, others far more invested would too.” Jay Rosen, NYU journalism professor.
CopyBlogger’s says that the sole purpose of every element of a great copy is to get the reader to read next sentence. And then sentence after that and so on.
Since writing a clickable headline is so important, how do we go about it and what type of headlines can get our blog post most clicks?
Let’s review type of headlines that work the best:
1, Ask a question
Questions evoke curiosity and us as humans are curious by nature. Our brains are wired to search for answers. Leverage this biological behavior to write headlines.
2, Make it time sensitive
We fight more to save something that to gain. It has been tested repeatedly that time sensitive offers entice clients to check out the offer. These headlines are very good when you are offering discounts, special offers etc. Fashion brands such as Gap, Levis use it very often to increase click thru rate.
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3, Use Listicles
Have you ever glanced at the cover of fashion magazines and noticed that they all have listicles? Listicles are headlines that have a list of something. eg: 5 ways to do this OR 10 mistakes you are making etc.
Listicles are extremely popular because they let the user know, what they will be getting from the article.
4, Create perception of Loss
We all want to avoid losses. So, if you can structure your headline in such a way that tells the reader that they will lose something if they don’t read the full post, it could lead to increase click thru rate.
The title can indicate a loss of hair, skin tone, mentality etc. depending on your target audience.
5, Guides & Tips
Most of us have the desire to improve ourselves. When you offer, readers Guides or Tips to improve their daily lives, they could be interested in it. Because now the post is offering them actionable tips that they can implement in their daily lives and get immediate results.
These guides can also be a great way to build your email list. You can offer a glimpse of the guide on the blog and then email user the full version after they give you their email address.
6, Social Proof
Provide social proof in your headline, if you can. People want to know how others think about your post or a product. If a post has data that shows how many other like your reader has benefited from it, the reader is much more likely to click and read about it.
Because as a reader, they want to know what others know, just in case they are missing out on something. And the data in the post must be valuable since others like them have benefitted from it.
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7, Best way to do something
These types of headlines are very popular because people are often searching for best way to do something. Your blog post’s title can indicate the best way to do certain things that your target audience needs.
8, What should you do
We all make mistakes and we also want to learn from other’s mistakes. If you can teach readers what they should do in certain scenarios that solve their problem, you can get them to read your post.
These type of headlines, tell the user what problem they might have and then offer the solution for it. In the example below, the post shows the user that they might have ‘oily skin’ and the post offers 16 tricks on what they should do.
9, Scientists say or Data states that…
The Internet is full of fake news, fake information. If you post headline can indicate that it is backed by a study done by credible scientists or universities, you can increase your click thru rate.
You can even quote a scientist in your headline if you like. I have used study done by Fashion psychologist from London School of Fashion for my blog post and it worked well.
10, X people do Y, so you should learn from it
This title appeals to our desire to learn and improve ourselves. We tend to look up to people who are successful and want to imitate what they are doing.
11, Mistakes you are making
These types of headlines trail back to our desire to stop making mistakes. You can tailor your headline to showcase mistakes users might be making and how to avoid them.
12, Comparison: X vs Y or Why X is better than Y
We all love comparisons, it’s engrained in our DNA. When we were kids, we were often compared with others in the class, with our cousins etc. As we grew up, we got into the habit of comparing different products, services to figure out which on is better.
Use this built-in habit to compare, in your blog headline.
13, Take this Quiz to find out who are you?
Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed sites use this in an excellent way to drive traffic. People love taking quizzes especially to compare them with celebrities and find out which celebrity they resonate with.
You can utilize this tendency to include quizzes in your blog headline.
14, Evoke emotion
By end of the day, we are emotional creatures. Blog headlines that evoke emotion within the reader can lead to more clicks. If headline triggers the emotion of love, hate, disgust, awe, shock etc. it can drive more traffic to your blog.
15, Click bait headlines
Click bait headlines exist to trick the user’s into clicking. I should warn that you should use these types of headlines with caution because if your post does not provide what the headline promises, it could turn users off.
I see these headlines on Facebook feed all the time. Most of the sites, use this to get people to click on them. The websites that want to make money on impression ads, use this the most. Because more impressions they get on their site, the more money they make.
If you are serious about blogging and want to establish credibility, use this with caution.
You can mix and match to create a headline that fits your blog post. You can use Infographic below from intnetworkplus to create your own blog headline.
How to pick which words to use in the blog headline?
Data gathered by writtent shows that following 12 words leads to more catchy headlines:
5, How to
7, You and Your
You can use various combinations of these headlines to see which one works best for your audience. Please don’t forget to A/B test to figure out the best ones for you.
If you have examples of additional blog headlines that have worked best for you, please do share in the comments.