Your content should always be well written, unique and full of interesting information for readers. If you choose a lousy title or headline though, no matter how great the text is, you may not engage anyone to read it. Think of your content as the answer or promise to the title you choose. Your title is the star of the show and the content is the supporting actor. This is the mastery of a good article that will get plenty of readers.
To SEO or Not to SEO
This has been an argument between the lovers of organic content and those who feel strongly about keywords. Instead of going after popular keywords, it’s more advantageous to use niche phrases in your title. You may not get as much traffic but your competition is less and you target your audience more effectively. Part of the point is getting the right kind of readers. Whether you’re selling something or looking to have your articles shared, you want to reach “your people.” Niche phrases are specific so it actually allows you to make a great headline for the right people. You will likely write excellent content too with the inspiration of your killer headline. Keep in mind that Google’s mandate is to reflect what matter to people. This is their reasoning for using links and anchor text as a determinate of what is relevant. Work with those parameters and you’re golden.
The Power of the How-To Article
People are so busy and a quick how-to article online promises express knowledge of something you didn’t know how to do. For example, I was recently looking to fix a pair of my most favorite jeans. They had a huge rip but I refused to throw them away. I looked online to see how I could fix them and chose the easiest article I could because in my head, I wanted to learn in five minutes and have them fixed in 15 minutes. I expected a lot if you think about it but I don’t think I’m the exception. The dual benefit headline is a winner nearly every time such as “How to Save Money and Retire Rich.” I double benefitted with my title too, “How To Write An Incredible Title And Get Tons Of Traffic.”
List Posts Make Powerful Headlines a Breeze
You can use list posts, AKA – Listicles, to get your message across in a variety of ways. Here are some examples.
- “Do You Recognize These Early Signs of High Blood Pressure?” This headline shows readers that you know all about high blood pressure. People tend to like getting some warning on potential health problems.
- “Five Beauty Issues We’re All Familiar With.” The title in itself shows the writer understands the problem. This builds trust before the content has even been read. Once you’ve built the rapport, just determine the right solutions within the article and it’s likely to get a lot of shares.
The Three Basics
1. Compelling headlines have one thing in common and that is that they make intriguing promises that a specific target market can’t possibly resist. You have to understand your audience and take that knowledge to your title.
2. Studying headlines that have worked gives you great insight. A good go-to is direct response advertising headlines that have been proven to work. That proof is people responded to any given headline by making a purchase. Taking a look at top magazine headline writers will also give you an indication of what works. Tabloid headlines build their articles around an “eye-catching” title too.
3. It’s important to understand why a headline works as opposed to just copying the format. Make a choice based on what you want to communicate to your audience. This will help you figure out what type of headline structure to use. I will be giving out more useful information on title specifics in my next articles so watch out for them.