A catchy headline can do wonders for developing a blog post. After all, it’s what most of your readers are going to see first. It needs to be something that can engage your audience right off the bat. It also needs to briefly describe what the post is about. Otherwise, the post could record more bounces than you’d like. So, what can you do to write a headline that captures a reader’s attention?
5 Ways to Engage Visitors From a Catchy Headline
It can be difficult to determine exactly what will work the best for you. Every blog and writer are different. What works for one person may not be all that good for another. For instance, statistics show blog posts that are more than 3,000 words get shared nearly twice as much as those under 1,000. However, the most popular article created on my health site is less than 1,500. What this boils down to is that there are many variables that will affect how people see your content.
Although every site and author are different, there are some things that remain true. Thanks to trial and error by other people, we now have a base-line for what Internet users are looking for in a catchy headline.
1. “How To” Titled Pieces
Instructional material plays great on the Internet because people genuinely want to learn more. This is especially true if it involves a unique solution to a common problem. Sites that include do-it-yourself projects perform exceptionally well because it teaches the reader something while helping him or her save money. For instance, a post titled, “How to Build Your Own Swimming Pool” would perform well if properly constructed.
Creating “How To” content can also denote a sense of expertise and professionalism. This could help yourself or your brand build authority within the industry. It can directly affect the online reputation and turn casual readers into fans. Of course, this is greatly dependent on how you structure the overall piece.
2. Address the Reader Directly
Addressing the reader is probably one of the most effective ways I have developed content in the past. This can also be directly connected to a review of a particular product or service. For instance, “Why You Want to Use Emerge Body Slenderizing Drink Mix” connects directly to the reader. It’s also important to note that reviews of any kind are also some of the most effective pieces of content on the Internet.
Side note: Did you know more than 80% of online consumers will research goods online before making a purchase? This is one of the reasons why reviews are so potent online. People want to know what they’re in for before spending money.
Addressing the reader is quite easy when titling your blog post. In the earlier example, you see that I connected with the person by using, “you.” Many experts believe that writing in second or even first person is very effective at engaging the audience. It denotes a sense of urgency and piques the interest of the reader. It offers familiarity which resonates within visitors on a deeper level.
3. Numbered Headlines
Out of all the content you can create, a numbered list is an effective catchy headline. People are fueled by numbers and are eager to learn what those numbers mean. For instance, “5 Ways to Engage Visitors From a Catchy Headline” is considered a numbered list. However, I didn’t use this as my headline. It’s a subheading, which still makes it effective.
Out of the many blogs I’ve helped developed, numbered lists are among the most accessed. However, those with colorful adjectives in the headline are often the most potent. An example of this would be the difference between:
- 9 Ways to Install a Kitchen Sink – and
- 9 Easy Ways to Install a Kitchen Sink for Less
Which of these two would grab your attention more? Both are delivering the exact same content, but the catchy headline of the second may perform better from the perspective of the audience.
4. Answering Questions
Answering questions in a headline works very well, according to my experience. In fact, at least 3-out-of-10 top posts in any given week are questions on my health website. This is in part due to how people address search engines. The blog post, “Can You Lose Weight Eating Nothing But Progresso Soup?” is a viable question from many. It also hints that there is an answer lying within the text that prompts people to click from search engines.
This is kind of along the same lines as “How To” content. People like to learn and want to know the answers to their questions. If you have the answer they’re looking for, you’re already half-way to keeping their attention throughout the article.
5. Keeping it Short and Sweet
You don’t want headlines to be too large. In fact, a common search engine optimization tactic is to keep the headline less than 65 characters. It allows for the whole title to be displayed in search engines and is found to be a general rule of thumb for many. Coincidentally, I’ve experienced how article titles with less than 65 characters perform far better than those with longer ones.
It is possible to create a catchy headline when you’re restricted to 65 characters. This just means you need to use different words when trying to get your point across. You want the headline of your blog post to be easily recognizable within the search engine. Otherwise, you could be sending traffic to competing sites.
Although there is nothing wrong with simply creating titles for your blogs without these suggestions, you may still want to rethink the strategy to include them. According to studies, people are twice more likely to visit a site with a number list than with a normal title. Think of the headline as like your introduction to a first impression. It’s what most people are going to see before even visiting your blog. A catchy headline can mean the difference between a click-through to yours or your competitor’s website.