Ways to Turn Headlines into Site Readers
“Every headline needs to offer a promise that the body copy delivers on,” says Jeff Goins, bestselling author of five books. “They need to sound like amazing opportunities. Otherwise, they’re not much of a promise. The way to capture attention employs power words in your headline that gets the reader excited to read the whole article.”
I could not have said it better, and because I consider him one of the experts when it comes to writing blog and article headlines, I thought it best to start with his thoughts on headlines.
Now that we are aware of how important headlines are, here are some basic guidelines to make your headlines catch the attention of your readers – and even better – grab the attention of Google searchers:
Headlines should have no more than 60 characters. That includes spaces. The headline on this blog is 34 characters with spaces so you see, you can add quite a bit. But for the most part, shorter is better.
For Facebook posts, 90–character headlines are max, but once again, shorter is better. Tweets and retweets should be about 100 characters.
This is important. The first word in a headline or the first few words should include the keyword(s) of the entire blog. Again, check this blog’s keyword. It’s the first word you read.
Invariably, the keyword or key phrase are your most important headline words. This is especially true because so many people now read blogs and articles on their smartphones. It tells them instantly what this content is all about. The exception to this rule is when the title starts with phrases such as these:
- How to
- Five Ways to
- Best Way to
- Did You Know You Can Teach Your Cat to?
- Here’s the Best Way to
In such cases, start the headline with these phrases followed by the headline keywords or keyword phrase.
Numbers and Questions
Starting a headline with a number – “five ways to” – or a question – “did you know you can teach your cat to” – are eye catchers that soon collect content readers. These trigger curiosity and can prove very useful. Just make sure, once again, the keyword/key phrase is included.
Have Two Headlines
Most websites have a space for just one headline and then, directly below, the content of the article. That does not mean you cannot place a second headline right at the top of the content. Just make this second headline a bit more friendly and informal, and to be sure it gets search engine attention, make it H2 or H3 content. You can also add it in italics like the one below. This blog is an example.
We said that these are basic guidelines for headlines. To see more tips and suggestions that certainly go beyond the basics, visit: Copy blogger’s 52 Tips for How to Write Viral Posts.
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