It`s so important to team up great content with great titles, yet so many people fail abysmally at the latter.
Great headlines inspire great content so it`s a knock-on effect; your headline is a promise to prospective readers. Its job is to clearly communicate the benefit that you will deliver to the reader in exchange for their valuable time.
Understanding what type of headline is appropriate to a specific context is the key to writing captivating post titles that will get your writing read.
Your headline is the first impression you make on a potential reader. Without a headline or post title that turns a “scanner” into a reader, the rest of your words are meaningless. More often than not, the reader will scan the headlines, and if something interests them, they will click on it and read it. If something really, really interests them, they will jump on that blog.
Ultimately that is what you want…
It`s critical to understand your target audience; the title needs to be focused and concise. Titles can be proven to work and its very import that you acknowledge those that are working and why they are as this will inspire you to churn out more Killer Titles.
Brian Clark from Copyblogger regularly posts insightful articles on how to write great headlines like a copywriter. He advises that inspiration comes from anywhere, magazines, books, TV, and even journals that consist of nothing more than collections of headlines proven to work.
These collections alone can prove invaluable especially when you are starting out. Brian calls these collections “swipe files”.
Credibility is of utmost importance, the use of the word “some,” and having “almost”, removing the “always” make the headline so much more plausible and real.
Questions also work well, by making a strong statement that clearly demonstrates that the detailed answer will be provided in the body content. And of course a carefully worded question can draw in your intended readers as well.
The twist comes in when you start considering SEO.Its unfortunate that headlines that work best for direct marketing or link baiting often are not the ones that work best for search engines.
With search, you generally need to target a keyphrase, have it appear early in your headline, phrased exactly as you would expect someone to search for it. It can be a bit of a balancing act to get them to work together.
Sometimes it may be best to go with the title that will bring you the most readers and links, and perhaps sacrifice that keyword-optimized title.