Post Synopsis: What draws you to a blog post or a newspaper article? It’s the headline. Every potential visitor may not click through to your article but they will for sure read your article headline to make that decision. But what makes a headline stick? This post explores five headline formulas to drive traffic to your website.
Imagine you are going for a job interview. You know you are the perfect candidate for the job and would add immense value to the company’s portfolio.
Would you dress:
- Professionally and act with poise at the interview?
- Shabbily and act nonchalant at the interview? Because hey, you are the shizz!
If you are anything like the majority of people, you will choose the first option.
Because first impressions matter.
You may be supremely talented but the world doesn’t spin on talent alone. You need to impress the opposite party with not just your intellect and wit, but also with your personality.
It’s true for your business too.
Yes, your website/blog is a business! (Have you started a blog yet?)
But how will you attract them?
With a toe-curling, ridiculously relevant headline.
How to Drive More Website Traffic With These 5 Headline Formulas
Shock or surprise them
One of the most effective ways to grab someone’s attention is to shock or surprise them. What unusual or unexpected detail can you add to the title of your blog post that will make a potential reader take notice? The detail need not be stomach-stirring but enough for the person to say “WOAH,” “WOW” or “Whattttt?!”
A word of caution: when trying to shock or surprise someone, it’s easy to get carried away and write a “clickbait” headline. Avoid that at all cost.
Without the shock element: What I learned from the worst week of my business.
With the shock/surprise element: I FIRED my $500K client. And I don’t regret it.
Pique their curiosity
Similar to the surprise/shock technique, this formula stirs the curious minds. Draft your headline in a way that leaves them wondering “what next” or “what is that thing” or “how did she do that??”
Without the curiosity element: I used Pinterest to grow my blog traffic.
With the curiosity element: My blog traffic increased 4500% within 1 week of trying THIS secret strategy!!
Agitate their pain points
Each one of us has problems and pain points. We need someone to recognize our pain and soothe it for us. They want someone to give them hope and tell them the tough times will pass. Be that someone.
When you know your audience deeply, it is easy for you to know their pain points. Write content and create products or services that address those pain points. And highlight these pain points in your headline–be it for a blog post, a physical or digital product, or a service.
Compare these two examples:
Without highlighting the pain point: Read this email if you want to find more clients.
Highlighting the pain point: This ONE MISTAKE is keeping you from finding more clients.
Answer their queries
Such as “how to…” Or, other similar query phrases.
When in doubt, go with the “how to” phrase. It sits well with all types of content–whether a software walkthrough, a makeup tutorial, a life lesson…literally anything.
In addition to the “how to” phrase, use the other common query phrases: why, when, who, where, etc. Think about it: it’s how people search for answers on Google and other search engines.
Here are two examples for comparison:
Without the “how to” phrase: Increase Your Blog’s Readability Score
With the “how to” phrase: How to Increase Your Blog’s Readability Score
Do you see the difference?
The first headline good but it reads more like a curt statement/order than a tutorial drafted to benefit the reader.
Quantify with numbers and statistics
Numbers and statistics add specificity and credibility to your content. Additionally, they are great at grabbing attention. Use this to your advantage.
Consider these two examples:
Without a number: Create several blog posts from one idea | Free: Blog post ideas
Which one are you more likely to click? The second one sounds more promising and actionable.
Without a number or statistic: How to get more email subscribers.
With a number or statistic: How I grew my email list to 3000 raving subscribers in 30 days (and you can too)!
I will be more drawn to the second headline…it just seems so much meatier.
For more tips, check out this post on writing headlines that guarantee clickthroughs. Enjoy!
What’s your most trusted formula for creating headlines that resonate with your target audience?
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