Girl. If there is one thing I need you to start improving in your content, it’s your headlines.
The most important aspect of writing any content for your business is knowing how to write headlines that actually work by stopping the scroll and getting clicks. Most of my clients don’t have a clue about the power of this all-important writing hack when I first start working with them.
It takes practice to get good at writing them, but it’s essential to understand the power of headlines and how they really do drive lead and sales conversions.
Here in part 1 of this 3-part series, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions about headlines and start showing you how to craft headlines that compel people to click and keep reading.
The most common questions I get about headlines are:
How important is a headline?
What is the benefit of crafting a solid headline?
And, how do you create headlines that convert to leads and sales?
How important is a headline, really?
To sum it up simply, headlines are everything. Without enticing people to click, your content will never be read. Content experts at Copyblogger confirm that on average, 80% of people will consume your headline but only 20% will actually consume the content that comes after it.
That means to get people to even START reading your content, you need to stand out right from the get-go.
A lot of attention is given to the importance of a headline for blog posts – as it should.
Blogs are the number one way for a small business to get more web traffic. But your content strategy should also include writing good headlines for EVERY piece of content you produce for your business.
This includes social posts, email subject lines, Pinterest pins, live streams and resource titles. Why? Because people scroll through literally hundreds of headlines every day on multiple platforms. The best chance you have in getting your content seen is to continually produce headlines that stand out.
What’s the benefit of crafting solid headlines?
Think of your headline as an invitation for people to come to your party! They are an easy way to hook people into your world as strangers and turn them into major fan-girls when you dazzle them with your even-better content that follows your great headline.
With adult attention spans at an all-time low and a digital flow of instant information coming at us constantly, creating a headline that provokes someone to stop the scroll and keep reading is a powerful business tool.
Practical Uses of Headlines For Entrepreneurs
- When you go live on Facebook, you need a catchy post title to entice our followers to watch you talk about a certain topic.
- Email campaigns need great headlines, too! You use a compelling email subject line to stand out among the hundreds of emails our subscribers get every day so people open your email.
- On social media, you can “stop the scroll” with a one-liner that entices your audience to read that long post.
- With digital PDFs, you need titles that can persuade your readers to download or buy your offer.
A sub-par headline will not produce any of the above results. It’s sufficient to say that…
So how do you create headlines that convert?
The truth is, no matter how amazing your content is, it’s useless to publish it without a headline that persuades readers to click. That blog post that took you six hours to finish and is packed with your best content ever? It will be IGNORED when you don’t pair it with a carefully crafted title.
If you’re feeling a little lost on where to start or don’t know what makes a headline irresistible, stick around because I’ve got 3 simple ways for you to improve your headlines.
I’ve created this three-part series to teach you how to write headlines that convert. For each post in this series, I will share a headline writing technique that is simple and easy to follow but will absolutely increase clicks and shares. Here’s the first one:
Use Numbers in your headlines.
A study by Conductor has shown that numbers in headlines generate 73% more social shares and engagement.
Numbers are effective because of a simple reason: they set your reader’s expectations. Those who are short on time are more likely to click on a blog that says “5 tips” in the title than something else that mentions 20. Meanwhile, someone who’s doing research may want to read the latter because it gives away more strategies to try and test.
It doesn’t matter how high or how low your number is, as long as you have your audience in mind when you write it, and it solves one of their common pain points.
It doesn’t always have to be a list.
It’s easiest to use numbers in a list-format headline, but there are other great ways to include numbers that will still get a lot of attention. You can use data backed by research, a specific number that counts a subject or a date range in your headline.
- List Format: 11 Ted Talks That Will Inspire You To Launch A New Course
- Specific Number: How To Earn Your First $1,000
- Research Data: This Single Strategy Grew My List by 257%
- Date-range: The Best Way To Gain 100 Followers on Instagram Within 30 Days
Use odd numbers for lists.
When you look at viral list posts, you’ll see that a lot of them use odd numbers. So, what’s up with that?
Terence Hines of Pace University conducted an experiment that helps explain why people view odd and even numbers differently.
The findings proved that odd numbers took the brain longer to process, something he calls it the “odd effect” – odd numbers are literally more thought-provoking.
When we see odd numbers, our brains take longer to recognize them than even numbers. As a result, they get more of our attention. Thus, bloggers and online entrepreneurs use this “oddity” to their advantage to get more people pausing at their headline.
Number 7 takes the cake.
Among all the numbers used to create headlines that convert, number 7 seems to be the sweet spot. According to the Content Marketing Institute, articles that use the number 7 in their headlines increased click-through rates by 20%. That’s no small margin.
To further add to the popularity of 7, a global poll by Alex Bello found it to be people’s favourite number across the globe. Bello also notes that as a rule, when asked to think of a number between 1 and 10, most people choose 7.
I’m not gonna lie – I don’t put a lot of stock into these types of stats. As interesting as they are, I always say it’s far more important to focus on turning out content that is useful, relevant and heartfelt than to worry about flimsy statistical information.
That being said, if you are pulling out all the stops and looking for another way to get your post read, using this number in the headline seems to have a legitimate edge. It might be a fun experiment of your own to test this theory out!
I challenge you to create a content piece that uses a headline with a number. It can be a blog post, email subject line, social post – anything you want!
Did you like these tips? You can continue to find more by reading part 2 of this series: Making Bold Headlines Without Using Clickbait.
If you want to improve your content even more, take the Energetic Marketing Type Quiz and learn how to market your business more easily and effectively using the principles of your unique type!