As they say, a bad habit is like a comfortable bed: it is easy to climb into it, but not easy to get out. Max Alweid, essay writer from wowessays.com, knows that a good headline directly affects company results from integrated marketing communications - whether it's a headline for a press release, an email newsletter or a social media post. Her advice is, of course, first and foremost useful for writing press releases or blog posts.
1. Do not tell people what to do.
In a recent headline study, it was found that headlines that users define as intrusive and "selling" click 20% less than all others.
What makes a headline intrusive? According to the research, words like "you", "you", "your" and any verb that convinces the reader to do something will be perceived together as an obsessive phrase.
MyPRGenie research suggests that journalists and bloggers are too critical of "pushing" headlines. 70% of journalists and bloggers say they send such press releases directly to the basket.
2. Do not focus on the positive: negative sells better.
According to another study, the headline of our material (in which we talk about the worst habits) will "sell" better than the same material, but with a headline about "best" or "good" habits.
Titles with "positive" words attract users 29% less than neutral, and with "negative" - 30% more. On average, headlines with "negative" are clicked 63% better than positive headlines.
Bloggers of Econsultancy resource analyzed those 10% of materials that generated the largest incoming traffic to a blog in four years. They found that "brutal" words like kill, dead, fear, war (kill, dead, fear, war, etc.) most often fall into the recommendations of social network users. Headlines with "emotional" words (brilliant, fails, horrifying, ultimate and kickass) against the background of "negative" look good too.
Do you think, how can you put a negative in your headline without affecting the attitude towards the company? Look at the following examples of good headlines:
Don't kill the possibility of promotion by social networks (the recruiter's blog gives advice on career advancement)
Terrible mistakes in making the holiday menu (tweet from the bakery).
7 beautiful festive PR-campaigns, which failed with a crackle (post for the blog PR-specialist).
3) Do not write long headings (unless it is justified).
Now every copywriter knows that knowing the basics of search engine optimization is one of the requirements when hiring. One of the first rules that SEO teaches us is that the header must fit 70 characters (better even 60) and have one keyword.
But this is not a general rule - sometimes a good quote or phrase may not fit in 60 characters. Just analyze your content, and if your analysis shows that your most popular entries are longer than 60 characters, then your client is ready to read long headlines and you can expand your mind.
For example, according to our already mentioned Outbrain research, out of 150,000 English blog headlines, 16-18 words were more popular with users than those that were shorter or longer. The 100-character headlines were more popular with their readers than the 60-character headlines.
4. Do not write the headline last.
David Ogilvy also wrote that the first thing to do is to write a title, and then, having written the rest of the text, return to it to understand as much as possible whether it reflects the essence of your text and attracts the reader's attention.
It is not enough to write just good headlines. They should be able to generate traffic weeks later, year after year. For example, in my blog 3 materials bring an average of 200 new page views per day - and this despite the fact that they were written 2 years ago.
What do they have in common? Two of the three include numbers. I don't know why, but with the advent of tweeting, such records began to be shared more often than records without numbers in the title. All three headlines focus on what people are afraid of. We are all blocked by our fear, so the headline, which promises to solve problems, will certainly notice.
5. Do not be faceless: give the reader a good reason to read your text.
Today, any reader is overloaded with all kinds of content, so it's up to the reader to decide whether the text is worth its time by title. Specific headings that answer specific questions of a particular audience will bring you a large number of interested readers. For example, the headline "3 ways to attract new clients to the website of a legal agency in 30 days" will be successful among the audience of lawyers who are concerned about the problem of attracting clients online.