When they said do not judge a book by its cover, the internet had not yet been invented. If they knew what we know now, they would know that a title can make or break a content site.
Headlines are the outcome of using the title tags. They’re what attracts a user from the SERP to your site or store. There are so many options and when competing for attention; a good header is golden.
Why Is Title Tags Important?
i. The First Thing People See
The first and most blatant reason why a headline is important is that it is the first thing users see when they log on to a site to access the content.
The headline is what they will read first before moving on or digging into the content.
First impressions have a huge impact on people so a headline needs to make a great impression. The battle is that you need to attract readers with only a few words but if done right, they should be ready to dive right in.
You should think of a title as the outside of a restaurant. People will either leave or enter the restaurant based on what they see on the outside.
Therefore, ensure your header grabs readers’ attention from the get-go.
ii. Influences Users’ Decision to Click
All of us know that if a title doesn’t grab your attention, we will simply scroll to find something that will.
The headline is the main thing that will influence users on your site to click on a piece of content.
Headlines are the frontline in the battle for clicks which in the online sphere is vital. Instead of paying marketers so you can have more clicks, you can spend some time coming up with a great title for your content.
Your title should be so good that the user has to simply click to find out about the content. The best headlines is those that are so catchy the user just finds themselves viewing the content.
iii. Statistics on Headlines
Numbers do not lie and the numbers on header paint quite the picture. The numbers show just how important a headline is as it pertains to content online.
According to Buzzsumo which looked at 100 million headlines based on Facebook engagement, headlines had a tremendous impact on engagement.
Titles with the phrase ‘will make you’ had about 9 million engagements with ‘this is why’ coming in a distant second with less than half of the leader.
Benefits of Writing a Good Headline
i. Increase in CTR and Traffic
Writing a catchy headline has plenty of advantages. It’s a known fact that a good headline will increase your CTR.
A site’s click-through rate determines the amount of traffic that it gets. The higher the CTR, the higher the traffic.
The more traffic a site has, the more buyers that they are likely to have. Therefore, it is not an understatement to say that a good header on a site’s content could significantly affect its performance.
Granted the site still has to do much to turn leads to potential buyers but no site owner does not want more leads.
Rankings on search engine results are incredibly important to the success of a site. Many people never go beyond page one of Google results which shows how vital high rankings are.
A good header is very closely tied to rankings on search engine results. Therefore, taking search engine optimization when creating content header should catapult you to the top of the list.
The higher you are ranked on search engine results, the more leads you will have which increases the chances of getting paying customers. Ultimately, paying customers are what you want and if you want to grab their attention, make good header for your content.
iii. Avoid Clickbait
Clickbait refers to content that has an emphasis on traffic rather than value. Despite the importance of traffic in the competitive online world, in the long run what readers and customers want is value.
You will see a rise in traffic when you use click bait for your site. However, if it is not matched by valuable content, it will soon dwindle and ultimately disappear.
Your users will evaluate their experience on your site and will soon deem it unworthy if you are not delivering adequate content. When your site or your site’s content is labeled as clickbait, it can have devastating consequences for your site.
One of the consequences is decreased rankings on search engine results which can be debilitating. Ultimately, clickbait will hurt your site more than help it.
Types of Headlines That Converts Best
There are certain types of headlines that result in higher conversion rates as we have seen above. There are certain characteristics that allow such headlines to have such high conversion rates.
Titles that have numbers have a high conversion rate. The evidence speaks for itself. You will almost always find numbered lists on articles online. TrackMaven found that Buzzfeed uses this strategy a lot.
‘How to’ titles are extremely popular. They have very high CTR because people are always learning how to do new things online. Phrases starting with ‘X reasons why’ and ‘X things you’ also have high CTRs.
The phrase that you use to complete your headline also matters substantially. The most common header ending phrases include ‘… the world’ and ‘… X years.’
Ultimately, if you want a good headline, you should ensure that it is very clear as to the content it heads. Headlines with any ambiguity usually perform worst on rankings.
Best Practices for Writing Headlines
If you want to write headlines that grab users’ attention, increase traffic and conversion rates, then there are certain habits that will be helpful for you to develop.
These practices will take time to implement but when they become habitual, the results should clearly reveal their effectiveness.
One of the practices you should adopt for writing better headlines is to make them connect with your audience emotionally. Phrases such as ‘make you cry’ or ‘will make you…’ form an emotional connection that readers want to explore.
Another practice you should adopt involves the length of the headlines. You should keep your header less than 54 characters so that it can be presented in full and avoid them from being truncated which discourages users.
You should also adopt A/B testing of your header before you publish them. A/B testing compares different headlines to see which performs better on certain parameters such as rankings.
Next, the use of certain power words in your header should improve their performance. Terms such as ‘fast’, ‘mistakes’, ‘reasons’, ‘proven’ usually elicit more clicks from users than other terms.
As stated above, you should also adopt the use of numbers in your header. They are particularly effective when placed at the front of a headline.
If you’re finding it difficult to come up with a blog title, simply use our blog title generator.
Simply enter your target keyword and you’ll get a list of results.
Headlines are crucial to attracting readers, listeners or viewers to your content. A headline should grab a user’s attention quickly and immerse them in the content.
There are many aspects that go into writing an effective header as we have seen. If you can adopt the positive practices and avoid the negative ones, you should see your site’s success improve in a short time.
Updated: 5 January 2022