If you are writing a headline with the goal to improve searchability among qualified traffic, long-tail keywords may help. They are very specific search terms with three or more words, and unlike more commonly searched keywords, have a massive total search demand as a group and high conversion value. A quality blog post optimized around a long tail keyword – in the headline and content – is likely to outperform other posts.
If you want to create a highly clickable headline in the style of BuzzFeed or ViralNova, it will be useful to explore the suitability of emotion-based headlines for your target audience.
1. Link to a definite benefit
Writing ‘how x can help achieve y’ in different stylized forms can be motivating enough for a defined target audience. It is particularly effective when you’re addressing a topical issue, a current challenge faced by your customers, or a desire or bias that you have identified during audience research.
2. Offer motivation and support
A University College London study indicates that up to 90% of people are more receptive to positive news over negative content; this bias is lessened in individuals living with depression. A motivational headline is likely to make a bigger impact over one presented more soberly. You also have the opportunity to frame your headline to specifically target those among your audience who may be feeling anxious or unsure due to a specific reason or industry development. Here again, audience research and industry know-how will be essential to determining valuable blog post topics.
3. Encourage confidence and assertiveness
Seeking reassurance is natural, and the internet is a convenient avenue for people and business leaders to validate their thoughts and emotions. There is much scope to create confidence-generating headlines across a range of topics. When you are not tackling a particular topic around which you want to inspire confidence in readers, you can still create an assertive headline for a post dishing out tips, advice or deconstructing a concept.
4. Promise a fun read
Whether you have an interesting take on an issue or nothing new to share, your headline can still make the initial impact necessary to win clicks. The ideas discussed in the photography post below lend easily to another title – how to reach your full potential as a photographer – which is interesting too, but the negative spin of the original title is a lot more interesting than its positive counterpart.
5. Justify entitlement
Similar to motivating a call to action, this approach justifies what readers may already be feeling, resonating with them and helping you form a more intimate relationship with your audience. By communicating a sense of entitlement, you can empower blog readers to act quickly and feel satisfied.
6. Tell a personal story
Personal stories are a big hit with internet users, evoking a mix of emotions, from empathy and solidarity to pride and inspiration, to name just a few. A personal story works best when there is a strong purpose behind it: a lesson, an appeal, a new perspective or a reminder of basic values. It could be something you learned as a leader, marketer or consumer, provided of course that the content is of value to readers. You can also create a post based on your observation of others’ experiences and speak on their behalf.
7. Create suspense
Another approach is to write a headline suggesting that your post debunks a common idea or implying that you have something suprising to share.
Here again, there are various styles you can consider:
- This is what 15 extra minutes on social media marketing can achieve
- How one staff member is saving lives
- Five reasons why no one will fund your start-up
- This is the best advice Neil Patel has every given
Image credit: Pixabay