Effective Titles And Increase Views: From a copywriting perspective, headline writing is the most essential of the skills to acquire. The headline is, in fact, the first and often the last impression you give to your prospects. Statistics in hand, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read your title, but only 2 out of 10 will continue reading the article.
This speaks volumes about the importance of the title! Without a compelling, attention-grabbing promise about what you have to write, the rest of your article may not exist.
Often you see articles written well, which expose interesting things in a clear and persuasive way and optimized for search engines but…accompanied by a title that is not entirely convincing.
Despite your good intentions, you need to draw attention from the headline to ensure everyone can save even 30 seconds to read what you have to say. Result? They die in the bud. A few dozen views, no comments, no shares. This is because, in the virtual world, users are bombarded with messages that they barely scan while waiting for five more tabs to load on the browser.
NB: Serious copywriting aims to keep the reader interested sentence after sentence, from the title to the paragraphs, then further and further down to the call to action. It goes without saying that if people stop at the title, you lose from the start!
Here are some rules that will serve as a starting point for improving the effectiveness of your online communication:
Start by writing the title
As we said, the title is a promise to readers. You promise them that they will be able to find what they are looking for in the body of the text; in exchange, they sacrifice some of their time waiting for the page to load. And generally, promises are made before they are fulfilled.
Trying to keep a promise before it has been formulated is difficult and risky: once the article is finished, you would find yourself choosing a forced title, trying to make it consistent with what is written. Instead, you should first make a promise to the reader and translate it into a title; consequently, it will be easier to make the content of the article consistent with what was promised.
Use open-ended questions
Open-ended questions can be powerful communication weapons; if well formulated, they can capture users’ attention. This is because an open-ended question cannot have a “yes” or “no” answer and requires interaction with the reader, who must go through a reworking process to give an answer.
Conversely, the risk of closed questions is that the conversation ends if the reader provides an unexpected answer. Such a question like “Does your website have usability issues?” may not be appropriate if the user does not think they have a very usable site. His answer may be “No,” and the conversation is over.
Instead, by transforming the question from closed to open, e.g., “In which cases does your website have usability problems?” the answer is more likely to be favorable.
Use “How To…” Headlines
This kind of title, in which the web is full, captures attention, and increases visits, is now an established fact. Everywhere is full of tutorials explaining “how to…”. But the funny truth is that people don’t really care about “how to…” do something. The real secret of these titles lies in the after part or in the adjectives.
e.g., in “How [to] get a better job and make more money?” the user is attracted not so much by the main sentence “how to get a job” but by the adjective better and the following promise “make more money.”
Ps: I used this kind of title myself in this article!
The structure of these titles is as follows:
Like [action to be performed] that/and [rewarding benefit]
First, choose the “how to do” thing, then ask yourself what the main benefit entails and summarize it in one word. It’s a complex operation!
Other examples: “How to get a mortgage that saves you money,” or even better, “How to get a mortgage and live in your dream home for 976 euros a month”. Why exactly 976? In a future article, we will discuss the advantages of writing exact numbers!
“How to” titles without “do to…”
These titles are also very powerful, provided you really have some sensational story to tell. For example, were you the first to do something unusual? Did something unusual happen to you? Does your business work wonders?
Tell it with the “How” in front: “How I lost 34 kg in a month” (although much abused and now smells like spam), “How I made a fortune with a stupid idea,” “How I said goodbye to my desk and I became a digital nomad” etc.
In this kind of title, it is the singular juxtaposition between the main sentence and the following one that captures the reader’s attention. To be clear, titles such as “How I lived in London with 1 euro a day” represent a promise and a real challenge for the reader, who will want to find confirmation in what you say.
Present a numerical list
Of all of them, this is perhaps the most effective of strategies for writing a title that attracts visitors, provided you don’t abuse it.
Headlines like “5 Ways to Lose Weight and Get Back in Shape” or “10 Ways to Recycle Your Home for Halloween” grab attention and can generate viral word-of-mouth on social networks: they make a very specific promise about the item’s content.
It will also make you appear in the eyes of the reader as an “authoritative” figure in your industry, one who not only has advice to dispense but can even quantify it!
Here are some examples of titles that incorporate a list
- “Can you recognize the five warning signs of high blood pressure?” => With a title like this, you demonstrate in-depth knowledge of your niche sector. People love heads-ups on potential problems and will be intrigued by them.
- “6 types of investors. Which one are you?” => Make people self-identify by providing general categories they can easily relate to. Readers appreciate when they can better understand themselves and their behaviors.
- “How to get your child to eat vegetables – here are three delicious ways” => This template is a hybrid of “How to” and lists. Note the expressive power of the combination of words “3 delightful ways”.
I will tell you 2 SECRETS on how to use numbers in titles
- Use odd numbers. The Content Marketing Institute has stated that titles featuring an odd number (“the seven Ways to…”, “The five songs that…”) average a 20% higher click-through rate than even numbers. Why? We don’t know, but it works, and that’s enough.
- Compose a title with 8 words. It will seem absurd to you, but titles with 8 words within them get more clicks (+ 21%, to be precise) than the average. Reason can be connected to the limit of the human mind, which, as cognitive psychology teaches, can keep 7 ± 2 elements in its short-term memory.
These are just a few examples of how to write compelling titles for your blog. However, several other factors allow you to create “hypnotic” titles that attract readers’ attention. We will see new articles in the following articles; meanwhile, if you have any doubts or questions, write me in the comments below, and I will happily answer you!
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