How to Fix Boring Blog Headlines in Less Than 5 MinutesNovember 3, 2020
Here’s a question: what do you believe is the secret to a successful blog post? A few things that might have come to mind are; clear formatting, topical content, or amplification strategies. While these are all essential elements of any blog post, what if I told you that its success actually comes down to that one sentence at the top of your page: your headline. The experts at Copyblogger found that while 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, only 2 out of 10 will actually follow through and click on it.
So there you have it, clickability is what it’s all about.
It can be tricky to come up with a compelling headline, especially after you’ve spent hours carefully crafting the perfect article. We know that it can be tempting to type out any old headline and hit publish, but putting in the extra effort is worth it – we promise! In this post, we’ll share some easy copywriting techniques that will add a little excitement to your headlines and boost those page views.
Why do headlines matter?
Think about the last article you read – what made you click on it? Something about that particular headline resonated with you enough to standout in a sea of other impactful, interesting content. As digital readers, we’re constantly choosing where to invest our time, so it’s important to create headlines that strike just the right amount of curiosity.
From an SEO perspective, headlines also play an essential role in boosting your school’s visibility within search engines. But getting the balance right is a fine art. Your goal should be to include a keyword phrase that reads organically, without overly stuffing your headline or misrepresenting what your article is about. Remember, we said ‘clickable’ not ‘clickbait.’
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How to write a clickable headline?
Let’s not waste time, there’s one simple, sure-fire way to guarantee more clicks: communicate the value or benefit to your readers within your headline. Before writing your headline, take a few minutes to define what benefits your blog post offers to your readers. Try to get as specific as possible here. Will they learn how to support your upcoming school fundraiser? Are you providing a behind-the-scenes tour? Will you be explaining how upcoming curriculum changes will affect their child?
A word of brutal honesty here, if you read over your blog post and can’t find a standout benefit to your readers, it's probably best to scrap that post and start again. Now that you’ve nailed the value of your blog post, it’s time to communicate your message with an attention-grabbing headline.
Headline formulas that work
Take a look at any digital or print publication and you’ll notice there are a few headline formulas that get used again and again. Why? Because they work! These headlines are typically brief, punchy, and get to the straight to the point about the readers’ benefit. Let’s take a look at some of these tried and tested formulas below.
Add a number
Placing a number in your headline is one of the most effective ways to gain extra clicks. Headlines with numbers typically follow a ‘listicle’ format, allowing readers to digest complicated information in a quick and easy way.
These headlines are effective because they singal to readers that you’re going to teach them how to do something – just make sure that your post actually delivers on that promise.
Ask a leading question
A question is a great way to draw your readers attention, requiring them to read your post to find the answer. If possible, make it a question that’s not so black and white, but aims to provoke thought and curiosity.
Make it a competition
Example: YouTube vs. Vimeo for Schools
Pitting two brands or solutions against each other is another surefire way to get more clicks on your post. An important note to remember here is that if you’re comparing digital platforms or software solutions, it’s always best to write with an objective mindset to prevent personal bias.
Your next steps
You’ve written your killer headline, and you’re ready to press post. Take a quick pause and have a read over your entire post. Does it deliver on what your headline has promised?
If your headline entices a reader to click, but they are taken to a post that barely touches on the benefits promised, they will likely leave your website in no time at all. Not only that, but they may feel tricked or deceived — a poor result when you are trying to build a reputation of trust with your audience.
A magnetic headline that sells the reader on a benefit? Check.
Interesting, informative content that delivers what they headline promised? Check.
Time to hit ‘publish’!
Looking to develop your school blog? We’ve written extensively about blogging in our resources center. Check out our posts about driving enrollments through blogging, formatting your blog, and more!