What is common understanding is that if the headline is not “catchy” enough, that most people will not read much or anything below…unless someone has a core or passionate following that may just read because they enjoy the reader or blog. Though having a keyword filled title may seem to be the way to go for SEO, another direction that is crucial to the success of a blog or article is how engaging the title is to its readers to want to comment, share or retweet the article.
1) KNOW your audience!
Think about the type of people who will most likely be reading your article…and what type of people have been reading your past content, blogs, etc. What do they like? What interests do they have? How can you further relate to them each type you type a word for them? What tone of voice best works for your audience? So much to think about as you want to share something fresh, with your own voice, and something that someone would not only want to read again but may become an evangelist for your blog or article by sharing this with others!
2) Develop and Construct a Title that Will Engage…FIRST!
Seems like this is common knowledge but apparently not so much. Thought this was taught in school growing up but the online world seems to have different rules or thoughts from some writers attempting to write blogs, etc for their own website and finding throughout the internet. Eighty percent of those who actually see your title actually read it. About only twenty percent of those who read the title will go on to read what you wrote, according to Copyblogger. Needless to say, the title needs to scream out value and something that will make their time worth it to read. We all have a finite amount of “spare” time, so it seems… so it needs to draw in your readers quickly… within a few seconds.
3) Lists, Lists, Lists.
Some in the industry get tired of seeing lists and how many of this or that… but 6 of the top 10 most engaging posts of 2012 included numeric lists. For those that may be trying to be too creative, one may want to rethink this strategy as what works. Obviously, this cannot be an everyday practice but one to be creative in how to use. It also allows the reader to think about what their “top <number>” might be and see if theirs compares to the article. If not, they have the opportunity to chime in or disagree.
It is so important to draw the readers in…and the headline is where it starts… and unfortunately, sometimes ends.