- Reference something the person cares about: As I mentioned previously I also run a meditation website. The site caters to families. One article on the site is a guide for teaching meditation to kids. I could have called that guide “a guide to teaching kids how to meditate”. But that wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work because “kids” is too generic. Parents don’t care about kids they care about their kids. I made this title infinitely more powerful by changing one word, making it “Guide to teaching your kids how to meditate”. One little word, one big difference.
- Clever negativity: Negativity and positivity are weird things online. Here’s why. Negativity makes people react quickly but in a negative way. Positivity makes people happy but less inclined to act quickly.
I should clarify.
When you put a negative word in your headline people will click the headline because they want to see who the hell it is who would dare say those negative words about something they love. For instance if you say Grand Theft Auto Is Stupid you will get thousands of gamers clicking your headline because they want to yell down your throat (I know this first hand because I work as a games journalist).
So negativity gets you halfway. You can make a headline negative and thereby make people click through to your article. But you will then need to change the negativity to positivity so those readers actually like your site.
One easy but witty way to do this is to take advantage of the fact that Google only allows short headlines. You can have an abbreviated headline in Google and the full headline on your blog’s page. And because of that you can make people think you’re being negative, even though you’re actually being positive.
So let’s go back to GTA.
If I make the Google headline “Grand Theft Auto Is Stupid…”
And the blog headline “Grand Theft Auto Is Stupidly Awesome”
Then I get readers clicking through because they’re mad at my negativity, then realising they’re wrong and ending liking my article because it’s positive.
And that is one clever way to take advantage of people’s emotions and to make them click your titles.
By being a little clever and a little cunning with your titles you can make people click your headlines. That’ll lead your hits to skyrocket and your position in the SERPS to improve.