Do your blog titles zing. To they pack a punch? Do people want to click on your headlines the moment they read them?
Having clickable headlines is one of the most important aspects of writing, whether you’re writing for a magazine, newspaper, or blog. Online, you need your headlines yo be highly clickable so the monent someone reads them they click on them.
Diverting traffic from Google, Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus to your blog is simple once you get your titles right. i
Here are 12 genius ways to make people click your headlines
In my research-backed guide to making people click internal links I revealed the top strategies for boosting the CTR of internal links. All those tips can also be used to make people click headlines.
Headlines, however, need more punch than internal links. Here’s 12 ways to boost headline CTR.
1 Keywords are a psychological thing: We all know that we need some keywords in our headlines for SEO purposes. But more important than search engines are readers. Your reader has a keyword in their mind. They know what they’re looking for and they want to see that keyword in the title.
For instance, if you’re looking for ways to make people click your headlines, then you’ll click on titles that have those words Precisely. You’ll ignore the titles that read “Make your blog posts clickable” and “write catchy headlines” and click on the title that best expresses precisely what it is you’re trying to achieve.
So, express precisely what it is your readers want to know.
You probably noticed when you came to this article that other Google headlines read (for instance) “Guide to creating great titles” or “how to write a good headline”. Those are okay titles. You do want to write good headlines. But what you really want is for people to click those headlines. That’s why I went with the title “20 Genius ways to make people click your headlines”. It expresses, perfectly and precisely what the reader wants.
Have you ever noticed how your eyes are naturally more drawn to the numbers in articles than to the words?
Some people believe you’re drawn to numbers because they make you think you’re going to get more of something. 10 Reasons Why blah blah… is more than 1 Reasons why blah blah…
For my money that really isn’t the reason at all.
The real reason why we’re all drawn to numbers is simple: Contrast. In a list of titles where everything is words, numbers stand out more. Your eyes are naturally drawn to the odd one out, so you’re more likely to click on the title just by contrast.
So, tthis naturally leads us to the next point…
3 Contrast: Make your articles stand out from the pack. You can do this by stating a different opinion e.g. “Oxygen is really bad for you” or by using symbols *!() or by using numbers. But make sure your headlines stick out from the pack.
4 Use A Fabulous Adjective: Why did I make the title of this post “20 Genius Ways To Make People Click Your Headlines”? Why the “genius” bit?
In my experience, you want to use one really great adjective in your title.
I researched thousands of headlines to determine what works best, and that research shows that putting just 1 (not 2 or 3 but 1) adjective in the headline makes the headline a lot more effective.
I went for “Genius” because it’s a slightly less common word (than, say, “great” or “powerful”) and it also implies something positive. It implies that geniuses would use these technique. These are minor points, but in a list of 6-10 word long titles, they can make a big difference.
5 Now: People know that they have all the time in the world to read whatever article they want to read. They could easily repeat their Google search and click through every article one by one. They can be carefree.
You want to stop that, immediately. You want to crate an article that demands to be clicked.
When you create a headline, make it seem as though the person has to read the article right this very second. This will lead them to think “Oh, okay, I better read this one first. I can go back and read the rest later”.
Put a sense of urgency in your headlines and readers will choose you first.
6 Make them actually see the importance of your article: A headline is just a bunch of words. If you don’t use those words artfully they’ll be nothing but a string of vowels and consonant broken up with spaces.
You want your titles to resonate with readers. You want readers to actually see the point you’re making.
With our headline “20 Genius Ways To Make People Click Your Headlines” I’ve actually included a description of the benefit of this article. I’ve made people actually imagine other people clicking their titles. That’s a lot more powerful than simply saying “How to write a good headline”.
Mention the demographic: If your article is appealing to a limited demographic, mention that demographic in your title.
Alongside this site I run a popular site about meditation. Some of my reasons are experienced meditators, some beginners. It’s important that I mention which demographic I’m writing for so that those people know to click. Hence, “Beginners Guide To Meditating” is much better than a generic “Guide To Meditating”.
Hit them with some dopamine: Dopamine is the brain’s happy drug. You get a release of dopamine when you engage in an enjoyable activity. But you also get a release of dopamine when you read about something pleasurable.
If, for instance, I mention a cold refreshing beer and a full rack of ribs, you’ll get a release of dopamine. You’ll then follow the dopamine trail, in search of more dopamine.
The easy way to take advantage of this psychology isto put one highly pleasurable word in the title. For instance “Money” or “Sex” or “Food”. References to these pleasurable experiences will lead your readers to click through your headlines in search of more dopamine.
NEW: This point speaks for itself. People like new stuff. Simple. Ironically this point is nothing new.
You: Who me? People are more inclined to respond when you speak to them in second person. If you happen to know their name and are able to drop that in your headline they’ll respond even quicker. Obviously, such things aren’t possible in the Google SERPS (though they are possible in email, where this strategy is used to good effect).
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.