When creating any online content, the first thing most people read is the headline. It either entices them to read it, or it doesn’t.
Your headline gets displayed on search results pages, social media shares, and in blog listings. In social sharing, posts with well-chosen images have several times the engagement and click through ratios if the headline is compelling.
The third factor is the text that introduces the article. This text description can originate from the meta description or the first part of the article – or the social media user writes it.
We use the headline as the primary decision-maker with images and text descriptions to further increase interest. There are two key questions to ask.
Will It Get Your Ideal Client to Click?
Most people think about getting the biggest number of individuals to click through to the article. If your only goal is to drive traffic, that might be an adequate objective. However, a click is not the same as:
- Someone reading your article
- Someone engaging with your article
- Someone sharing your content
If you are in business, you also need to consider who is reading your piece. That is the only way to get traffic that is going to convert.
Your headline needs to speak to your ideal client enough that they click and read.
Will They Be Happy They Did?
We’ve all heard of click bait. That is where you write a headline designed to match a current event or hot-button. When the person clicks the link, they don’t get what they are expecting. In fact, they usually are annoyed about being fooled and wasting their time.
People don’t like feeling tricked. If your headline drove a potential client to your article, they now associate your brand with deception.
The one exception to this rule is when you are using the challenger role article where you present the norm, then show how it might not be in their interest to follow what everyone else is doing.
The key here is that they perceive they got value from you by making them think differently.
The One Headline That Matters
The only headlines that matter are the ones that attract your ideal clients while leaving them better off having read that content. They may not like or be happy with how it makes them feel. But, over the long-run, they will benefit.
Writing great headline is not easy. However, if your site visitors get value from your content, they are more likely to sign-up for your premium content or become clients.
First you need to get them to visit and read it.
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