Strong headlines for blogging and social media posts are ALWAYS in fashion! So we’ve updated this blog post from a while back… check it out!
“If you build it, he will come.”
Now that’s a strong headline! I assume that most of you are familiar with this iconic movie phrase. I daresay this quote might even be a personal mantra for many business owners. But in reality, that’s not always the case, is it? For example, you know the value of having a business blog because you’ve “built” your blog…but where are the readers?
There are many reasons people may not be reading your blog; in fact, I could do a blog series for every reason! But today I want to focus on one specific problem area: the blog post headline.
We often make jokes that many Internet today users have shorter attention spans than goldfish! Social media platforms and search engines are now built for those who want to scroll quickly through content. It is this millennial change that makes having a strong blog headline more important than ever!
Hook Your Reader!
Assume your readers have the attention span of a goldfish and catch them! Make itimpossible for them to scroll past your post; make them curious. You see, the headline is the hook: what the readers see first. Your headline has to make a strong impression. There should be words in the title that just jump out and make readers’ eyes get bigger, make them raise their eyebrows, appeals to them on an emotional level, and ultimately makes them click on the post. When you think about it, that’s a pretty tall order to fill.
So how do you do that? How do you know the headline you’ve given your post is a headline that appeals to all the senses? That’s where CoSchedule’s blog post headline analyzer tool comes in handy.
When you’ve thought of an amazing headline for your blog post, or at least you think you have, all you have to do is pop over to the headline tool, paste your headline into the analyzer box and click “Analyze Now.”
The result will be feedback that tells you:
- Word Balance—an analysis of the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline
- Whether you are using common or uncommon words in your blog post
- If you are using words that hold power and appeal on an emotional level
- How your headline would appear in Google search results and word count
- How your headline would look in an email subject line
- Keywords that appear in your headline
- The overall “sentiment” of your headline
- An overall headline score
Knowing this feedback will enable you to rewrite your blog post headline, if necessary, in order to make it more appealing to readers and display better in search results.
What I also like about this headline tool is that it gives you data on why making any adjustments to your headline are essential. For example:
- The character and word count features explain that these two items are directly related to improving SEO value.
- The email subject line feature points out that the optimal reading length is around 20 characters.
- There’s a section of the analysis that highlights the first and last line of your blog post because, “When skimming content, most readers tend to read the first and last three words of a headline.”
- The keyword section highlights keywords found in your blog post headline that are valuable because, “Headlines should include searchable keywords and phrases so that readers can find your content easily.”
Pretty great tips, right? This feedback can be very eye-opening stuff if you haven’t given any previous thought to headlines or the psychology behind what makes people click on a blog post or open an email. It’s all in that first line, creating that first strong impression.
I tested the headline tool with one of our own blog posts in order to show you how the process works. If you look at the headline history (pictured), you’ll see the various changes I made with our blog post title. After playing with word choice, word count, using or not using numbers, etc., I was able to drastically improve the title. Check out the images below.
If coming up with an impactful headline right from the get-go is a struggle for you, don’t be discouraged. There are some really helpful and data-backed blog posts that point out what kinds of words or phrases to use in your blog post headlines. Here are a few posts I recommend checking out:
- “17 Must-Use Words in Your Headlines [+Examples]” from Writtent
- “How to Write the Perfect Headline: The Top Words Used in Viral Headlines” from Buffer
- “The Definitive Guide to Copywriting” Chapter 3, Headline Writing 101: How to Write Attention Grabbing Headlines That Convert from Quick Sprout
- “Here are the 101 Catchy Blog Title Formulas That Will Boost Traffic by 438%” from CoSchedule
- “5 Easy Tricks to Help You Write Catchy Headlines” from Goins, Writer
I have no doubt that if you focus on creating powerful headlines for your blog posts each and every time, you will exponentially increase the appeal of your content. After all, another iconic movie line advises, “Let’s start at the very beginning—a very good place to start.”
If you found this advice useful, be sure to check out some of our previous posts on blogging: