Not necessarily true (although we think so), but you must have believed it if you’re reading this.
Whether you’re looking to come up with an awesome blog post title or email marketing subject line, you need to be able to write headlines that get clicked (draw people in) and shared (spread the word) or your content marketing won’t go anywhere.
Bad headlines unfortunately mean irrelevant and unshareable content, even if you’ve written a great article. And irrelevant and unshareable content means lower web traffic. In order to avoid all of this, it’s important to know the three keys to writing a clickable headline that result in shareability and higher web traffic. Luckily they all start with the letter C to benefit your memory.
Clear – Whatever the subject matter, make sure the headline isn’t misleading or manipulated. The last thing a reader wants is to be redirected. People don’t like to click on one subject only to find out the piece of content is really about a different topic. Doing this not only angers your audience, but the chance of them sharing your content goes down to zero percent.
Candid – Be straightforward in your headline. Let your audience know what you intend to talk about. Or if you’re purposely being mysterious, make sure the headline reels the reader and correlates with the subject matter. Honesty is always appreciated and that’s especially true when people are searching for interesting information on a particular subject.
Concise – Shorter isn’t always sweeter, but in the case of a headline, it is. According to some experts, writing headlines that are six words are most successful. With headlines, less is more.
For example, a better headline for this article that incorporates the 3 C’s would have been “Clickable Headlines Are Clear, Candid, And…” It’s straightforward, honest, short and draws the reader in.
Have you seen a clickbait headline? If you’re not sure then look at our blog post headline. The short explanation about clickbait headlines is they go against the 3 C’s. The clickbait concept uses overly catchy and sensational headlines to get a reader to click on the article, but often enough, the actual article content underwhelms or misleads a reader.
Here’s an example:
Once you click on the headline what do you learn? “If you drive less than 50 miles/day and live in a qualified zip code you can get an extremely high discount.” Not the most stunning information, but maybe you didn’t know that so you let it go. (Be forewarned, it only goes downhill from here.) What else do you learn? “If you have no DUI’s, you can get even more discounts.” Well duh, drunk driving is against the law and safe driving equals better rates. Anything else? “NEVER buy insurance without comparing all of the discounts online first.” Wow. That is NOT groundbreaking information in any way, shape or form. See the continuous disappointment with a clickbait headline? Don’t do it.
But on a more positive note, a couple good techniques to consider when creating a clickable headline include:
Using a question
•“What should the average length of a blog post be?”
Focusing on the benefits
•“Three ways to improve your blog”
Brainstorming multiple headlines
•“How can blogging benefit my small business?” or “5 reasons why blogging is essential to small businesses”
Whatever headline you come up with, it should engage readers right off the bat.