If You Don’t Read This Post On Writing Headlines, You Will Regret It



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.

Video Content is King



If a picture is worth a thousand words then how many words is a minute of video worth?

The constantly evolving media landscape has not changed the quality of content consumers seek out, but it has changed the outlets we use to receive quality information, and online video is certainly one of them.

Online video continues to rise and serve as one of the best—if not the best—forms to display content as it gives both information and entertainment value. In an age of information overload, video is a great way to offer content that is easy to digest and understand as people are naturally visual beings. As a result, there are several reasons why online video is on the rise to be the best form of media to display content and why you should consider using it for your business:

• There is a human connection to video. Facial expression, tone of voice, body language and emotion are all conveyed in a video message, and we are drawn to that.
• Video educates, entertains, is shareable, easy to watch again and has a longer life span than text.
• Video captures attention and has a stronger and more immediate impact on consumers.
• Video increases brand recognition in a simple format.
• Video persuades people to stay on websites longer.
• People remember videos.
• Video builds trust, credibility and relationships.
• More people prefer watching videos to reading text.
• The production of online video is cost-effective for the value it generates.
• The possibilities with video marketing are endless. Video interaction and engagement leads to shareability which leads to unlimited potential reach.

Online video builds emotional connections before words are formed, and that increases consumer attention and results in more customers. It is an outlet that engages audiences in a matter of moments because the amount of information that can be displayed in a second of video far outweighs the amount of information that can be read in the same amount of time. Similar to images, online video allows for visual communication. But the addition of movement and sound to the mix is what makes video potentially surpass all other forms of communication, and its capabilities limited to the sky.

Fortress now offers videography services including full onsite production and animated video! Check out one of our client videos below.



6 Ways Your Website Is Driving Visitors Away



Your website launched and has been up and running for a while now. When checking your website stats, you realize people leave your site just as quickly as they arrive. What’s the problem? Below are six rhyming reasons (to help serve your memory) why your site may be driving visitors away.

Unresponsive sites bite. 

People are accessing the internet on their mobile devices more than they are on their laptops and desktops. It’s important to have a responsive website that resizes itself on other devices such as smartphones and tablets. Otherwise your website will appear tiny on smartphones, and visitors won’t go to the trouble of resizing your site to a readable size to view your content.

If the design is bad, visitors will get mad. 

Large blocks of text are difficult to read and exhaust eye muscles. Break them down into smaller paragraphs, include images when appropriate and be aware of the word choice you use to describe your business and the services you provide to customers. You want to use understandable terminology instead of complex jargon. If you use a large color palette on your website, especially artificial bright ones or colors that make the text hard to read, reconsider your choice since it can be unpleasing to the eye.

Bad navigation equals abdication.

Make sure to create a path or process you want visitors to take when they make their way around your website. If visitors don’t know where to go when looking for your products or services, they will most likely hit the close button instead of the contact button. Categorizing your products and services into groups will help users find what they are looking for and having CTAs under them will direct users to make a purchase.

If your site is slow, it’s a blow. 

You’ve probably heard of the three second rule in regards to sports or dropped food, right? The same rule applies to website loading times. If your website doesn’t load in less than three seconds, studies have shown visitors are more likely to leave your site. Too many images, rich content (like videos) or sites that aren’t optimized for performance can add to slow loading times.

Broken links simply stink. 

If your site doesn’t function properly and includes outdated content, it will drive visitors away. Test every link on your website to make sure they work and are connected to related information and sites. And make sure the related content is current.

If contact info is hard to find, you’re in a bind. 

Contact information should be easily accessible and found frequently throughout your site. If visitors are finding it difficult to get in touch with you, they’ll simply go onto the next website. Include a phone number, email address and location to build up your business’s credibility with visitors and to show you want them to reach out to you for any questions or concerns.

There are several other website aspects that can drive visitors away such as loud automated music, unsecure pages, pop-up windows or flashing banners and a lack of social media presence, but the above six are the ones we find most irritating and least user-friendly. Although your website is about your business, the purpose of your site is to educate visitors about your business. The goal of any website should be to provide visitors with the best user experience and least amount of disruptions. By avoiding these website mistakes, you’re on your way to having a more visited and user-friendly site.

3 Pieces of Content Consumers Need On Your Websites

You want your website to stand out. You want consumers to visit your site over your competitor’s. You want to grow your business.

You’re not alone.

If you own a small business and want to drive more traffic to your website, there are some things your site must include. Besides a good web design, SEO strategy and killer business name, there are three pieces of content consumers need in order to be engaged with your website. The below should be easily accessible and included on your company’s homepage.


Make it clear what services and products your company offers. You don’t have to go into the specifics on a homepage, but sharing general information about your skills and expertise will engage potential customers since that’s what they are looking to learn about. You may not want to give away everything you do on your site, but if you don’t give enough information about your services, consumers will leave your page and probably move on to your competitor. Give a clear sense of what your business does and include secondary pages with more specific information about each service.

About Us

Similar to services, telling consumers who you are and what makes you unique are important aspects of a company website. Giving your company’s personal story—how many years of experience you have in your industry, why you started the business, what you have to offer—personalizes your brand and makes it relatable to consumers. Explaining why your business stands out from other companies in your industry gives potential customers more incentive to work with you instead of your competitors. Figuring out your company’s exceptional attributes is something every business owner should think about and write down on their website.

Contact Information

This one may seem obvious, but making contact information easily accessible on a website is a big one. Don’t frustrate your potential customers by making it difficult for them to get in touch with you. If someone has an inquiry or wants to contact you to do business, you want to make your information available and easy to find. Make sure to include a phone number, email address and a physical address of your location to build credibility and trust with consumers that your business is real and legitimate.

Services, About Us and Contact Information are absolute musts on any business website. If you can make you site multi-device-friendly and easy to use on every platform, that’s even better!



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