Your business could write a million posts for your blog and your website and never get a single hit- unless you have an attention-grabbing headline. Your blog could even be the most well-written piece on the most interesting topic in the world, but with a headline like “Get Car Insurance Today,” no one is going to read it. Here are a few tips to spice up those headlines and get them to pay for themselves.
Don’t Use Tricks
Today, the industry of search engine optimization has learned that when you resort to dirty tricks to get people to click on your post, they usually do. Blogs with titles like “This Married Man Still Goes on Dates – and I Agree with Him” on websites like Upworthy.com recently made a splash in social media. It got more hits than any other blog with a similar title will – because readers have now deducted that it’s a trick. They led you to believe the married man was dating other women, when in fact he was just taking his wife out on dates. A headline stating “Married Man Takes Wife on Date” would have gotten no attention at all – and rightfully so. Because the problem with this blog isn’t just the headline, it’s the content.
You Won’t Believe How Much They Don’t Care
Buzzfeed.com is another popular website that uses ploys to lure people into clicking their links. In fact, they post so many “You Won’t Believe Number 6”-type posts that the satirical news website created a sister website called “Clickhole.com,” a spin-off of Buzzfeed, complete with quizzes and ridiculous headlines. Its name represents exactly what it and Buzzfeed is: a black hole of content created for the sole purpose of getting more clicks and therefore more sponsors. Click enough of those Buzzfeed articles and you’ll realize just how much you don’t care about the “number 6” they referred to in the headlines, and then you won’t be clicking any more links with similar headlines.
Reward Your Readers
Your content is just as important as your headline. However, it’s your headline that draws them in. Without using a trick or being extremely vague, hint towards a reward for your readers that will be within the content of the article. For example, headlines that pique interest and hint towards interesting content might say “If a Toothbrush Could Speak.” As a reader, I expect the article to be about dentistry, but from a comical and unique perspective.
Most important of all, do not underestimate your readers. Not everyone on the Internet is a bona fide idiot. Educate your audience on issues that actually matter, and explain it in a way they have never heard before. Don’t expect them to only click your link if the headline says “Doctors HATE Him.” Create a smart headline that will have your audience guessing – but not because you gave them too little context. Your website and blog can still be successful without resorting to tricking people to click your links through misleading headlines.
Photo credits to: Dave Dugdale and AJU Photography.