How much attention do you pay to your blog headlines?
When writing an article it is easy to get caught up in the writing of the piece and pay little attention to the headline.
But did you know your blog headlines can be one of the most important parts of your work?
A powerful headline can be engaging and compelling. It can be the thing that encourages readers to click on your article – or not!
Titles with 6-13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of trafficHubspot
Having good headlines for your blog post can be the thing that makes people share your article with friends, or post it to their social media accounts.
If your headline is not constructed well or does not catch the eye of the reader, it will not entice them to click on your blog article.
What are the best blog headlines?
There are specific words or phrases that are more effective when used in blog headlines.
It is useful to know what these are so you may incorporate them.
Take a look at this chart compiled from an analysis of 100 million headlines by BuzzSumo.
This highlights the most popular words and phrases from the most shared blog headlines.
As you can see, one of the most powerful headline phrases is ‘will make you’.
It has almost double the engagement of the 2nd highest phrase and is not even a beginning or an ending statement for your headline.
It is in fact a linking term, meaning it connects the article’s subject matter and the anticipated outcome to the reader.
Many times this is indicating an emotional reaction like,
‘These dog clips will make you laugh your head off‘
‘8 hacks that will make you a better parent‘
‘These images will make you terrified‘
A lot of the most successful blog headlines are tied to emotional responses like a laugh, crying, fear, and compassion.
Emotional headlines get shared moreOkDork
Having the correct headline that evokes a response is important for making readers click and share your content.
Here are some reasons why you need to construct your headline carefully.
- It’s the first thing that readers see
- It conveys the content of your article
- It needs to stand out from similar content
- It can make your article shareable
- It can make your article memorable
- It helps with SEO
How to write a killer headline
So how do you write killer blog headlines that are impactful, engaging, and clickable?
Fortunately, help is at hand.
There is a way to analyze your blog headlines to make sure that they are scoring high in all areas.
The Sharethrough Headline Analyzer tool is perfect for this task and it is completely free.
Log on to Sharethrough Headline Analyzer and you will be presented with this screen
Enter your headline and the tool will rate your title with an overall strength score.
This shows what words are working.
The engine rates the overall structure and offers suggestions to make your blog headlines more enticing for readers.
What is an engagement score
The Sharethrough tool takes things even further and calculates a couple of other scores for you.
These are engagement and impression scores
The Engagement Score is based on data that shows how likely your audience is to click on your blog headlines.
Sometimes just one word can make the difference between a good and bad engagement score.
So it is worth playing around with the wording until you get the best possible rating.
Odd numbered listicle headlines outperform even ones by 20%Content Marketing Institute
What is an impression score?
The other rating that the Sharethrough tool will provide you with is the Impression Score.
This is the attention-grabbing factor of your blog headlines.
How likely is it to make readers stop and look and pique their interest?
There is a balance between the impression and the engagement score.
What may improve one may reduce the other so it’s a juggling act between the 2 ratings.
As we can see in the example the engagement score is high while the impression score is below average.
Depending on your needs you can adjust the wording in your blog headlines until the scores are satisfactory.
With all that tweaking it is easy to lose track of which exact wording worked for your headline.
The Sharethrough tool does a nice job of tracking your history and respective scores for each of your blog headlines, so you may easily go back and retrieve the best ones.
What are the worst blog headlines?
Just as there are words and phrases that will perform well in Google search, there are also phrases for blog headlines that are best avoided.
As part of the analysis done by BuzzSumo to identify the best, they gathered data that showed the worst headline words and phrases.
This table here shows the blog headlines that do not do well in search.
When constructing your blog headlines these are the phrases that are best avoided if you want your article to be read.
What makes a headline irresistible?
Along with the strength, engagement, and impression score of your headlines, there are also other elements you can consider.
People like ideas, secrets, and facts, so it’s worth incorporating those if you can.
36% of people prefer list-based headlinesConversion XL
Your headline can convey a solution or promise improvement of some kind to your audience.
Using numbers at the start of your headline to gain attention, for example:
“10 ways to improve your relationship“
Your blog headlines should be simple, enticing, and appealing to your audience without over-promising.
Perform A/B testing on blog headlines
If you want to monitor the performance of your blog headlines and take it a step further, you can perform A/B testing
This simply means using different variations of your title to see which one works best for engagement and gains you the highest search rankings.
There are several WordPress plugins available that can help you with split testing, download one, and enter the blog headlines that you want to test.
Performing A/B testing will highlight very quickly which headline formats work for your audience.
This means that you can use the information when constructing subsequent blog headlines for your articles.
Your headlines are the only thing that your readers see before opening your articles to read them. Time spent to make them as appealing as possible is time well spent.
There are sometimes hundreds of articles written for one subject, so anything you can do, even fine tweaks, can make your article rank better and be read.