We get it. You want to create a stellar headline that will pique anyone’s curiosity and land on your website. In an ideal world, that click will (eventually) turn into a conversion or a lead. Unfortunately, digital strategies aren’t meant to function in a utopic atmosphere and marketers are in a constant battle to come up with headlines and content that will attract a flood of eyeballs. As such, some go as far as creating some (interesting) clickbait headlines and content only to see the fruit of their efforts fall not too far from the tree. Sensational headlines may seem worthy of a click but the bounce rate accompanying that is alarming. Content marketers looking to receive quality clicks must forgo the temptation to write up a catchpenny headline. So, how can you market your content with informative headlines that stray from the errs of clickbait? Here’s a guideline to help you format content that removes sensationalism but is still worthy of clicks.
1. Think of the long term success: Set the expectation
We aren’t denying that clickbait headlines will (potentially) skyrocket your click-through rate but all you’re doing is damaging the longevity of your relationship with current and future visitors. By formulating catchy headlines, you are ensuring very shortlived success and encouraging a low trust factor. These headlines will be unlikely in turning visitors into customers and then loyal customers. We aren’t asking you to eliminate even a crumble of sensationalism in your headlines, but don’t exaggerate a headline and attach it to an irrelevant or redundant piece content.
Here’s an example: “The one marketing trick every digital marketer is talking about”
Here’s the reality: if everyone’s talking about it, why is it a subject of a thousand-word article?
Here’s another example: “The ultimate guide to digital marketing in 2020”
Here’s the reality: There’s nothing wrong with this article title, but if it’s not the ultimate in every aspect of the word, don’t cheat your readers. A 500-word blog post isn’t the ultimate guide, sorry.
If you’re writing up an article that is generally worthy of a zhuzh-ed up headline, go for it. But don’t overpromise and underdeliver.
2. Lists are the reigning champions
Headlines have evolved and we’ve become smarter in avoiding pitfalls but lists are still an effective tactic in attracting readers. Adding a number is a widely acknowledged and powerful way to format headlines. Here’s proof:
5 proven tactics to improve your click-through rate
What are the ways you can improve your click-through rate?
While you’re at it, using the 5-W’s are a great way to attract clicks. Make use of who, what, where, why and when to instantiate your point:
8 Habits of Really Successful Business Entrepreneurs
3. Inspire a bit of controversy
Play to the curiosity and our attraction to the rumour mill to create catchy headlines. Add some debate or controversy to your headline because it encourages readers to have active engagement. As with the previous point, make sure there’s an actual substantive debate within the body of the text.
4. Use emotion
Don’t emotionally manipulate your audience to click on an article but a tug at the emotions can prompt a click and a read. Certain words can trigger an emotional response and if you want to elicit a certain sentiment, think of the kind of emotion you want your audience to feel. If you’re looking for words that trigger an emotional appeal, here’s a list of 400 words that can help you out.
5. Shorter the better
This one is a no-brainer. Keep your headlines succinct and to the point. Very few (if any) will click on a 25-word headline with parenthesis, a semicolon and a joke you thought was original in there (but really wasn’t). See what we did just there?
6. You, yes you: Refer to your audience
Using keywords like ‘you’ or ‘your’ inspires personalisation and inherently makes a headline target the reader specifically. However, keep in mind that when you’re referring to your audience, you’re genuinely attempting to solve an issue for them.
For example: Digital Marketing tools you’re probably not using
This headline assumes a problem you’re facing and is providing a response you may find useful.
A final note from content marketing Auckland Agency
Don’t fall into the trap of clickbait articles just to get a material number on your analytics dashboard. Write up headlines that match the content and use a few of the best-practice methods listed in this article to help you get clicks without the dismal bounce rate that usually accompanies a sensationalist headline. Content remains a dominant factor in website growth. Don’t make the mistake of losing your audience in an effort to make your articles sellable. If you’re looking for an honest digital marketing agency who know the ins and outs of content marketing, contact the team at Digital Squad Auckland. Let us help you with your marketing strategy and foster a sustainable relationship with your audience with content.