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7 Tips for Writing Awesome Blog Headlines that Drive Conversions

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Written By Dorian Martin

Are you aware of the power of great blog headlines?

Without a tempting headline, the readers won’t even get to your content. The headline is the one which determines whether the reader will decide to find out more about that topic, or keep scrolling.

We all tend to go through a bunch of blog headlines, but we only click on a few. You have to write headlines that will fall into “the chosen ones” group.

If you want to drive conversions, you should start by writing attention-grabbing headlines. To help you with that mission, we have compiled the best tips on writing high-converting blog headlines. Let’s get started!

1. Use keywords

Keywords play on two fronts: convincing search engines that your content is valuable and convincing users that your blog post is what they are looking for.

If you use keywords that match the keywords from users’ search, you are more likely to rank higher and get more clicks. It is a win-win situation.

The keyword you will use in the title need to meet the following criteria:

  • Embedded naturally in the headline
  • Presents the key focus of the headline

Always use keywords that are directly connected to what you are going to talk about in the content. In this way, when the readers get to your killer content, they won’t be disappointed. 

If you naturally mention that main keyword several times in the blog’s content, you’ll know that it is relevant.

2. Explore your headline possibilities

Writing Awesome Blog Headlines that Drive Conversions 2020Don’t set on the first headline that pops in your mind. Do some brainstorming and explore your options.

Try to write at least 5-10 headlines for each topic. The recommended number goes as high as 30 headlines per topic.

Even though many suggest that you write at least 25 headline variations, the thought of coming up with so many varieties can make you give up on this idea right away. That’s why it is better to start small and increase that number with time.

However, do keep in mind that some of the most popular blogs, such as Buffer, Upworthy, and CoSchedule, write from 25 to 30 variations.

Now, when you have the list of headline variations, the next question is: How can you know which one is the right one? Well, that is why we have online tools to help us figure out stuff like that.

Use CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to rate your headlines. It is a free tool that will consider the following when grading your headline:

  • Length
  • The type of headline
  • Word balance
  • Sentiment

The purpose of this tool is to help you access your headline’s SEO value, the possibility for social shares, and the ability to increase traffic.

What can make you more fond of this dozens-of-headlines-per-topic idea is that you can use your headline variations for other content formats? The headlines that you dismiss for your blog post can be used for social media content, emails, etc.  

3. Add numbers

Why do people navigate towards numbers? 

Mike Hamers, a found of Lightspeed Commercial Arts, a technology-focused design company, explained what makes numbers so attractive:

“Our brains are attracted to numbers because they automatically organize information into a logical order… like candy for your organizational mind.”

People also like numbers because they are specific and predictable. 

Let’s say that your headline states that you’ll present the top 5 kitchen knives. The reader will know how many options they will find in the content.

Using a headline such as “Best Kitchen Knives” can evoke numerous questions in their mind like “How many knives will be listed,” “Will the list be too long,” “Will the list be too short,” etc. The more the reader has to think, the less likely will they click on the headline.

Be specific and direct. That is what readers want. For example:

The reader will get from this headline that their choice of career will be relevant for the future. This is how you convert with headlines

Another benefit of numbers is that they evoke trust. Statistics and percentages make your blog post more credible. It gives that sense that you did your research and you know what you’re talking about.

In some cases, the numbers also signal that you are about to share something valuable and practical. For example: 

This headline gives you a clear indication of what kind of results you can achieve.

4. Announce the listicles

Giving readers a heads up that they will read a list-based content format will make them more certain to read your post. Listicles are so popular because they require minimal effort.  

Research published in the Journal of Consumer Research, The Top-Ten Effect: Consumers’ Subjective Categorization of Ranked Lists, explained the reason behind the popularity of listicles: 

The top-ten effect that we demonstrate in these studies is based on the mental tendencies to use categories and to exaggerate the differences between them. These tendencies are part of the natural human readiness to perceive the world in terms of discrete things.”

The type of listicles that readers like are:

  • Steps
  • Advice
  • Tips
  • Facts
  • Tricks
  • Reasons 

Using these words lets the reader know that they will read something specific in the content. They will get a list of facts, tips, advice, or similar type of engaging content that will teach them something important. 

What these list-based headline formats have in common is that they are practical, direct, professional, and they drive conversions. 

5. Enrich the headline with power words

The beauty of power words is that they call for attention. They are like the most charismatic person at the party who lights up the room as soon as they step in. Power words have that charisma.

You must have heard about the typical power words like:

  • New
  • Now
  • Extra
  • Awesome
  • Killer
  • Monetize
  • Skyrocket
  • Whopping 

They all give a hint that a reader is about to encounter something amazing. But if you want to take the whole “power word” strategy to the next level, use sensory words.

Henneke, a copywriter, and marketer, explained what makes sensory power words so enchanting:

“Sensory words help readers see, feel, hear, taste, or even smell your words; and that is why they engage more brainpower and attract more attention.”

As the name suggests, sensory words are words that appeal to our senses. Take a look at the following headline examples:

  • Quick Tips to Spice Up Bland Facebook Posts
  • 5 Instagram Story Trick to Dazzle Your Followers

There’s just something about sensory words that make you want to experience the opportunity that content offers. Their magic is what will bring you those conversions. 

6. Talk directly to readers

Adding a personal touch in the headline will help you drive more conversions. That personal touch can be addressing the readers.

Write the headline as if you are directly speaking to the reader. For example:

  • Organizing Hacks that Will Make Your Life Easier
  • 10 Tips for College Students: How to Balance Your Studies and Personal Life

Involve the reader in the story before they even start reading. Make them feel like that post is written specifically for them.

7. Measure and adapt

Do you know how people say “the best way to learn is from experience”? You should apply that advice to writing your blog headlines.

The success of the headlines ultimately depends on the audience. The only way you’ll find out what your audience likes best is to keep track of their actions.

Test how your headlines perform and use that data to steer your headline creation in the right direction. 

You can get your hands on headline success metrics without any trouble. For example, WordPress offers both free and premium plugins for testing your headlines. 

Pay attention to:

  • How many people clicked on the headline
  • How many people clicked on the headline and stayed on the post

Both metrics are important for identifying the type of headlines that attract the most attention but also the type of headlines that are relevant to the content.  

Final thoughts: Writing blog headlines

We have come to the end of this headline-crafting journey. The next step you need to take is to put these tips to use.

Remember that the foundation is to think about your audience along the way. Keep their interests in mind, and you’ll be able to achieve your goal – drive conversions.

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