How to create blog headlines that drive more traffic

How to create blog headlines that drive more traffic (Unsplash/Kaitlyn Baker)

A bold, eye-catching blog headline leads someone to click on it and start reading the content. You might not realize it just yet, but your headline is the most valuable part of the content (at least at first glance) — the whole blog itself comes second. 

Around 59% of links shared on social media are basically ignored by internet users, according to research published by computer scientists at Columbia University. In lieu of reading an entire article, they simply just read the headline and then share it with others.

The above probably stings those who feel like they put a lot of effort into crafting engaging and purposeful content, but this means you need to think outside the box and go above and beyond for your blog headlines — while still maintaining the great quality of your blog.

The better your headline is, the more traffic you'll get.

Create urgency

The best headlines persuade the reader that they must read the content immediately. Use words like "now" or "today" — this kind of word choice can evoke a sense of urgency. These, however, need to be accurate. Find the justification for the push, then you can freely assert the urgency of your work. 

Afterward, give them an attractive benefit that people will want sooner rather than later. A headline like 5 Ways to Quickly Get More Youtube Subscribers will be compelling to struggling Youtubers, and you best believe they will want to read the content right away to reap the promised benefit shown in the headline.

Include numbers

Numbers not only attract attention, but they also offer the reader an efficient and organized reading experience. For example, your audience may not want to spend much time grappling with reading a whole thesis on a topic they are looking for, but they certainly can process five tips in the next 10 minutes.

If you're writing a listicle blog post, put the points in numbers and write the total in your headline as a digit. Also, it's best to come up with odd numbers. 

Headlines with odd numbers can potentially have a 20 percent higher click-through rate than those with even numbers, according to Content Marketing Institute. 

Keep relevancy, SEO in mind

Your target audience may be humans, but you should consider how SEO deciphers your content. Therefore, always make sure your headlines are relevant to both of them. 

To succeed at this, focus on keywords you know your target audience is already seeking, and then explore the search volume for those keywords. Once you've settled on a keyword, use it as the starter part of your headline, or as close to the beginning as possible, to pique your reader's attention.

Make it concise

A blog headline should be no more than 70 characters long to appear on the first pages of search results.

However, don't feel obligated to keep all of your post titles at this length. Opinions differ out there about this, but many digital marketing experts recommend headlines of no more than 6-10 words. 

Suppose it requires more than 10 words to convey the key message of your blog. In that case, however, readers will likely skip over your headline in search of more concise information. It's paramount to be straightforward — don't give away too much and too quickly! 

Follow this knowledge, train your instincts and then follow those, too. 

As you can see, everything is deeply connected. Writing superb headlines will help you establish rapport with your audience right away. 

Then, as your audience grows, your traffic will also increase. But, it doesn't stop there — upon discovering that your content is even better than your headline and satisfies their curiosity, you can expect to receive more social media shares. 

A blog is a presentation - make sure it wraps itself perfectly and takes the reader on a journey from discovery to an eventual return.

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