Did that get your attention?
It did because you’re curious and you want to know more. Whether, heaven forbid, it’s to find out how that just happened to you, or because you want to learn more to prevent it from happening to you in the future.
To tell you the truth, you are either losing or attracting new prospects with your headlines every time someone clicks on your website.
That is why it is very important that you understand the importance of headlines and get some insider tips on how to craft them well.
Most people will only read your headline. In fact, because people skim the information their presented with, it’s only 80% of your visitors. Shocking isn’t it?
In fact, no matter how wonderful your write-up is, if your headline doesn’t instantly grab attention, there’s a huge chance that your article won’t be read.
Your headline will determine the number of people who will bother to read further into your article. Common sense tells you that a great headline will draw in many more readers than an average one (And you are right).
I remember reading or being told that you should spend at least 60% of your writing time on developing the most compelling of headlines. But what amounts to a great headline?
A great headline is any caption that attracts the attention of your target audience. It more than likely won’t mean anything to those who aren’t being targeted (and that’s ok. you don’t want a mob; you want fans). So, stuffing your headline with irrelevant keywords, might get you the traffic but they’ll soon go when they realise that the headline isn’t significant to the content.
Remember, if you are writing stuff that has to do with your business, your ultimate goal is to get a paying client NOT just another admirer.
So, back to this killer title, how do you write one?
There are many ways to approach this. Apart from the more obvious headlines which pose questions, you can come from the benefits point of view. For example, “If You Paint Your House Red, You Can Deter Burglars.”
Another useful angle is the pain or gain approach, using headlines such as, “Are You Ashamed Of Your Dog’s Behaviour?” or “These Tips Will Increase Your Income.”
One of my favourites is the negative headline.
Do you remember the headline of this article? You’ve probably forgotten it by now, but it has done its job, because you’re still reading. It drew you in to find out more about writing irresistible headlines.
But did you notice that I got your attention by using something you dread (That’s unless you don’t have any clients at the moment)?
I chose it because the human race is wired to give attention to bad news. Check your newspapers and you’ll see that the big story is almost always about something negative. Newspaper publishers know that people won’t bother to read if they have the headline…
“Attempted Arson At Acme Thing Co.”
Rubbish! That’s too ordinary for anyone to want to read it. It’s boring. But they do know that people will get interested in a headline that looks like this…
“Employee Attempts To Burn Down Business To Spite Boss.”
You’ll want to check that out, won’t you? It’s bad news. It’s negative. But…
So how can you apply this when writing for your business? Here are some tips…
- Call attention to the disaster that looms if an action isn’t taken.
“Car Wreck — Very Likely Unless You Do This.”
Works better than…
“Get your brakes checked.”
- Call attention to another person’s misfortune, and give a warning that will make them interested in reading more.
“Why She Lost Her Man To Another Woman And How To Keep Yours.”
Works better than…
“How To Stay Happily Married.”
- Ask a question that makes them want to prevent their worst fears from coming to pass
“Could You End Up Homeless If You Lost Your Job?”
Works better than…
“The Importance Of Accident, Sickness And Redundancy Insurance.”
These are just pointers to help you start coming up with headlines that sell. Just pick up your newspapers and pay close attention to how they highlight the negative. Learn to do this and you will find more people sticking around to read through your write-ups (And hopefully start to buy your products or services).
However, the most important thing to remember is never deceive or lie to your readers because you want to get their attention. It will backfire. Sit back for some serious thought, and you will come up with something true but catchy I’m sure.