The Content Creator's Quick Guide to Nailing that Headline

The Content Creator's Quick Guide to Nailing that Headline
If you've ever written anywhere - be it a blog post, an article, or even an essay - you might notice that it's the headline or title that grabs the reader’s attention. This is all the more important for us content creators, as our pieces remain the lifeblood of our blogs and even our branding.

It's blogs that help boost our marketing efforts and ensure audiences have a way to familiarize themselves with our products and services in an easily-accessible manner.

If our content doesn't attract readers, then how can we generate leads and sales? Thankfully, there's actually an easy way to make topnotch headlines for your pieces. And it's actually much more organized, simple, and straightforward than you think.

A lot of this involves research, planning, and just going with the flow. Here's how you can make headlines that actually work:

Add keywords that matter to the subject

Perhaps the first advice you should follow is something related to SEO or search engine optimization. Basically, don't forget to make sure your headlines actually contain keywords - or phrases and words that you want search engines to recognize and hopefully suggest to your readers.

This is beneficial to your audiences as well, as keywords in headlines allow readers to immediately know that your article talks about a particular subject that they may be interested in.
  • Don’t neglect your keyword research when creating headlines for your pieces. Try to assess whether your chosen keywords in your article can actually help with improving your site and brand’s overall SEO. If possible, use analytics programs and software to check your proposed headlines, or even just check whether your chosen keywords are currently relevant to your industry or if you should replace them.
  • Study your proposed headlines. If possible, try to make a ton of headline suggestions based on the many ideas that appear in the article. The more headline ideas you have, the better, as this allows you to explore multiple angles and “approaches” to your headline. Don’t hesitate to use apps that allow you to analyze headlines, even if others seem very “basic,” as these allow you to have different software make different inferences and opinions on your chosen headlines. These give you different analyses to your current ideas, and give you suggestions on how to modify them.
Add keywords that matter to the subject

Answer questions and clarify topics with the reader

Another way you can make engaging headlines is by making sure your headlines get to answer questions or clarify topics regarding your subject.

This means trying to get to the root question or topic your article explores and then attempting to share the most vital point as the headline. This can surprise readers with the new information or data, and at the same time compels them to read so their information is expanded.
  • A quick way of making catchy headlines is to determine what information your piece best shares and how you can motivate people to read it. This can either be in the form of solving a problem, creating the “lack” of knowledge, or even using numbers and statistics. These all serve a single purpose - as in, motivate the members of the public and your readerbase to actually click the piece and read through them.
  • Building upon the above, don’t hesitate to look into the competition and other members of the industry. Chances are, they’re applying these same strategies that you’re looking into. So a good way to make catchy headlines is to be one step ahead of them - try to look into their titles and pieces and check what questions they’ve actually answered, and which ones they may have neglected. That’s the headline you might be looking for, as this is something people may legitimately be interested in.
Answer questions and clarify topics with the reader

Engage by talking to your readers

One of the most effective ways of nailing an amazing headline is to look at it from a conversational perspective. Forget clickbait, focus on making headlines that "connect" with your readers in a conversational way.

What's a way of encapsulating your article's point in a way that you'd say in a casual conversation? This is why some of the headlines from big publications actually get a lot of hits - it's not just the publication or story that's credible, but the headline used encourages readers to click and read.
  • Make sure your headlines are actually “talking” to your readers. A lot of headlines tend to be “off” to some readers because they sound too neutral, too “fake,” or even too “trying hard.” As such, make sure headlines you make are straightforward, even if they’re a bit creative. You should say right away what sort of answer you’re giving, or what problem you want to solve for your readers. You can withhold some information for the purpose of revealing them in the article, but you should be firm with what you want to tell your readers.
  • Fulfill your “promise” to your readers. If you choose a headline that hypes your answer, make sure the rest of your article is worth the hype. Clickbait can be bearable to readers for as long as the “bait” actually leads to something worthwhile. This means only reserve your more creative and controversial headlines to pieces that are actually very relevant to your industry, and reserve the more tame but straightforward titles to your other pieces.
Engage by talking to your readers

Analyze your readers and how they look at the industry

One great way you can nail that headline is to analyze and study how your readers look at your industry and even your topic at hand.

Knowing their perspective on the matter allows you to see if they have particular "wording" patterns they use when commenting or posting over the internet. This helps you make your headlines something they can relate to and even click, as they're using a language they're familiar with.
  • Try to look into your audiences first, so you know what sort of content your audiences are into in the first place. You can do this by looking into your audience analytics and figuring out how they “interact” with your content. What sort of people are reading your blog, or clicking your social media content? What sort of demographic do they belong to? Their location, gender, or even their customer preferences may be able to help you determine the kind of lifestyle they have, and what sort of language they use and they appeal to. This can make your content more targeted to their needs.
  • Don’t settle for members of your industry in your local area, though. If possible, try to look at how members of the industry in other regions or even other countries tackle your particular topic or subject. This allows you to have a better grasp of how other cultures also tackle “appealing” to their audiences, especially if you’re noticing that some members of your foreign audiences are actually reading or engaging with your articles. For instance, teams like OrganicLinkBuilders cater to businesses looking for digital marketing support across the world - as such, they make their content fit a more international audience. Meanwhile, McDonald’s, with many branches across stores worldwide, also adjust their marketing strategy to make content that fits both their local audiences and their international following.

Making Great Headlines: It's All In the Story

A lot of the best pieces out fair rely on great headlines to capture reader interest. And this makes sense, as catchy and interesting headlines almost always guarantee an interesting piece ahead.

If you've written some of your best works, all that effort might go to waste if you don't use a catchy headline with them. And worse, if you're a content marketer your campaigns might not meet their goals if you don't approach headlines more intelligently. Hopefully, the tips above are able to give you useful and helpful tips in order to improve your headlines.

If you have some other tips and suggestions for other content creators feel free to share them below. And if you have other examples of great headlines let's discuss them with the comments.
Guest Post by: John Wyatt, he considers himself as a very tech-savvy but also very traditional person. He enjoys typing on his laptop just as much as he writes with a pen, and this is reflected in his creative works - be it articles, blogs, or even simple posts. He loves writing about science and technology, psychology, health and wellness, and other topics he knows his readers will love to explore.