A majority of traffic that comes to your blog comes due to your headline. Whether people see your blog headline on a social networking websites like Twitter or Facebook or among search engine results, it’s your blog headline that catches their attention and makes them click the link and come to your blog.
Millions of words have been written to explain how to create compelling headlines for your blog posts and web pages, but still it remains one of the most challenging parts of publishing content. Many content creation endeavors are stunted because people cannot come up with appropriate headlines.
Think what your readers are looking for while creating headlines
Remember that you are creating a blog post for people to read, and not just for your amusement. People are looking for something they need. They are looking for a solution to their current problem. The need might be urgent, or casual. There might not even be a problem. May be you are offering something that amuses and entertains people. Whatever you are offering, specify that in your headline. Suppose you want to tell people how to create a simple website in 5 minutes. Your headline options could be:
How to create a website in 5 minutes
The fastest way of creating a website
Have a website in 5 minutes
The quickest way to having your own website
As you can see, the above-mentioned headlines cater to people wanting to create a website really fast. You wouldn’t use these headlines if you want to write about how to create an e-commerce website. Be very specific and always be mindful of whom you are targeting.
Don’t neglect the main keywords your users will use
Search is still the greatest means of finding content, whether it is done on search engines or social networking/media websites. It means your rankings matter. Although your rankings don’t just depend on optimized content (they also depend on the quality of backinks) using your main keywords at strategic locations can have a big impact on your final search engine rankings.
Using your primary keywords in your headline also keeps you focused. Take for example the above mentioned headlines (about creating a website fast): there are many keywords in these headlines, viz., “create website fast” and their variations. Since most of your prospective readers will be using these words to look for the information it’s better to put these words in the title itself so that it easily gets found (various search engines still use text in your title to decide how to rank your specific links).
Another benefit of using your main keywords in your headlines is that it has been observed that people tend to click those links most that contain words that they have just used to carry out a search.
Create shorter headlines
Shorter headlines are not just crisp they are also easier to share on social networking websites like Twitter. With 140-character limit, every character matters and if you want people to retweet your link you also need to let them insert their own comments. There are plenty of URL shortening services but as of now there is no service that can shorten headlines without losing their meaning.
While creating your blog posts make sure you spend ample amount of time on the headline because it is your headline that is going to draw most of the traffic from various sources.