Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Get more traffic from Twitter with these 6 great headline tips

So, you have all those followers on Twitter and yet when you tweet a link to your latest blog post…..nothing much happens!

Why did so few of those hundreds (or thousands) of your followers click your link; after all, it’s a great post?

Your headline let you down!

People will ONLY click your links and read your content, if the headline or title is compelling enough.  If just a small percentage of your followers are clicking on your links, it’s because the headline isn’t selling that link to your followers.  It’s not compelling them enough, to make them want to click through to your site and find out more.  Unless they do that, they will never know how great your posts are, which is why headlines are easily the most important element of your content.

Your headlines or titles are what open the door to your content.  To succeed, your content has to be effective too, but nothing happens until people actually READ what you have written and your headline is what either encourages them to read the first line of your material – Or not.  Get the headline wrong and you make it very hard for your content to get noticed.

6 headline secrets behind yesterday’s post

To show you what I mean, I will use the example of yesterday’s post, which was extremely successful.  It’s title was: Build a great client list with this 1 simple idea.  Here are six of the secrets behind it.

The headline didn’t try and do everything.  There was enough information in that headline to explain what the post was about and get the reader curious.  To discover what the “1 simple idea” is, the reader has to click through.  The more curious you can make someone, the more likely they are to take action; in this case click a link.

The headline was relevant to my readers. It was a marketing related headline and my friends on social networks connect with me because they are interested in marketing.

The headline made a compelling promise.  Every headline makes a promise to the reader.  The promise of that headline, is that if they click that link, I will give them some valuable information, which will help them with a huge problem; attracting better clients.  The post content delivers on the promise, which is essential if you want people to come back!  A great headline, which points to a post that fails to deliver on the headline’s promise, will cause people to feel cheated and stop them trusting your headlines and links in future.

The headline let people know it was easy. Part of the headline’s promise, is that they will learn this valuable information, quickly and easily.  It’s just 1 simple idea.  This requires little time investment from the reader, with the potential to learn some valuable business information.

The headline didn’t keyword stuff. Some people seem to believe that the only way to attract search engine traffic, is to stuff their headlines with keywords.  This is flawed for 2 reasons.

  1. You can SEO your posts, by making the version of the title which people see, different from the version which search engines see.  If you use WordPress, there are plugins that allow you to do this.  If, like me, you use the Headway WordPress Theme, (affiliate link) you don’t need to mess around with plugins, it’s there out of the box (along with a ton of other great SEO features!)
  2. Your content, including titles, should be written for people, NOT search engines.  If you try and write posts that appeal to search engines rather than people, even if someone does find your site on Google or Bing etc, it will read poorly and therefore fail to convert them into subscribers, clients or customers.

The headline wasn’t clever. Some people write clever headlines, which lack any compelling reason for a busy person to click their link.  They are often abstract or cryptic, rather than interest grabbing and inspiring.

Headlines are important so give them the time they deserve

There are very few things in life, which come with a guarantee, however, I can guarantee that if you make your blog post titles more compelling, you will definitely get more traffic from social networks and feedreaders.

Invest as much time as is required, to get your headlines as attractive as possible and just watch the increase in your blogging results.

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  1. Great Tips here, especially like the simplicity factor and that it shouldnt do everything at once.

    I will certainly put it into practice right away, thanks Jim.

    Let me Buffer this post!

  2. I’m still learning the power of a good title – some of my posts go through the roof when I post a link to the title and others fizzle out with no response – there’s a real science behind it. I have a couple of real winners up my sleeve right now though!

  3. Great resources here Jim ! Thanks for sharing !!

  4. Thank you for this post! I especially appreciated the idea that content should be written for people, not search engines. Sometimes I get so caught up in how well something will come up in a search engine that I forget real people will read the content.

    Thanks again!

  5. Precisely the reminder I needed.

    • It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the post content, that we forget to focus just as hard on the title.

      Get the title right, Irene, and people click through to find the gold dust in your post.

  6. Yesterday I rewrote the title of my blog post from being simply ‘ Small Gestures’ to ‘Helping Your Clients With Small Gestures’.

    I’m sure as a result of reading this post and then changing my headline, that it helped with doubling my traffic I had from the previous day!


  7. When I read your pieces it the common sense approach I like. As you suggested in your previous tweet to me you have visited our web site. I will now have to revise our offerings in the as I think we are missing the title trick even there. Please explain ‘buffer’

    Regards, David

    • Hi David. Yes, your site could 100% definitely benefit from some titles that will inspire more high quality visitors. If the site is an important element to your business, I would get that worked on ASAP. As Stuart mentioned, earlier, you can double (and far better) your traffic when you get it right. I have worked with clients who saw over 2,000% increases in traffic, getting their titles and content marketing strategy right.

      You’re on the right tracks!

  8. Nice post with some great ideas. I have to admit I’ve strayed into the abstract on my own personal blog
    (www.mimanifesto.wordpress.com) And I have a strange attraction to weird and abstract titles, however, I see the point you’re trying to make about ‘hooking’ the readers and reeling them in with the promise of something interesting or useful, hopefully, both !


  9. I struggle with headlines. I have a blogger blog (I know, I know, WordPress is better) and it has limitations on the URL length. Regardless, I think I need to experiment with headlines after reading this post!

    • If you really want to get the most from your blog Suzanne, I strongly recommend you export it to wordpress.

      It’s actually extremely easy.

  10. Hi Jim!

    Thanks for the great simple post! I am currently working on this: writing great headlines to match my great content! I have had a chance to look at several other posts, so much good stuff here, love it.

    I am sure you have been told this but you resemble Travolta as in John.

    I found you via John Falchetto when he reposted one of your posts. Thanks John!

    Lastly, how many times do you see great headlines in magazines, online etc: look at aol news their top 8-10 stories have these great headlines and then unfortunately 1/2 the times a crummy story!


    • Your headlines deserve the time it takes, to make them as compelling as possible, Rajka.

      You’re right about those headlines, which fail to deliver in magazines. When people let us down with headlines, which promise interesting content and fail to deliver it, they lose our trust and eventually, we stop clicking them.

      Thanks for the feedback, Rajka.

  11. Once again, great tips.

    I love your posts because they
    – are short
    – are straight to the point
    – easy to read
    – they ARE what you write

    Thank you


  12. Are you planning a follow up on time of day and repetition? I scroll to some extent to check what people I follow have been up to but know that I miss some of my favourites because Twitter hates to let me scroll.
    Your headlines come out through the day and (as a new reader) I like that you sometimes tweet archive articles too. How do you get that fine balance between catching people online and being repetitive?

    • Hi Teena. I will definitely write more on how to leverage Twitter. If a site, like this has years worth of content, covering thousands of ideas, it’s unlikely you will over share the same post. I don’t think the strategy works so well, if a blog has a relatively small number of posts, which are evergreen and worth resharing. Thanks for the question.

  13. “Small hinges swing big doors” and this article is a great new hinge. Thanks Jim.

  14. I am going to try, hope this works for me 😀

  15. Great and I love Twitter it is Fiesty and Fun! I prefer to engage, No blog, No email list. I am transparent and more out and about via social media. However, an adorable beauty blogger asked if she could be my writer and run a blog on my brand. Newly launched website, I have business! Interesting journey sales directly from social media driving traffic back to my site. I have not run a marketing campaign yet. Only engagement via twitter, FB, linkedin, and google +. Power of twitter is awesome, engaged with many and buit friendships. Thanks for valuable information for me to consider.

  16. In view of what you say about headlines Jim, I’m really interested in your opinion on using #hashtags on Twitter? I see that you don’t usually use them yourself.

    • Hi Patrick. I tend to only use them , when they have a purpose for me, which isn’t too often. They make the tweet look like junk and in testing, they add little if anything of value for me. Now, for following a conference or twitter-chat, they are superb. Twitter is a pretty minor player in my social these days, with around 90% of my interactions and traffic coming from Google+ and Facebook (in that order.)

      • Thanks Jim. I noticed they were working for me but that has leveled off now so I’m experimenting without them for a spell. Your recommendation about when and when not to use them makes a lot of sense.

  17. Hi Jim,
    You followed me on G+ yesterday so I popped over to check you out… wasn’t expecting to learn something! Great tips. You got this Canadian gal thinking!

  18. Great tips Jim,

    I arrived at this post via G+ not Twitter but it was the title that got me here!

    I often wondered if Twitter was a good traffic source at all – I do get traffic from it but not a great deal. Maybe its my titles letting me down!

    Thanks for the tips.

    • Hi John. Welcome to the blog, sir.

      When I wrote this post in 2011, Google+ wasn’t around – however, the same basics hold true.

      In short: If traffic matters to you, then titles matter. These days, I am not too bothered about attracting more readers – if I was, I’d work on better titles 😉

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