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.
- 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!)
- 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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Image: Shawn Campbell