No matter how brilliant your writing, or how gorgeous your photography, unless you grab a reader’s attention with a catchy, click-worthy headline, you won’t capture new readers. Plus, effective post titles are infinitely more shareable. There are a few ways to refine and master the headline-writing process.
Here’s how to write click-worthy headlines in three seriously easy steps:
- Create formulas that work. You don’t want all your headlines to be the same, of course. But, if you create a batch of headlines formulas that works for you and your readers, draw from them regularly. Formats that work consistently well (and appeal to Google) include:
- How tos (“How to Teach Your Cat to High Five on Cue”),
- Questions (“Why Does My Fish Tank Get Cloudy After a Water Change?”),
- Numbered lists (“9 Dog Tricks to Teach This Spring”), and
- Actions (“Do These 3 Things to Help Your Ferret Enjoy Vet Visits”).
- Test your headline. There are two ways to do this, one before you click publish and one after. Let’s start with after: When you scroll through your Google Analytics, note which posts seem to be drawing the most clicks. This is an inexact science because maybe you put a Facebook spend behind a particular post or a huge account tweeted you. However, you can get a sense of what consistently works for your audience over time. Before you click publish, test your headline in an analysis tool. Useful tools tell you why your title works… or doesn’t… and gives tips on how to improve it. I like the CoSchedule headline analyzer tool (BTW: The headline on this post earned a 72 in their tool.)
- Monitor and adjust. Create a bank of headline formulas that work for you (step one above) and for your audience and Google (step two above). Then, make it part of your regular posting schedule to monitor how your post headlines are performing. Find something that’s no longer serving your readers? Adjust! Maybe after a month of monitoring you discover that “how tos” just aren’t bringing in new readers. Swap out those for actionable titles–they’re really very similar in context, after all–and compare performance after another month.
Thankfully there is room to experiment with blog post headlines! It’s an iterative process, so even if you find a headline format that works, stay on top of your testing and monitoring so you can adjust and grow!
Three questions for you today:
- What gets the click for you?
- Are there headline formats that work (or not) for your readership?
- Do new readers respond to the same headline formulas as your regular audience?
Please share your response to one or all in the comments so we can all learn from each other!
Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws senior editor. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com.