How to Write Great Headlines for People and Search

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How to Write Great Headlines for People and Search

Most of us know the power of a great headline. But have trouble getting it right.

Sometimes it’s too wordy. Other times too vague. Sometimes it doesn’t convey the essence of what we mean. Or maybe it just sounds too boring.

How great would it be if we had a formula to plug a headline into?

What about being able to see what other people have done with similar headlines?

Or how about getting a grade on our headline so we know if it’s effective or not for sure?

How about all three in this video? 🙂

Watch below as I take you through a live example of how I craft my headlines using two super awesome tools.

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VIDEO SCRIPT

What Makes an Effective Headline?

David Ogilvy – the man who is widely regarded as the Father of Advertising – said that “five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.”

But what goes into making an effective headline?

My formula for an effective headline is:

Effective headline = people wants to click + search engines want to index and display

So there are two basic parts to getting your headline right: getting people to click on it and getting search engines to rank it.

Let’s talk search robots first.

To get indexed and ranked by search engines your headline should contain 55 characters or slightly less and you should place your keywords at the beginning or right at the end of your headline.

Next up, people-friendly headlines.

To get people to click on your headline, you should ensure you have a healthy mix of emotive and power words in your headline. Anything that elicits emotion works well for a headline.

How to Optimise Headlines for both Search Robots and Humans:

The best way I know how to do this it to:

“Write for humans, optimise for search”.

And you don’t have to rely on just your mind to do this. You can use the help of two awesome headline writing tools that will help you fine tune and craft your message to perfection.

These tools are:

Buzzsumo
Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer

Buzzsumo is a great website to find what kind of content does well, what’s popular, what’s being shared, etc. You can then use this information to know whether your keywords will be likely to perform well or not.

Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyzer is fabulous for tweaking your headline to include emotional words and power words to encourage clicks. The tools gives your headline an alphabetical as well as a numerical grade. (psst: I always try to get an A+ hehe). The tool also gives you some great extras, like ideal character and word length, your headline’s emotion, and how it’ll look in search results.

For example, one of the headlines I used in my previous videos was “How to be Interesting so People will Listen”. Here’s how I arrived at that headline using Buzzsumo and Headline Analyzer:

A quick search on Buzzsumo revealed that the phrase “how to be interesting” had shares in the thousands, so it was clearly popular. Moreover articles on this topic were being written by leading publications such as Business Insider, further proving that the topic had legs. Some of the headlines used by the big publications included list posts, how-to’s and reasons for why you’d want to be interesting.

Next, I plugged this info into the Headline Analyzer and started to tweak my main headline “how to be interesting” to include variations such as:

  • How to be interesting
  • 3 ways to be more interesting
  • How to be interesting so people will listen
  • How to be interesting so people will stop and listen
  • How to be so interesting people will want to listen

I then used a combination of the most high-performing versions of this headline and peppered them into various areas of the video and blog post.

So go ahead try and use these two tools to write better headlines. They are both free for limited use and don’t even require you to sign in to start. So you can start using them right away!

One last word about headlines: never, ever use click bait headlines. Click bait headlines lure the reader into thinking they are going to read something but the body text doesn’t deliver on the headline’s promise. You can fool people once with this method but they won’t be coming back to read your content.

Your Turn

Leave a comment and share with me a headline you tweaked using the 2 tools.

If you liked this video and blog post, please share it with all your friends and subscribe to my video blog to receive one video a week + exclusive discounts straight to your inbox!

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