Write honest headlines to get clicks and conversions

By Brittany Taylor

Write honest headlines to get clicks and conversions

Oct. 29, 2015 

Betrayal—it’s what you feel when you click on an article and realize it’s not what its headline promised it would be.

I hate that feeling, but what I hate even more is that I feel it so frequently. I understand why click bait headlines seem like a good idea: Pageviews are great for your confidence, and often higher-ups can be sold on any high number they’re told is significant.

But, pageviews don’t mean anything if your visitors aren’t reading what you’re writing and converting into customers. Your content is purposeful; your clicks should be, too.

Do it! Write headlines that satisfy your readers

Clicks start with a headline. It needs to be catchy, and it helps if there’s a killer image to help capture your visitors’ attention. Being catchy without being bait-y can be tough (and boy, do some websites make it look impossible!). Here’s how to write headlines right:

  1. Write your content first. If you’re writing with a headline in mind, write that down, too. However, you should come back to the headline when you’re finished to make sure that it represents what you’ve written. If it doesn’t and you absolutely love it, paste it into a later-gator Word document and move on.
  2. Come up with something boring but comprehensive. The idea here is to pull together key words and phrases that are essential to your blog post, article, or e-book. This is your springboard.
  3. Set a time for 60 seconds and go hog-wild. You don’t have to set a timer, but creating a concrete limit will keep you focused on a solution rather than fixated on perfection. Write down everything you can think of in this time period, even if it’s way too kitschy or totally stupid or not really relevant to your content at all. Just get it out there. Word vomit all over the place.
  4. Pick one. Get rid of the more heinous option. When you’re left with legitimate contenders, ask yourself what would make you click that link. Ask what sounds like your business’ brand. Then, you know, pick one.

Clicks start with a headline. It needs to be catchy, and it helps if there’s a killer image to help capture your visitors’ attention. Being catchy without being bait-y can be tough (and boy, do some websites make it look impossible!). Here’s how to write headlines right.

Optimize it! Use a tool that will pick the best option every single time

KingSumo Headlines is AppSumo’s latest offering. It allows you to A/B/X test as many headlines as you want. The tool automatically rotates between all the headlines you input, and then uses the data it gathers on each headline’s performance to pick your best title for web traffic optimization. The data is accessible to users, so you can track how you’re doing with zero fuss. It costs $99 for lifetime use for sites with a combined total of 50,000 visitors per month. (Yep, you can use one app purchase on multiple sites.) I haven’t tested this yet myself, but it’s on my radar—and it should be on yours, too.

Your turn! What are your headline gripes? What are your favorite tricks? Share them with me on Instagram @seebrittwrite.

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