The hardest part about creating content is getting people to read it. To do this you’re going to need headlines that hook your audience. So, if you’re looking to write your own content, here are some of our top tips for writing headlines that will engage with readers.
Budget time for your headline
Headlines are tricky and they take time to get right, so plan accordingly. Professional copywriters can spend more time writing a heading than they do on the main text. This is because headlines have a lot of work to do. Not only do they have to grab the readers’ attention, they also have to give them a reason to carry on reading. Added to this, copy for the Internet will also need to include keywords so that it is optimised for search engines. So, when you think about it, you’ve suddenly got quite a lot to squeeze in not so much space.
Keep it concise
Speaking of space, headlines should be short and clear. This not only makes them easier to read, but also helps with your SEO. Search engines grab your headline to use as their search result title. Ever seen a search result that suddenly ends with an ellipsis (…)? That’s because Google thought that heading was ‘too long’. To be safe, aim for no more than 65 characters including spaces.
Speak to your readers’ emotions
Using cute things to engage people obviously works – just look at the number of cat videos floating around the Internet. But there are a whole range of emotions you can tap into as well. Whether it’s the readers’ frustrations, fears or desires, targeting emotions will speak to them on a level they can relate to. This then gives them a reason to engage with your content.
Making a reader think that they’ve been missing out on some big secret is another great way to use feelings to engage your audience. Nobody likes being left in the dark, and promoting intrigue is a great way to encourage them to read on.
Make sure it fits with your content
Audiences read articles expecting to get what the headline promises. So, make sure your content and headline are on the same page – metaphorically speaking. If your content doesn’t deliver, the audience may feel frustrated and be less likely to read it in the future. Readers can also quickly identify when they’re being oversold to, and are pretty fed up with it. So be wary of using headlines with ‘best ever’ or other kinds of over-exaggeration in them. Readers may just assume your content won’t deliver and skip it entirely.
So, there you have it. Four tips you can use to encourage readers to take the time to read your content.
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