In a competitive online market, getting noticed is a difficult task. Much like using hashtags, as we outlined in last week’s article, an easy and surprisingly important way to get your content attention is through writing catchy titles (but not clickbait!). SEO is important, but it’s pretty useless if you don’t get enough CTR. Remember: it doesn’t help to rank if no one clicks. In all reality, 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, but only 2 out of 10 will go on to read the article or post. Since writing titles, headlines or “leads” is so important for getting your content more CTR, and we’ve put together a list of rules for writing catchy titles that will get you noticed.
#1 Start with a working title and refine it after you finish writing
This is the difference between writing compelling titles and clickbait. Start with a title that describes your idea, but don’t get too attached. Some say that there is an 80/20 rule: 80% of the time should be spent on crafting a title, and the other 20% on the body of the content. So what to do? Start simple, and by the time you’ve finished the body of your copy, you can return to the title and rework it. Remember to be accurate: the title should reflect the content and not misrepresent it – this is how we avoid creating clickbait. Here are some examples of good, clickable titles vs clickbait:
10 Ways You Can Improve _______
Useful Tips for Training Your Dog
______Facts and Myths
10 Things You’re Doing WRONG That’s Ruining _______
I Left My Dog at Home, and This Happened! I Can’t Believe It!
The Greatest _______ in Internet History!!
#2 Make It Fun and Interesting
Make your phrasing (especially adjectives) strong, but not too strong. Overusing flavourful language for hype makes it lose its impact and creates a lack of trust with readers. Here are some examples of interesting headline keywords vs clickbait keywords:
Superlatives (Best/Worst/Most etc.)
It also helps to think “who” not “why,” or “how” not “what.” People like to read about people and learn about verbs and action, not nouns and description. It’s also always wise to add interesting visuals to your content that not only draws the eye but helps readers visualise the ideas of your content.
#3 Don’t Forget the Technical Side
While creativity is key, you can’t forget about making your titles as streamlined and SEO-friendly as possible as well. Some useful tips for making sure your titles can be easily searchable and redistributed on social media platforms are:
- Keep it short: keep your title under 70 characters so you don’t get cut off in search engines, and so the article can be re-Tweeted easily
- Put keywords toward the beginning of the title
- Post titles with ten words containing at least two keywords are considered SEO rich
- Use special characters wisely
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