Statistics say that on average a full 80% of people who come into contact with your content online never read anything more than the headline. That means only 20% of people will ever read beyond your headline, if you’re average.
And keep in mind that half of the people out there are below average and far fewer people ever get past their headlines to hear what they have to say. For someone who is well below average, hardly anyone will get past their weak titles and see their content.
Fortunately this is one place where it’s not too hard to beat the curve.
Focus On Your Headlines
Because they are so important when it comes to getting more people to see your content, you should put some real effort into writing great headlines. They’re so important that master communicator Michael Hyatt says he often spends as much time on his headline as he does writing entire post.
I don’t go that far. However because I do recognize how important they are I put effort into writing my headlines.
But more effort alone won’t help you if you don’t know what makes a great headline. Fortunately there are a couple of free resources you can use to see huge improvements in that area very quickly.
The first resource is over on Copyblogger. Master marketing copywriter Brian Clark put together a some of his best blog posts on the subject in one place to make it easy to get some of his best tips quickly.
You can find that page here:
I refer to that page and those posts regularly, especially when I’m writing something I want to get as much exposure as possible. In there you’ll find headline templates that will speed up your creative process.
Oh, and if you’re serious about improving your writing you should subscribe to Copyblogger and make it a habit to read his stuff. His archives are a wealth of knowledge that will improve your writing across the board. You could dig through them and glean a tone of tips very quickly.
OK. So now you have some understanding of what goes into making a great headline, and you even have some powerful templates to stimulate your creative process. But how do you know if your particular headlines are really any good?
There’s a tool that can help you with that. Check it out here:
With the Headline Analyzer you can paste in your headline and then see how it scores.
A score of about 20% would be one of those average headlines we talked about at the beginning. You know, the ones that 80% of the people drift right past.
Your goal should be to get a score of 30% or higher. Obviously the higher the better. When you get above 50% you’ve got a solid headline for sure.
It only takes a few seconds to test a headline with this tool so greatly speeds up the creative process and helps you get to a more powerful headline more quickly.
If you’re like me, finding time to write is a huge challenge. You’ve got a business or ministry to run. So a tool like this can greatly increase your effectiveness and increase your efficiency at the same time.
To give you a feel for the process, here are the headlines I tested for this article followed by their scores:
“Why Your Headlines Are Repelling Website Traffic” – 14.29
“Attract More Web Traffic With Killer Headlines” – 0.00
“What Everybody Ought To Know About Writing Great Headlines” – 33.33
“Two Resources For Better Headlines and More Traffic” – 25.00
“Two Resources For Awesome Headlines and Killer Traffic” – 37.50
“Two Resources For Awesome Headlines and Free Traffic” – 50.00
“Two Free Resources For Awesome Headlines and Killer Traffic” – 44.44
“Two Free Resources For Awesome Headlines That Attract Crazy Traffic” – 50.00
“Two Free Resources For Awesome Headlines That Increase Traffic” – 55.56
It’s interesting to me that some of the ones I thought would do well actually scored very poorly. Normally if I get somewhere in the 33% range I’ll call that good enough. But since this article is about writing headlines I went for something above 50%.
And I don’t always run with a headline just because it gets a high score. It is possible to write a headline that scores high, but reads like gibberish. So use your brain when you’re using this tool.
Your headline is critical, but there is a whole lot more to writing great content that is both attractive to people and has great Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Those two things go hand-in-hand, by the way. When you write content that people flock to, it will naturally do well in the search engines.
The reverse it pretty much true as well. Write content with strong SEO characteristics and people will tend to flock to it as well.
If you’re new at this, or if you just want to improve your website’s performance in the search engine there is an incredibly powerful tool you can use to check your web pages and blog posts before they go live:
Scribe is a premium service, and it’s not cheap. But when it comes to search engine optimization, your choices are limited.
- You can truck along doing what you’re doing and hope for the best – costing you exposure and business
- You can hire an SEO expert – crazy expensive and it is be hard to tell the charlatans from the superstars
- Or you can use the proven tool Scribe to show you how to do it right – very cost effective
I can recommend Scribe because I’ve used it. I’ve seen it in action on this very site.
That said, I’m not using it now. Turns out when I would run evaluations I consistently got evaluations scores right at 100%. That’s not a brag. It’s just that I’ve been blogging since 2005 and I’ve learned over time how to write well for the web. It turns out anymore I naturally write with good SEO.
That’s because I always write with my audience in mind. When you write for people, the SEO naturally follows.
But you may not have my years of web writing experience. If not, Scribe is an excellent tool to dramatically improve the quality of your content and see immediate returns with increased traffic.