Headlines that Kill: 5 Hacks that will get people reading.

If you are writing your own copy for your Real Estate website or blog, headlines can make a difference.

An article I read in CopyBlogger said; “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.”

So what’s up with that?  Well most people skim the page and only read on only if your your content is compelling.  So if you have a dull or indecisive headline you may get people simply hitting the back button.

Don’t panic, instead before you write your next page or post think about trying these tips.

Tip #1: Make it compelling

Your headline must state what the page is about and state is clearly.  It also should be compelling.

For example here are 3 headlines I came up with for this post and how they progressed until I decided on the final one.

#1: 5 Tips for Writing a Headline

#2: Headlines That Work: 5 Ways to get people reading.

#3: Headlines That Kill: 5 Hacks that will get people reading.

They all essentially say the same thing but #3 will probably get more attention.

For any post, you’ll want a nice balance among common, uncommon, emotional, and power words. A structure like this helps your post remain readable while commanding attention from your audience. Read on and I will discuss an easy way to analyze this.

Common words should make up 20–30% of your headline.

Common words are ones you use all the time. Common words pull your headlines together in a way that makes sense for readability.

Since commonly occurring words provide the basic structure of your headlines, they should make up about 20–30% of the words in your headlines.

Some common words are; a, about, after, these, what, you, your, things

Uncommon words should be about 10–20% of your headline.

Uncommon words are unique enough to grab your readers’ attention. These words provide substance in your headline.

A mix of 10–20% uncommon words in your headlines should do the trick.

Some uncommon words are; actually, awesome, here, right, social, year

Emotional words make a good headline at 10–15% density.

Emotional words in your headlines entice your audience to click through to read your post. And once they’re reading your posts with emotional headlines, your readers are more likely to share them.

You have a good headline if 10–15% of the words in your headline are emotional.

Some emotional words are; attractive, blissful, confessions, danger, dollar, spotlight, value, wonderful, zinger

Power words: Use at least one in your headline.

Like emotional words, power words are usually phrases that are well-known for inciting action. Power words are uniquely different than emotional words because they are a bit out of the ordinary.

These words inspire an emotion or call to action without a lot of context. Power words are typically rarely used words or phrases that almost guarantee some clicks through to your blog posts.

Great headlines have at least one power word in them.

Some power words are; for the first time, make you, what this, you will see, what happened,

Tip #2: Make sure you are addressing what your readers want, not what you do.

Remember you are writing the headline to entice your readers, so make sure you understand what your target audience wants and give them it.

Remember you cannot force them to read on, so your headline must be compelling enough to make them want to read on.

Tip #3: Consider a few

There are great tools such as Google AdWords Planner. With this you can type your keywords in and get some ideas on what your headline might be.

Don’t forget to research first. Use Google to research what others have written.

Once you have all this data in front of you, some ideas should begin to formulate into your head.

Tip #4: Test It!

Try using a headline testing tool to A/B test your headlines.  The one I like is CoSchedules Headline Analyzer.

This tool will give your headline a rating and based on that rating you can then make changes.

If you’re using WordPress, you have even more options. Plug-ins like KingSumo allow you to type in a few different headlines so you can test them on the fly, in the real world. After a few minutes, the program will select the dominant hed for you.

They are never really perfect

There is always room for improvement and don’t be afraid to come back and rework your content.

Good luck and if you know of any hacks or experiences you have had, let me know, I would love to hear from you.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s