Your headline is quite possibly the most important feature of your blog post. It is your first impression and you only have seconds to capture your reader’s attention, sell them on your idea, and steer them towards your site.
Keep in mind how much information you are competing with. If your headline is long winded and uninteresting, the impression given is your article will be too. A high producing headline should achieve the following criteria:
• A tickler of information of what’s to come that piques the interests of your reader .
• An expectation of what they will gain by reading on.
• Full story disclosure in as few words as possible.
Here are 3 steps you can follow to achieve writing a headline that drives results.
1. Trim the Fat.
Re-read your article and summarize your main point. What purpose does your information serve to the reader? Once you have narrowed it down to the central topic, add in a couple of subpoints with evidence to support your idea.
Look at what you have written and continue to streamline your main idea into just a few sentences. From there, continue to trim down to a sentence with no more than 10 words. This is when you really need to communicate to your potential reader that your blog is worth investing their time in, and what they will gain by reading more.
When trying to find the perfect pitch for your blog headline, our multitasking brain can take us off course. By using this exercise of rewriting the main point from a paragraph then hoaning it down from a few sentences to just a few words, your headline will be focused on the objective of the getting your reader to “dig into your content”.
2. Learn from the Experts.
Marketing experts have done the studies and crunched the information; it’s been proven there are trigger phrases that catch our attention. These words are known to help the reader make a connection to the blog. This connection can stir an emotion or insight curiosity making the reader want to dive in and find out more.
Here are some examples of catch phrases and how they work.
“Will make you” This phrase when used draws a direct connection to what the blog subject is about and why the reader needs to read it.
5 core strengthening exercises that will make you have less pain. The reader can expect the blog will show exercises, that will take away pain. exercises= less pain.
“What happened next” when this phrase is used it evokes the reader’s curiosity.
Example: What happened next when this patient did these 5 exercises will surprise you. The reader is interested in how exercising can affect the body and wants to learn the unexpected answer.
“Talking about”, plays on our need to feel connected to what other people know. We don’t want to miss out on the latest news. FOMO or fear of missing out describes this emotion we can evoke with a good headline.
Example: Patients of physical therapy are talking about the latest drug free method of pain treatment. Plays on the importance of being in the know of the latest information, making the reader feel more knowledgeable than others.
“Tears of Joy” plays on the emotions of the reader. This sort of phrase is usually attached to a picture or video which aids in capturing our attention.
Example: This patient had tears of joy when he was able to walk his daughter down the aisle.
You can learn more useful phrases at http://buzzsumo.com/blog/most-shared-headlines-study/
3. Know How Your Headline is Going to be Formatted/Viewed on Different Social Media
Know how your blog is being distributed and the techniques required for different modes of distribution (i.e. ranking on search engines vs. getting a click to your blog from a Facebook post vs. getting a click on Twitter to your blog post).
Writing for the Search Engines
Writing for the search engines and optimizing your blog posts to be found on Google or Bing requires additional work as compared to simply writing an awesome, highly converting headline for Facebook.
Keywords in your blog headline will help your article be found on the Internet. Humans fall for the catchy phrases that help us personally connect to the blog, but computers are machines. It’s important to include your keywords you want to rank for in your headline of your post if you want the post to have any chance of ranking in the search engines.
Writing a Headline on Facebook to get a Click to Your Blog Post
The trick here is to combine step one of providing the nuts and bolts of your blog with step 2. including an enticing hook. Of course you have to be respectful of character limits which vary based on the type of ad you are running. https://www.facebook.com/business/ads-guide/
In general though you want to stick to the formula as described above:
A combination of descriptive + sensational = increase click through rate
Writing for Twitter
Your objective here is different. You have 140 characters (less if you include a link) to get a click. It’s as if Tweets make up the entire headline. 140 characters gives you plenty of space to write a longer headline but again, but keep your objective in mind…it’s to get a click from the tweet to your blog post.
Test if Possible
Regardless of the type of headline you are writing, it’s always a good idea to compare one headline to another. By creating at minimum two headlines with descriptive + sensational information, and measuring the number of clicks or visitors to your blog post, you can see which combination works the best.
The trick is to see if version A works better with your audience, versus version B. Find out if your readers are more interested in knowing what new knowledge they will learn versus the feel good emotional pull.
We hope these tips on how to write good headlines will help you get your physical therapy blogging message read by your community. You have great value to offer. Putting that information in a blog and enticing more to read it with a great headline can help you build authority in your community.
If you need any help with your blogging, we have a number of services that can be of assistance to you. Just contact us if you have any questions.