Have you ever noticed that you may have a large number of social media followers, but when it comes to leading these people to your website, the conversions are just not there? Or even worse, have you ever paid for an ad just for it to fall flat and have no results? If these problems sound familiar to you, chances are you are doing one thing wrong. That is writing bad headlines for your posts and articles. A bad headline leads to a decrease in the audience, your quality leads to decline, your call-to-actions are ignored, and your revenue starts to drop.
Bad headlines are all over the marketing world, especially on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Writing headlines isn’t easy, and it isn’t your fault that you just can’t seem to get it right. A good headline is essential for clicks on social media, your blog, and your sales page. Once you find the perfect headline, you can use it everywhere, on your sales site, titles on presentations, titles of blog posts, and in-person sales communication. But how do followers turn into website traffic, and how can you write professional and attention-grabbing headlines? We are here to offer you some strategies and examples!
Main Types of Headlines
Social Proof Headlines
First, think of the last item you purchased on Amazon. Did you check the reviews before you made your final decision? This answer is most likely going to be a definite yes. Around 95% of people from the ages of 18 to 34 read local business reviews and trust online reviews more than they would trust personal recommendations. 57% of all consumers will only purchase from a business that has four or more stars. These statistics tell a story, and it’s that people want to see the reaction of other people before they make any transaction. So, by integrating social proof in the headlines you write, you jumpstart this process.
Examples of social proof headlines:
- Why Writers Are In Love With This Grammar App
- $20k+ Drop Shippers Are Shipping Using This Automation Tool (And Here’s Why)
- 10,000 Digital Marketing Agencies Are Using This App to Hire Freelancers
Headlines like this are leveraging social proof and even taking it further by adding high-authority sources.
Imagine you are looking for a knife set online, and you stumble upon a review from Gordon Ramsey saying this is the best knife set he has ever used? You would obviously stop looking and purchase that on the spot, right? Many companies use headlines with celebrity names to catch the attention of readers.
Here is an example, the company Hootsuite used Seth Rogen’s celebrity status in their Twitter headline:
By leveraging the social proof of well-known professionals, you can make your headlines that much more clickable.
Threat headlines sound scary, but they aren’t. They catch a viewer’s eye almost immediately. It’s why many movies begin with the main character encountering a problem and ultimately finding a successful resolution. This doesn’t mean you are going to kidnap someone if they don’t read your article. Instead, you are going to show a reader how they can avoid a specific pain by reading your article.
Some examples of threat headlines:
- 13 Things to Do so You Don’t Lose Your Cat
- Read This Checklist Before Flying to Italy
- The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made by New Business Owners
So while a reader may be doing well now, they will jump into action after reading a headline similar to these.
Gain headlines follow a simple 2-step formula consisting of benefit and promise. What will a reader gain by clicking on your post, and what promise are you making them in return for a click?
- 10 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Girlfriend
- 10 DIY Dinner Ideas Using Ingredients Already in Your Pantry
- 10 Easy At-Home Workouts for Beginners
For example, NYT Bestselling author Mark Manson is a master of these headlines. The headline, “5 Skills You Need to Be More Emotionally Intelligent than the Average Three-Year-Old,” will give the reader five skills to make them more emotionally intelligent and the promise that they will have a higher EQ than a toddler after reading this article.
Simple Ways to Improve Your Headlines
Now that you have read about the basics of good headlines for your posts, you can start to use your typing muscles. Here are some more strategies that you can use alone or with the above strategies to increase clicks from your headlines.
Add the Phrase “How To”
The “How To” headline can be added to the gain, social proof, and strategies mentioned above. It shows a reader that they will learn something new and valuable by reading your article.
This specific headline, “How to Work Out Like a Victoria’s Secret Model at the Gym,” posted by Harper’s Bazaar, used Victoria’s Secret’s social proof as leverage to make their post more clickable.
If you show people how much time they are going to need to receive the benefit they are promised to gain from your headline, your clicks will start to grow. For example, using the headline “This quick quiz will reveal what essential spices you are missing in your pantry” promises the benefit of telling quiz takers how to make their dishes taste better. Remember, no one has time to read pages of text, and most readers prefer to know upfront how much time they will need to finish an article.
Fascination is a part of your headline that makes people stop their scrolling and think, “That’s interesting.” The average person usually has an approximate attention span of 7 seconds, so this is slightly difficult to do. For example, the phone company ‘The Verge’ tweeted a photo of cows and used the headline “These cows already have 5G, and you don’t.” This may sound absurd, but it got tons of people to click on the article linked.
Define the Format of the Content
One way to guarantee a click on your headline is to define the format that follows after a click. What can a reader expect to get after they click your headline? If you are offering research, an infographic, an eBook, or a list, make sure you are showing that in your headline. Always make sure you are backing up what you are selling. Never lie in your headlines and promise something that your content won’t deliver. If you use click-bait headlines, you are only going to turn people off from your company and increase your bounce rate.
If you know what your audience is usually looking for, then make sure to include this in your content and in your headlines. Most people will click on an article that promises something of value to them. Always use headlines that identify a certain problem and offer a solution.
Find a Way to Be Unique
Often the content products or services you are offering will be similar to what other websites offer. Be sure to look over your competition and analyze the headlines they are using. To see what is and isn’t working out for them, check the comments on posts or the engagement on social media platforms. If you see that a certain headline style is working, then you can implement that in your content planning. Of course, this doesn’t mean copying competitors’ headlines. Instead, you must try your best to be unique and stand out. Your headlines must include your keywords and be compelling. They are the key to your results and SEO strategy as well. The more you differentiate yourself from your competition, the better.
High-quality headlines make all the difference in content and digital marketing. You only have around 5 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention online. If your headline isn’t up to par, you’ll lose a potential customer.
Find a way to stand out by using interesting phrases or jokes that encourage the user to click your headline for more information. Don’t overdo it, though; still clearly show what your viewers should expect when they click your article.
Use an Emotional Hook
Another interesting way to grab your viewer’s attention with your headline is to use emotional words and phrases. Words such as daring, rare, attractive, cool, unusual, unlimited, and similar phrases can appeal to a reader in some way. Many times, the emotions you’re want to stir up in a reader include appealing to them in intellectual, empathetic, or spiritual ways. To be clearer, you have a small chance of connecting with a reader on a deeper level, so don’t waste your words.
Also, make sure you are using active voice and present-tense verbs whenever you can in headlines. Viewers would like to know what is happening right now, in the current moment.
Keep in mind that most platforms have a character limit, so don’t write too much. Do not waste your characters on multiple adjectives. Instead, focus on grabbing a viewer’s attention and showing what they should expect in your article.
Superlative Language and Numerals Are Essential
Two other great headline tactics include using superlative language and numbers to pique your readers’ interest.
Superlative language consists of words like best, top, quickest, and smartest. Here are just a few examples we have put together to help you understand:
- 10 best places to travel to…
- Your ultimate guide to …
- Top 10 ways to …
Also, viewers’ eyes are always drawn to something that is different next to the words. That is why numbers often catch a viewer’s attention. Implementing lists in your content have been proven effective for engagement rates (like “10 best places to travel to” above).
The bottom line is that concise and intriguing headlines are always the best combination for
your successful headlines.
Test Your Headlines to Ensure Most Impact
Aside from writing the best headlines, you must also make sure to always A/B these headlines. If you do not follow up on the headlines you write, you will never know what works and what doesn’t. What if a small tweak will lead to immensely better results? You will only know this after some testing. Write down many different variations of headlines for the same content. Then try them all out to figure out which one performs the best in terms of click-through rates, engagement, likes, shares, comments, and reviews. If a headline isn’t receiving a high enough click-through rate, then change it out to a different version and watch the analytics. Keep a close eye on your site and social media after posting something new to see whether you are drawing new customers in with your headlines.
It is also crucial to test your pay-per-click ads consistently. By doing this, you will figure out which headlines perform better with your audience and which get you the most clicks and conversions. There are many free headline analyzer tools on the internet to help you understand what headline gets the most impact. Try to find a tool that will give you feedback on your overall structure, grammar, and readability after an analysis.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to bring more targeted customers to your website from headlines. You must strive to always increase your click-through rates. So make sure your headlines align with the three C’s:
Whenever possible, keep your headlines at eight words or fewer. Add hooks, emotional and superlative words, numbers, lists, threats, social proof, and whatever else applies to your article. Always make sure your message is properly getting across as you want it to, and test out your headlines. When you find one headline doing better, figure out what element makes it more catchy. Implement this style into your other headlines, too, and watch your numbers grow.
9 things to consider before a website redesign
Everyone’s guilty pleasure is a good home improvement show. These hosts always know precisely how to create the best home using all the space available and transform a shabby home into a posh luxurious one. These same principles also apply to redesign your website to integrate modern trends, improve the user experience, and get the most that you can out of your business. Site redesigns do not include only cosmetic changes, but also many other functionality modifications.
As a Los Angeles digital marketing agency, we understand how daunting all of this may sound. So our team has compiled a small website redesign checklist of steps to help you achieve the perfect and most effective redesign. Of course, your website is one of your digital marketing campaigns’ key aspects, so you should make sure that it is continuously up to par. Read on for our easy steps on how to redesign and get the most out of your website.
#1. Review your current site with a microscope: What works and what doesn’t?
Before you take out your sledgehammer and plan to change everything on your site, take a good look around. You can’t know what to change if you haven’t understood what doesn’t work on your old site. Actually, this is one of the most overlooked steps in our website redesign checklist and is a common mistake. Carefully re-examine everything. A redesign is not something that you often do, so take this one chance to do it right. Look into your site analytics and try to figure out which pages are most often visited. Also, look at where the site visitors come from and where they continue to. This will help you figure out where your weak content is, and this will be where you will need to concentrate your redesign efforts. The pages that generate most traffic should only be further optimized.
Aside from looking at the details of your current content and design components, this redesign will also be a chance to measure the effectiveness of the usability and performance features of your website. Are you happy with all the features on your sites, or do you want to add something new? Is your host delivering the speed, security, and support that you need, or do you want to go back on the market for a new one? Always set aside a significant amount of time to analyze all the details of your old website before you move onto redesigning it. This will help make the whole process easier, and you will avoid making the same mistakes again.
#2. Find inspiration but also try to save time: Which tools are going to help you succeed more quickly?
As you start to move on to the next step of our website redesign checklist, we have to give you a small warning. It is very common to get sidetracked and waste time in this process. Many designers and developers get distracted and spend loads of time on the design aspect of a website. It is enjoyable to spend hours picking color palettes, fonts, and design features. The options for these are limitless, and that is exactly where the problem lies.
Try to set aside this need to toy around with colors and features and focus on some site builder options. There are multiple website builders available online to help beginners build a website on their own. Many of these builders now have powerful tools that help business owners create a one-of-a-kind website in a very short amount of time. Of course, this would mean you choose less of the detailed options in building a website, but you will be saving a significantly large amount of time that could be spent on other tasks. An example of a website builder is WordPress. By using their site, you will be able to create a website in a few minutes, without having to waste loads of time on special details. Why would you want to spend so much time slaving away at a website when someone else can just do all the heavy lifting for you.
#3. Look past colors and fonts: How can you prioritize your content?
With so many options for new designs, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or carried away by all the imagery and visual elements. For a successful website redesign, you need all your online presence aspects to be improved. You wouldn’t focus on the color of your rug if there was a giant hole in the roof.
If your online presence is a house, then your content is the framing around which everything else is leaning on. The layouts, fonts, images, and colors should be all focused on showcasing the strengths of your brand’s message. Observe analytics to figure out which articles and pages resonate with your customers and look for the posts which didn’t do as well as you expected them to.
Instead of using up text to brag about the history and the achievements of your company, showcase how your brand is essential for a customer. Try to describe how your services or products can help customers achieve a goal or solve a problem. Focus your writing on your audience and not yourself. No one will use a website that is salesy and robotic.
Also, try to have content everywhere and not only on your homepage or information section. Blog posts are a great way to inform potential customers about new ideas and practices. These blog posts can also include ways your brand will benefit customers.
#4. Concentrate on user experience: How should you optimize for conversions?
Just as your content strategy should be focused around visitors, the same way your fresh website must make it clear to the visitors where they should click. Show them where they can find the information and services they need. Do not choose your layouts and themes only on what looks good and what appeals to your eye. Remember, your website is not for you and should not be tailored to you. If your website doesn’t lead your visitors to where they want to go, then it becomes a business liability when it should be a way to grow.
Use analytics to figure out how your customers find you, where they go and how they make a purchase on your website. Do not focus on working on the “fun” parts of a redesign. Start by working on the basic functionality of your site. This is a highly important step in our website redesign checklist. A positive website experience will make visitors more likely to become customers and brand supporters. These people will also recommend your services to their friends and other potential customers.
#5. Think of a plan and start working: What do you need to meet your goals?
Now you have a general idea of your website and how a redesign is going to help users reach certain goals. The next step in your web redesign checklist is to write these ideas down. Take note of your current strengths and weaknesses, along with details on how a redesign is going to solve your past problems. Make sure to realize which parts of your old site you will keep, what new components you need to create, and what content can be optimized. Since your content needs to be customer-based, you must also make sure you define your target audience.
Create personalities by figuring out what they are looking for, what stands in their way, and how your company can help them. Along with defining your goals, you should also formalize deadlines and realize when things need to be done. Keep coming back to your plan to make sure you are on track and aren’t distracted.
#6. Preview your website on various devices and browsers: Are you covering all users?
Once you complete all the previous steps of our website redesign checklist, it is time to check on the user experience yet again. Today, there are so many devices being used to access your website. Not everyone is going to be looking at your website in the same dimensions, browsers, screen sizes, and devices. So, you must make your website accessible and comfortable for users from various devices.
First, start by checking your analytics to find out what browsers your customers are using. Open and test your website on all versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. You can also check out other browsers such as Opera, Edge, and even the Yandex browser. Make sure you are covering everything viewers may use.
You must also check out what your site looks like on mobile devices. Responsive web design is very popular right now, and this technique makes websites compatible with all devices and browsers. In fact, once you invest in responsive web design, your website will adjust to different dimensions and screen sizes on its own.
#7. Make your work clear and visible: How can you reach a wider audience with keywords?
Next, you must make sure that all your new layouts and visuals go to waste. More than the majority of your traffic is going to come from visitors who clicked on a link from a search. Search engines are the entryways to your audience, and your content and site should be compatible with this.
SEO or Search engine optimization is the right way to go when it comes to online marketing. Start by writing a list of the topics you think matches your brand. It should include your products, the subjects you write about, and your expertise. Think of keyword phrases for each topic, and try to figure out how users would type these out to find you.
Don’t be afraid to dive deep and get really specific. Long-tail keywords will be searched less but will be helpful in the long run. Viewers will surely be grateful to have found your resources and are more likely to become clients. Generic keywords are more competitive, and more established brands usually end up getting clicked on.
#8. Improve your technical SEO: Why should server speed and security matter?
SEOs must extend beyond your content, page titles, alt tags, and headings. Technical SEO is the behind-the-scenes elements that contribute to search engine crawlers. These are who are going to scan your site to understand the relevancy and trustworthiness of your site. One of the most important technical SEO components is your site speed.
Longer page loading can significantly affect traffic and sales, and it can also impact your position in search results. Try to keep your templates and layouts of your website as lean as possible. Don’t overwhelm your site by adding extra plugins, widgets, and features.
Mobile-friendliness also plays a large role in search performance, especially when it comes to location-based searches. A user-friendly site sitemap is vital, which is the security of the HTTPS protocol.
#9. Test your design: What should you do better next time for website redesign?
Once you launch your new design, promote it as best you can. Spread announcements through press releases, emails, social media posts, and other methods.
Just as analytics were important in the past steps of the website redesign checklist, they will also play an important role going forward. These will help you measure your success and show you what areas need improvement. Abandoning analytics is often the reason for a redesign in the first place. A redesign does not mean the end of your efforts. Keep your future goals in mind, along with a list of features you want to implement in the future. This is going to help you with your next redesign.
Now that you have your complete website redesign checklist keep your path in mind and get moving!
If you need help on this journey to a website redesign, then you are in luck. An experienced digital marketing agency such as Mirdon Production can help you with all the steps of the way. Let our team prove your design and functionality for a site that is going to get you the results you want.