Over the years, I’ve found that there are two types of companies that write blog posts: Ones that focus on quality, and ones that aim for quantity. Posting for the sake of posting without adding value will not drive traffic to your website. In fact, it may do the exact opposite. It’d be easy to write a 10,000-word article about the dos and don’ts of blogging, but, for everyone’s sake, I will keep this one simple and segment, beginning with solid blog headlines.
Let’s say that you’ve done your homework, and you’re ready to post the best, most informative post you’ve ever written. Before you hit submit, look at the headline – the part that will either instantly grab someone’s attention, or divert it elsewhere. If it’s not captivating, then no one will ever see your hard work, and you’ve wasted your time and efforts. A few minor adjustments will ensure that your blog headlines puts the right message in front of the right people.
The key to getting people to your article is being desirable. That desirability starts with the valuable keywords that are relevant to your topic. For many, the issue with knowing which keyword to use is finding it in the first place. There are a few free online resources – some of which you probably use daily, so I will focus on those two.
The first resource you can use is Google. Boasting over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion worldwide annually, the internet’s most powerful and popular search engine allows you to access popular search terms by typing in a few characters. In fact, Google sells advertising based on those results in the form of Google AdWords.
Let’s say that you’re writing an article about choosing the top fantasy football players for the upcoming NFL season. According to Google, you may want to include “Fantasy Football Rankings” in your header (and probably add it as your keyword), because it’s the first predicted search that comes up while typing the term “Fantasy Football.” People want to know ranking because, let’s face it, they want the edge in their leagues. Does that mean yours will be the first article to show up when someone searches the term? Not likely, but you’ll stand a fighting chance.
Social Media Following
However, if you have the right social media following, your headline will be irresistible if you share the article in a timely fashion. Again, just make sure that you’re using keywords that are relevant to your topic.
The second resource is social media trends. In 2017, 81 percent of the US population has at least one social media profile. What’s more is that the average person spends nearly 35 minutes on Facebook each day. Not only are the social media “trending” sections good for keywords and headers, they’re also exceptional tools to use when looking for blog topics. If you can tie a trend into a blog, you’re more likely to get reads and shares.
Sticking with the Fantasy Football theme, Facebook, in particular, allows you to choose sports as a trending topic. That might be an excellent place to start when creating blog headlines. Perhaps a few of the top players are trending near the top of the list, thus there is your opportunity to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.
Use the tools you already have, and you’ll put yourself in the best position to succeed with the right keywords.
REMINDER: Don’t resort to clickbait, or you will lose all credibility, and no number of keywords will bring you back from that. Also, Google doesn’t like that too much, as it considers headers that don’t coincide with the content as SPAM, and it may keep your articles off of searches altogether.
The Need to Read
Just because you want to read it, doesn’t mean that others will, which is why you need to instill the “need to read.” We’re all guilty of clicking an article that we know might be a waste of time simply because we feel compelled to read it. Most of the time our instincts are correct, but we still fall victim to that urge to “click here for more.” While I don’t condone writing mindless blog articles, I do subscribe to the theory that the right blog headlines can make a great deal of people have an overwhelming desire to click.
Once you have the right keywords in place, you’ll need to structure them in a desirable way.
Questions make for great headlines because people want answers. For example, “Saquan Barkley is the best fantasy football running back in 2019” might not be as compelling as “Devonta Freeman Tops Fantasy Football Rankings, But Have You Considered These Sleeper Picks?” The reader may think, “everyone knows about Freeman, which means he’s not likely to be available when it’s my pick. I need to see my other options that people may not know about.”
The use of Cliffhangers is another way that you can make people NEED TO READ. Television series season finales, movie trailers, and sneak previews all keep people hanging on and wanting more. So, why not use that technique with your headlines? An example of a good cliffhanger might be: “Saquan Barkley Tops Fantasy Football Rankings, But Three Other Players May Be Even Better.”
Give your readers a desire … a need to read your articles with structured headers.
Bringing it All Together
Top keywords inserted into strong blog headlines will get you the clicks you need to drive your website’s SEO. By staying ahead of trends, you’ll become a reliable, trusted source for information specific to your target industry. In any case, when it comes to your website’s content, quality always beats quantity. Give people something truly valuable and worthwhile, and you’ll build an audience; post seven articles a week with bad headlines and no relevancy, and you’ll alienate one.
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