Whether you’re putting up an online ad or creating unbiased content, your long-term goal is to lure in readers and convert them into customers. But before you worry about that grand goal, you should know that there is an initial, yet more crucial goal at hand:
That short-term goal is to have your content noticed, clicked, opened, and read.
That’s what you need to achieve first. Obviously, if no one reads your content, there’s no one to convert, and there’s no way for you to reach your grand goal. And the thing that stands between people reading your post or totally ignoring it: headlines.
How will people know how awesome your full content is if they are not convinced by its title?
That’s precisely why headlines need to focus on the benefits right off the bat. Readers need to instantaneously see the things they would gain just by reading the headlines, therefore compelling them to click and check outs the entire article.
If you want to be a thought leader, you should learn how to make content that highlights the benefits –starting with the headline.
Content creators have no problem with 10 to 15-word titles as long as they serve their purpose. For example, writing “Export or archive emails in 2 hours using free Email Cloud hosting” is more detailed (and eye-catching) than merely writing “How to backup your email using free Cloud solutions”.
Targeting the problem
In capturing readers’ attention, marketers sometimes include a prevailing “issue” on their headlines.
This is designed to attract those who are shopping for products or services to address a specific problem they’re experiencing. For example, one may write “Want to reduce cost but improve IT reliability? You need Managed IT services” to exert a pull on those who are looking into outsourcing their IT.
Verbs versus Adjectives
If you want your headline to sound striking but still believable, there should be more verbs than adjectives. Why? Adjectives are imprecise, immeasurable and sometimes even subjective.
They also sound too flowery that it makes expectations unreasonable. Instead, invest on using verbs (and a few adverbs) that promote “a sense of action”, which sounds more promising and realistic. Compare the adjective-saturated headline “The awesome new features of Company X’s sensational email solution” with an action-packed alternative, “Company X’s email solution boasts new technology so you can manage, sync and share effortlessly”
Once your readers see that your headline shows – in bright lights – the benefits they’re looking for, they have no choice but to become curious and check out your content. Once you’ve drawn them in, that’s the time you proceed to the next step – conversion.