How To Write Effective Headlines With Audience First Strategy

By Neeraj Singh | Updated: Sep 16, 2020 | Views: 63
The biggest mistake bloggers commit unknowingly is that they include keywords, length and other technical parameters but they miss on the most important one, that is audience. Always remember that your are writing for your audience and keep their priority first, before writing your headline.

For writing effective and clickable headlines for your blog posts, social media posts and articles, always follow the audience first strategy. In doing so, most of the times, your headline will attract more audience than you expected. Remember that we are writing for audience and hence must focus on addressing their emotional, educational, personal and motivational needs while writing headlines beside the keywords. This will make your headlines catchy, connect to them and may turn viral.

Many a times, you could have noticed that however hard you try to write effective headlines for your new post, it is not catching enough and attention as you expected?

This happens mostly when you are posting wrong type of headline for your audience profile. For example: an academician or a scientist may not like a funny headline while your social community on Reddit or Facebook may love to follow such headlines.
Key Takeaway - Audience First Headline Technique. It is better to begin with identifying target audience and their expectations and then write your blog headlines of your new blog post to that specific audience community.
Sometimes, you could have noticed that Google is not generating enough impressions for your posts while you think that it was a pretty good headline, and it's contents are relevant, meaty and have qualitative superiority.

Note: Here impression means Google impression with the query phrases that user searched for. Click comes only after impression.

When your article is not able to expand your keyword profile with search engines query, it means, your content quality is not right and you are missing the user intent of the larger audience online. Writing stronger headlines is not a panacea but a composite of strong headlines and comprehensive write-ups make your headline effective.

The other reason could be shallow and thin content for your page headline. And as described above, stronger headlines associated with thin content are not a positive signal for search engines, specially Google. It is a bad strategy to write a headline that your content does not represent which eventually will make it non effective.

Rules of writing effective headlines
There is no fixed guidelines to write effective headlines, but to write one, understanding your audience is the most important aspect. You have to write in the same language and emotions to create a connect between your posts and your audience. Along with that, you shall also focus on on page seo with regard to headline writing. You must include main keywords in your page title. 

Understanding headline basics and its structure is the second important aspect that you must adhere to. Writing cool and effective headlines is a skill that you can learn by practice and patience. You must had noticed that some headlines work for blog but the same headline does not work well for social media or books. It is an art that will come to you with continuous practice.

The common mistake people do while writing a headline is that they write headline that looks good to them but actually is not effective.

There could be many reasons that your headlines for blogs is not doing well:
  • You have not researched well before you have published your headlines.
  • You have written a headline that is neither SEO friendly.
  • You are missing headline keywords in your page title or keywords are placed in wrong order.
  • Your headlines are not engaging enough to connect with your audience.
  • Your headline length is either too long or too short.
  • Your headline is not fulfilling expectations of the readers.
  • Your headline is not supported by enough content.
  • Your headline strength is not good. Headline strength is calculated by the keywords and other factors used in your title. You can use this tool to check headline strength for free.

What are the types of headlines that catches more eyeballs?
There are many types of headline people use but the selection varies depending on types of post, platforms and target audience profile. The types of headlines that you can vary mostly depends on your audience profile and persona.

The blog headlines and titles may not be ideal for your social media headlines. This happens because the nature of people engaging on the two mediums (herein search engines and social media platforms) are different. Search engine netizens generally come to read and engage in learning and shopping while on social media they come to see what's interesting happening around them. Accordingly the headline for the two medium shall be different because the audiences have different mental setups while browsing.

Types of Headlines That Drive Traffic

There are different types of headlines one can write, but the best suitable type depends on the type of work you are doing and the type of audience you are dealing with. Here are some effective types of headlines that may work for you.
  • Listing Headlines
  • List headlines is one of the best headlines that works very well for readers as they find most of the information he wants in one place and he can compare those and take suitable decisions. We often see headlines like [9 top Affordable Android Phones in India] and similar to these. This headline is great for those who are looking to buy an android phone and take an informed decision before buying one from the market.
  • Curiosity Headlines
  • This type of Headlines have the potential to cause curiosity and anxiety among your readers to know more and find something very interesting in the post. These headline are generally a teasing headlines like [Are You Playing Fair With Your Wifey?] or [This Magic Technique  Won Me A Girl Friend In 2 Days]. These can also be categorized in viral headlines examples. These are also suitable for audience who are knowledge hungry and active learners on internet and social media. Such headlines also attract huge amount of social sharers.
  • Emotional Headlines 
    Emotional headlines tries to connect to people in a particular kind of emotional state. There are many emotional words that you can use in your headlines like free, instant, guaranteed, secret, revealed etc. Free ensure you that you will not lose money. Instant tells you that you will get what you want immediately. Guaranteed ensures you that you are safe when something goes wrong.
    The title like [How to find extraordinary traits of your child] is targeting parent who are anxious of their children growth and abilities.
  • Comparison Headlines
    Comparative headlines work well and more often than not help people in their buying decisions. Pros and cons analysis and rating can help your readers take intelligent decisions. [WordPress Vs Wix - Which Is Better For A Blogger]. This type of headlines promise to compare the platforms in far more details than listing headlines.
  • Statistical Headlines
    These are the headlines which contains or hints at statistics about some facts. These are deemed more authentic and is helpful for people participating in discussions, debate or making a presentation. These headlines are also watched by active learners and media journalists. [20% of Bollywood Actors Are Homosexuals: 2020 Survey Reveals] or [How To Make Your Website Perform 70% Faster?]. These kind of revelations creates a real surprise and anxiety among people and will like to watch details. This type of statistics related Headlines mixed with curiosity and emotion may become a candidate for a viral headlines.
  • Localized Headlines 
    This type of headlines work well for ranking localized query like: [How much does it cost to by 3 bedroom flat in Delhi] or [July Weather Forecast in Los Angeles]. The generic title will be difficult to rank but localized one can rank easily and it is good for local business.
  • Review Headlines 
    These types of headlines [Review: Top 5 iPhone equivalent in India] are popular among modern buyers. They love to see product recommendation, specs, price and compare other attributes and specs before buying.
  • Creative Headlines
    Headline writing is an involved and creative work. Creative work need a lot of iteration. To come up with a great creative headline, you will need to write hundreds of headlines for a topic and then compacting all the ideas into a creative headline. Writing creating headline is difficult but wins hearts and minds of people and they connect and share easily.
  • Funny and Interesting Headlines
    What do you say if you read a headline [Cow urine can boost your immunity?] like this with a question mark. This is funny, interesting and shocking. But people do open it to know what is in the content. This fall under click-bait or clickable headlines.

The above types of headline are just a tipping point to write effective headlines. You can mix your instinct with the prevalent headline trends to craft a unique one for your blog posts. Writing such headlines are effective when they are used intelligently considering their audience types and posting platforms.

What are the role/roles of a great headlines
When you observe headlines carefully, you will easily figure out that the good headlines
  • create immense curiosity.
  • connects well with audience expectations.
  • use power words and key phrases.
  • Use power words in headlines to convince your audience about your blog ideas. The power words can be contrary to the popular beliefs. For example: [Why Horror movies are more thrilling in the mornings].
  • hints or promises intent to resolving pain points of audience.
  • have well defined structure that flows naturally yet connect to audience and contain the topic keywords. Not that headline structures are the framework for writing headlines. Headline structures takes its form based on a headline strategy. 
  • uses numbers to indicate the depth of the blog post and it's coverage.

Headlines for SEO can drive a tons of traffic?
Headlines for SEO is a general practice among bloggers although too much use of this technique is not favored by Google. There are many great headline examples but you are faced with a challenge to create a unique one that has not been used before. A great headline can give you a decent head start to your blog posts but with a caveat. If your posts have thin content, low quality or irrelevant content, your efforts of writing a great and effective headline will be a waste. People will leave your page and more importantly stop trusting your website. You may enjoy a good CTR for a short time with very high bounce rate. You will also gave low returning visitors.

In Document References:
The Ultimate Guide To On-Page SEO Techniques