Marketing June 13, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,644 Reads share

Titles That Click: How To Write Headlines That Entice Your Audience

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Knowing how to write headlines that get clicked on is a highly-prized skill. Here are 3 online tools that can help you craft that killer title or tweet announcement.

So, you have content ready to share? A new blog post? An infographic? An email newsletter? Maybe you have just added a poll to your Facebook page and you want your Twitter followers to click and respond. Once you have quality, interactive content to share, your next hurdle is getting it noticed.

  • That’s why knowing how to write headlines and titles can be crucial to your business’ content success.
  • You need to entice your audience from the get-go. A poorly worded blog title, email subject line or tweet announcement is like leaving money on the table. You can get a bigger slice of the audience pie simply by writing a title that more people click on.
  • But creating a killer headline grab is a craft unto itself. In the ol’ newspaper days, it gave rise to a whole professional class of sub-editors whose main job was to come up with a clever tease that got you reading the rest of the article. Now it has morphed into a key digital content competency that every business needs to sharpen.

Luckily, there are some online tools that can help you get started. Here’s 3 to help your content’s clickability:

# 1.

The blackboard-like interface lets you insert your subject matter term and the random engine behind the scenes will come up with a blog title (and content idea) for you.

Of course, most of the titles won’t be a good match for what you have already written and some suggestions are a bit cheesy.

But it can help you understand how to write headlines that are intriguing. After you enter your subject matter, you will see blue balloons that explain why that title was given to you. When I tried “blog title”, for instance, I got advice that using negative words – like the phrase “won’t happen” – challenge the reader to prove you wrong, so they are more likely to read the whole post.

# 2. Linkbait Generator

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This title generator isn’t as smoothly rounded as Portent’s, but they are working on further developments (for example, when I started writing this article, you could use the generator straight away, now you need to sign up first). Whatever engine they are using to randomize content isn’t too fussed about grammar, even though it offers a singular or plural noun option (“9 crazy ways that blog title is infiltrating pop culture”?). Again, the titles might not be a good fit if you have already produced your content, but they will get your brainstorming juices flowing enough to keep the tangent going.

The suggestions for linkbait generator stay true to their domain name moniker: these are mostly linkbait titles of the shock and awe type. “Linkbait” is an online marketing term to refer to content that is shared a lot: pictures of grumpy cats or those 1950s style postcard images with a bitter drag queen-type comment, for example.

As a small business using marketing, remember it is not always about getting the most traffic. You want traffic that is intrigued by your products and services and will be interested – now or later – to buy from you.

Pictures of dogs and geese getting along are great for whiling away spare time on Facebook and Twitter, but they don’t nudge your audience along to have greater respect for your business or instil in them a desire to align themselves with your products and services (unless you are a petting zoo or dog food company, of course).

If you are a retailer, sometimes these sorts of linkbait tactics can work, including some of the more risqué suggestions suggested by the linkbait generator, but for the rest of us, using sex or death to sell is a little tacky. Still, not all the linkbait generator suggestions are overly risqué, and many may give you an idea of what direction to head in.

# 3. Must Click

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While Portent’s and Linkbait rely on best practice from the world of sub-editing and an extensive random phrase generator to spin the wheel and offer you an idea that may or may not work, Must Click uses the best in data-driven marketing to create an online tool to help you understand how to write headlines.

You can type in three of your best ideas for blog titles or tweet announcements, and send off with your fee ($1.99 per request). (Secret tip: You can get around the fee by simply tweeting a mention that you are trialing using their product, and can then get the data results for free.)

Must Click conducts real tests to determine the clickability of your proposed titles and sends you an email report with the number of clicks each title received.

This is an outstanding tool to make sure your content gets noticed, and after running a few examples, will give you a much greater insight into current cultural trends around what sort of titles get clicked.

Generating engaging, valuable content for your target audience is a struggle for many small businesses. Don’t waste the investment you make in content by letting it sit on your website while your audience passes by. Create headlines that grab them as they scan your pages or twitter feed and draw them in.

It all starts with your first 11 words! Of course, for a comprehesinve selection of possible titles for your content, you can also check out the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.

What advice do you have for how to write headlines that you can share with other businesses? Share in the comments below…

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Mark Boyd

Mark Boyd

Mark Boyd is a freelance writer specializing in how we interact and connect, whether it be with our cloud business apps, in retail, or as part of a smart city.

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