It’s tricky for small businesses. You have to compete with the giants who dominate and other small businesses too. You are all competing for the same piece of pie. From a digital marketing perspective this means noise and plenty of it.
As a small business digital marketer how do you rise above the noise of others? Let’s look at headline templates.
Rising Above the Digital Noise
You want to stand head and shoulders above the rest. I get that. Writing content isn’t enough- you need to create headlines that work too.
We’ve all searched the web. When presented with a page of results we pick the titles that appeal to us the most. The more targeted and personalized they are the more likely we are to click.
When writing a headline think about a solution to a problem or a specific outcome the reader may desire. Make it the foundation of your headline. Then connect your reader to a result that addresses their need. For example “How To X So You Can Y’ bridges relevance to result.
Smart headlines need to include two things to make them work:
- They should highlight a certain need that your reader may have. This will add relevance to the reader.
- Then they should offer a solution to that particular need, or present the reader with a benefit.
Any headline templates that tap into this way of thinking will work. They will help you rise above the noise and achieve better conversion rates.
What Are Headline Templates?
Killer headline templates are a sure-fire way to engage your audience.
We refer to them as headline templates, because they are just that. Templates that all bloggers and copywriters use to format their headlines and create results. They are the foundation of any piece of content on the web.
As mentioned earlier, ‘How To’ is a common headline template. It taps into people’s need to seek out tips, tricks and methods that make their lives easier. Everyone has used this term as part of their content at some point.
Having headline templates makes things easier for the writer.
We know these headline templates are tried and tested. They have been used time and time again, with success.
Having a list of headline templates as a starting point will provide you with the foundations to get creative with your titles.
My Top Five Headline Templates
We’ve already spoken about the ‘How To’ template, but there are so many others that work.
As a regular blogger it’s likely I have used every headline template you can think of at least once. I do have some favorites though. The ones I think work the best. I know this because I have used them many times and they always provide results.
Here are my top five.
List headlines are always engaging. Like the one I have used for this post. It got you reading didn’t it?
This style of headline is perfect for building authority and demonstrating your knowledge. As a small business that needs to prove its worth, this is key.
People love a good list. This is one of the most popular headline templates to use because it gets straight to the point. It provides the reader with several solutions to a need or problem.
A few examples include:
- X Digital Marketing Channels That Work
- How to Recognize the X Early Warning Signs Your Digital Marketing Isn’t Working
- Top X Tips for Creating A Powerful Digital Marketing Strategy
#2. The ‘Question… And Answer’
Whether it’s just a question – or a headline that includes both a question and answer, this template packs a punch. It answers a specific question your reader may have and is highly targeted when it comes to semantic search.
We all type questions into Google, so a headline that matches one of these search terms is bound to appear above the fold. You just need to figure out what questions your readers may want the answer to. Then offer a compelling response that taps into their emotional triggers.
A few templates you can steal for these include:
- New to Adwords? Avoid These 10 Common Budget Killing Mistakes
- Do You Wonder How Some Bloggers Get All the Attention (When Your Content is Just as Good)?
- Can you REALLY Make Money Blogging? 7 Things I Know About Making Money from Blogging
#3. The ‘Why’
Including ‘Why’ in the title taps into the reader’s subconscious need to know the answer.
As humans the ‘Why’ question intrigues us and we feel compelled to click and learn more. It also makes the reader feel like they are missing out on knowing something valuable.
Knowing the answer will make their lives richer and improve their understanding.
A few ideas of “why” headlines include:
- Why You Should Start a Blog (Even If You’re Not a Writer)
- Find Out Why Your Organic Search Rankings Are So Low (Before It’s Too Late)
- Why Businesses Choose to Automate Marketing With Infusionsoft
#4. The ‘Example’
Also known as ‘The Case Study’ this headline identifies something you can learn from the activities of others.
To use this template pick a well-know brand, then use it to build credibility with the reader.
Small businesses look up to the bigger brands. It’s natural for us to want to copy them. Providing an example of how another company achieved success will inspire the reader.
Some example style headlines I love include:
- How Using Twitter to Promote Business Led Buzzstream to Get 24.6% More Downloads
- What You Can Learn From Starbucks Website Redesign
- How Partnering With Royal Mail Helped Brompton Bicycles Tap Into China
#5. The ‘Learn How To’
Everyone likes to learn something new, right?
We all have a natural desire to better ourselves. This headline taps into that subconscious need. Couple this with a particular lesson that is pertinent to the reader and you have a powerful headline.
A few learning headlines include:
- Learn How To Increase Conversion Rates On Your Website By 25%
- Learn How To Advertise Effectively On Facebook
- Learn How to Build A Powerful Brand
There are many different headline templates you can use to write powerful headlines. These were just a few of my favorites.
The trick is to identify the headline templates that work best for you. Then think of a topic that will encourage your reader to click. Do some keyword research and think about who your readers are and what they are interested in. What topic will encourage them to click and convert?
Of course, for every good headline you will write at least five bad ones first. But don’t worry, that’s normal. You just need to find your hook. Do a bit of brainstorming and just write any headline that comes into your head. You’ll soon find one that sticks.
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