Copywriter Rides Unicorn to the Moon …
What Happens Next Will Make You Weep
Fair enough. I’m man enough to admit it. I didn’t really take a unicorn on a joyride to the moon.
I’ll also disclose that what happens next probably won’t make you blubber.
But I do know one thing.
I guarantee that the promise of reading how this handsome word monkey strapped on to a mythical creature bound for a celestial body grabbed your attention AND your click.
Although wildly misleading, my title demonstrates the often exasperating “clickbait” headlines (where users are usually oversold content to encourage their click) swanning around the internet.
Due to the relentless flood of stuff drenching the web, these interest piquing headlines are designed to draw us in with a click-delivered shocker or the pull of learning which Game of Thrones character we are.
I’m Tyrion, apparently.
However, once we shake off the headline’s fanciful promise, the content beyond better be worth that tap of the mouse, lest your reader scarpers quicker than a copywriter learning it’s Happy Hour.
Get Your Click On
As you’re undoubtedly aware, the cut-throat nature of the net means that clicks, eyeballs on content and intrinsic shareability are vital, so it actually makes a lot of sense to start with an irresistible title.
In fact, according to studies carried out by people smarter than me, eight out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only two out of 10 will bother to read the rest.
That’s why an eyeball tickling title is so important – a fact not lost on the puppet masters of the web’s most viral content.
However, a number of critics claim this “clickbait-ification” has led to the cheapening of serious news, with some outlets accused of acting cynically and not giving their audience the respect they deserve.
Facebook even carried out a survey and found 80 per cent of its users prefer unambiguous headlines that make the content of an article clear, leading them to make an informed decision on whether they want to click or not.
In an effort to prioritise and help its users find the best content, Zuckerberg and his cronies have worked hard to torpedo links to clickbaiting stories by monitoring how long its users spend reading news articles, as well as how they interact with them.
But what’s the secret sauce for crafting a headline your readers can’t resist, without overselling the content that lies beyond?
Writing a Clickable Headline
Regardless of whether your readers find your content through a search engine or social media, it’s vital your stories lead with headlines that:
- Are highly clickable
- Give a clear understanding of what they’re about
- Make your audience want to read them
To make your life easier, try to ask yourself the five following questions when attempting to write headlines for the web …
1. Is my headline clear?
Distracted internet users want to know, at a glance, what your story is about. As a result, your headline should be comprehensible, but contain enough of a curiosity gap to incite the click.
A clear headline: Improve your website traffic with this one simple technique
2. Why should my reader care?
Once you’ve written a piece of content, you should be able to pinpoint the part of the story that’s most interesting to your reader and craft this into the headline.
An interesting headline: Boffins reveal that eating chocolate helps you live longer
3. Should I ask a question?
Is asking a question in your headline one of the easiest ways to fishhook eyeballs and lure the reader into the story? Yup.
A question headline: Worried about your website’s conversion rates? Find answers here.
4. How about a how to?
If you’ve written an article that offers the reader a useful piece of advice they can take away, try reinforcing this point in the headline.
A how to headline: How to teach your dog to dance in less than five minutes
5. Is there a better adjective?
There’s a reason headlines listing the “best” restaurants or “best” winter socks are so popular: they work. But make sure you mix things up with this approach by playing around with other adjectives.
A “best” headline: Explore the best neighbourhoods London has to offer
If this all sounds like too much hard work, why not leave your headlines and content in the hands of the experts?
To find out more about the copywriting services we offer, please get in touch today – we’d love to take your business on a metaphorical unicorn trip to the moon …