A headline is one of the most important elements of a blog or article. It is the first thing visitors see that helps them arrive at a decision to remain or bail on a website. The headline is the real point of connection with a customer or prospect, but make sure you avoid these common headline mistakes.
5 Common Headline Mistakes to Avoid
This is why you need to get the headline right the first time around. Here are the five common mistakes writers make when attempting to write attention grabbing headlines. If you are a writer, watch out for the following.
1. Missing the benefits
Writers can completely gloss over reader benefits. A benefit does not have to be over-the-top. It only has to be relevant and worth a person’s time to continue reading. If your headline does not clearly answer the question, “What is in it for them?” then it misses the point from the start.
2. Not being compelling
A compelling headline is one that creates curiosity. Even when a benefit is clear, a reader continues on because you have managed to spark their imagination. You can peak their curiosity by stating challenges and using numbers and questions. It can compel them to keep reading and explore.
3. Being too vague
Headlines should also be very specific and clear about the message the writer wants to convey. Any statements that facts cannot support will appear as untrustworthy by visitors.
4. Being too original
If your headline sounds too original, it may not have the intended effect. People can get tired of the “how to” and “15 ways” approaches. The goal is to keep your writing and headlines fresh without getting so clever it doesn’t make sense. This is a common headline mistake, but the stats indicate that headlines that try to be too clever experience more losses than wins. If you feel the urge to write a joke or pun, stop, you may end up killing your content. Write to a larger audience. There may be too many people who do not get the message if you are trying to be clever.
5. Blending in with the competition
Try not to blend in with the competition. Determine what audiences like and experiment with shorter or longer versions of the same headline template. The reality is that you need to find a way to avoid what others are doing.
Try not to become too desperate when writing headlines. There are too many writers who choose to write an off-the-wall headline just to get the attention of as many readers as possible. An effective headline is one that takes into consideration the needs of an audience. What are they interested in? There is no getting around the need to write a headline around the reader’s interest.
Know Your Audience
You already know you have the potential to write compelling headlines. You also know you can damage your reputation if it fails to deliver. There are literally no exceptions to this rule. You should also know what is going on with your peers. Just keep in mind that your peers are the ones who must be inspired to link to your website page or blog.
Keep Things Simple
Some writers try to say too much in their headline. Instead of teasing, their headline falls short of being a story. Readers, no matter how sophisticated some may seem, tend to respect simplicity. Of course, simplicity is always the cornerstone of effective communication. Try and stick to a single concept.
Powerful words can make a headline become clickbait. Make the headline inspirational. Use words that people can identify with as well. Do not forget that it is also important to target those keywords that have high search volume. In the end, it is still all about search engine optimization. Write the headlines that will inspire action.