Why your headlines are too revealing
News flash: Print and digital are not created equal.
In print, once people have a magazine or newspaper in hand, their attention is concentrated on that publication. When you’re writing headlines for print, often the goal is to give the reader the most information possible.
Online there are many distractions, and it’s important not to give away all the juicy details right away in the headline. If you do, they will have no incentive to click to read more.
Here’s the cold, hard truth – if your headline doesn’t grab people’s attention, no one will click on your link and read the content you’ve labored over for weeks (or even months!).
So if you want people to click on your links and read your content, it’s time to start focusing on headlines. This is a must.
- Review your website analytics. Take a look at which articles are the most popular, and which are the least popular? Write down any differences you find. (For example, for one organization I found that most articles on the “least popular” list had a specific location or program name in the headline, whereas many articles on the “most popular” list highlighted a particular issue area.)
- For the 10 least popular articles, use the information you learned from the first step and change your headlines accordingly. If you are able to do more than 10, go for it!
- Use this worksheet to help you write great headlines for future articles.
Advanced tip: Use Twitter to see which headline ideas resonate with your audience. Come up with several ideas you want to test, and put that text into the mix of your tweets, all linking to the same article. Track which text generates the most interactions and/or clicks and adjust your headline accordingly.
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