The headline or title is the most important part of any online blog post. With millions of new blog posts making their way online daily, you need something that will immediately help you stand out. No matter how good the content is, it would help if you had something that would compel readers to click on your article over all those others. A study showed that about 80% of visitors to your page would read the headline or title, but only 20% will finish the article. Even the algorithm at Google is programmed to look at your headline before ranking your website in a search. With this in mind, you need to put extra care into crafting your headlines to increase traffic and rank higher on search engine results pages.
There are psychological factors to consider when asking how to get your article to stand out from everything else. Why should a reader want to click on yours over someone else’s? There are a few simple techniques that are nonetheless proven to be more effective in getting that first click.
Adding a title with numbers is a popular technique for catching folks’ attention. People (especially in business spheres) love facts and data. Compare the following two (fake) article titles:
“Fake statistics are becoming a major threat in the world of blog posts”
“64% of readers are likely to uncritically accept statistics found online”
Both titles have their uses, but the latter (with a statistic immediately visible, something the reader can immediately latch on to) is more likely to get that first click. Another tip; the Content Marketing Institute conducted a study and found that article titles with odd numbers generate more engagement. Changing the 4% to 5% in your title could affect click-through rates by up to 20%
That other made-up title is useful in a different way – it has a sense of urgency. The average attention span is between 12 and 8 seconds, shrinking a little more every year. One way you can appeal to an audience in that period is to create a sense of urgency as fast as possible in the title. You want your audience to be intrigued, or come away with a question that may lie within the text of your article. “X may happen tonight” gives a greater sense of urgency than “X may happen this year.”