If you’ve heard that content is king then you understand why it’s important to get people to read. Online, content is not only king, but formatting your content correctly is the crown on the king’s head. No one will read your content if it doesn’t promise them benefits and deliver on that promise. To do that effectively there are three specific headline formats you can use to get more people to read your content.
Headline Format No. 1
The first headline format is real simple. Ask a question.
To effectively use this headline format you have to ask a question that a large number of people you want to reach would ask. If you can ask a question that is a popular search query then so much the better. Your question, however, must promise a benefit to the reader and your content must deliver on the promise. Be sure to use keywords. Here are three examples of the question format using the keyword phrase “Headline Format”:
- Does Your Headline Format Drive Customers Away?
- How Important Is Headline Format?
- Which Headline Format Is The Right One For You?
Notice that each question promises the reader a benefit, uses the keyword phrase, and is short and to the point. So should your question headlines be.
Headline Format No. 2
Make a bold, outrageous claim. If your claim is so outrageous that it is unbelievable then it will have the opposite effect, but if you make a bold claim that is believable and promises a benefit then you will get more readers to your content. Here are three examples of bold, outrageous, believable headlines that use the key phrase “Headline Format”:
- My Headline Formats Achieve 100% Customer Satisfaction
- Why Your Headline Formats Suck
- Headline Formats: Kill Your Clients, Not Your Content
Notice that each headline is specific, bold, and believable. The first one is a bold first person statement that seems at first glance a bit narcissistic, but it promises a clear benefit. Read my content and you can achieve 100% customer satisfaction, too!
The second headline promises to tell the reader why their headlines are not up to par. The strong language assures that readers will read the post. It’s mentally jarring to be told that you suck (in a respectful way, of course).
Finally, headline No. 3 uses hyperbole to make a point. Your headlines should not be self destructive. Rather, they should knock your readers off their feets. It promises a clear benefit that the reader hopes the content will deliver on, namely, that if you read this page you’ll learn how to write headlines that get clicks.
Headline Format No. 3
The third headline format is the how to. How-to formats work because the promised benefit is the obvious: You’re going to teach something the reader wants to learn. It is the easiest of the three formats to write because all you have to do is find a popular search query that begins “how to” and copy and paste it. Here are three examples:
- How To Write Effective Headlines
- How Your Headlines Can Make Or Break You
- How To Win Friends And Influence People With Headlines
In these examples, the keyword is “headlines”. Variations of a keyword are good. They can often be just as effective. In each of these examples you promise your reader a clear benefit. The only thing left to do is deliver on your promise.
Your headline is one of the most important aspects of your page content. Use the proper headline formats and you’ll get click-throughs beyond your wildest dreams.