No matter your industry, you want to drive traffic to your website to help boost your business. Whether your goal is getting sales, sign-ups, or just more eyes on your content, you need web traffic to reach these goals.
There are all kinds of strategies to help you drive traffic to your site. Usually, the most effective strategies utilize a variety of digital marketing tactics to achieve this goal.
One component of an effective strategy includes the use of powerful headlines to get people to click on your blog, landing page, email, or any other kind of content.
12 headline-driven writing tips to drive traffic to your website
So, what separates a GOOD headline from a GREAT headline? We’ve broken down our top 12 headline-driven writing tips to drive traffic to your website and get the clicks you’ve been waiting for!
Start with a number
Notice how this blog title starts with “12?” Using a number at the start of your headline is a useful writing tip. These numbers indicate a list post, which are appealing to readers. They signal an easy to read and follow post.
But just because it’s easy to read, doesn’t mean it can’t be informative. When you write a list post, make sure each item in the list is useful to the reader and has the information they need.
On that note, here are some bonus tips for using numbers in your headlines and copy:
- Spell out numbers one through nine. Use numerals for anything higher. For example: one and 12.
- Try to avoid starting sentences (other than headlines) with numerals in your body copy
- Instead of using %, spell out percent
Take it from Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers: “… A really simple way to increase your conversion rate most often … if you put numbers on the page and there is math that has to be done, do the math for them.” – Joanna Wiebe
Use power words
Power words are words that trigger a response in readers that encourages them to click. Maybe they spark their curiosity or invoke a certain emotion.
Let’s say you read a headline that says “Good Ways to Write Headlines,” and another one that says “7 Unexpected Writing Headline Writing Tips.”
Which one are you more likely to click?
If you’re like most readers, you’ll click on the second option. It uses “unexpected,” which is a power word that triggers curiosity. The reader wants to know what’s so unexpected and unique about these tips. So they’re more likely to click and find out.
But here’s the thing: if you’re going to use a word like “unexpected” in your headline, make sure the tips you include really are unexpected. Otherwise, your reader loses trust in your brand.
Here are some other power words to include in your headlines:
Utilize a headline analyzer
A great way to run a quick check for your headline quality is running them through a headline analyzer.
Depending on the analyzer you use, it will tell you things like whether your character count is on track, whether it includes power words, virality, and more.
Here are some free headline analyzers to check out:
- The world’s only headline analyzer with real time Google results from BlogWorks
- CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer
- Capitalize My Title’s Headline Analyzer Tool
Include a powerful call to action
A call to action can overlap with your power words. Just as power words encourage users to click on your link, a call to action also helps move them further down the funnel.
A call to action or CTA usually consists of a few words that tell the reader or user what to do next. It could be something like “Buy now” or “Try today” or “Start for free” – appealing, actionable steps for the reader to take.
For more on writing effective CTAs, take a look at this post about creating landing pages that convert.
Add a sense of urgency
Some power words are better at creating a sense of urgency than others. And most of the time, a sense of urgency is important for getting users to read your content.
Whenever possible, include words that promote a sense of urgency for the reader.
Here are a few examples:
- Buy today
- Ends at midnight
- Read this before…
- Don’t wait
- Don’t miss
- Act fast
Do your keyword research
If your headlines include the keywords your target audience is likely to click, you’ll quickly notice an jump in traffic. Keywords are one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website, granted you’ve done your keyword research!
You’ll often hear of long-tail keywords and common keywords.
A common keyword will usually have more search volume and it will be harder to rank for these words. They are more generalized terms like “windows” or “digital marketing.”
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, include longer phrases like “windows in Stuart, FL” or “digital marketing company in Florida.”
When you use keywords that are more specific to your target audience, you’ll quickly see your traffic grow like crazy. When you can naturally include long-tail keywords in your headlines, this is great. If not, use common keywords in your headlines and include long-tail keywords in your body copy and meta descriptions.
Consider social shares
Do your headlines encourage readers to want to share with their friends and followers? When you write headlines, put yourself in your reader’s shoes and ask whether it’s something they’d want to share on social media platforms.
Phrases like “things everyone should know” can go a long way for writing headlines that not only drive traffic but also encourage sharing on social media.
Determine your target audience
We’ve mentioned your audience a few times already, but it deserves it’s own spot in the list. Defining your target audience is one of the most essential, important factors when it comes to a powerful digital marketing strategy.
One way to do this? Determine your target audience’s pain points.
Do you know they feel short on time? Then include things like “Save time” in your headlines.
Or maybe you know they want to drive traffic to their website. In that case, you’d include things like “get clicks,” or “drive traffic,” in your headlines.
Include a statistic
One study found blog posts that include a statistic in the headline perform 10 times better than headlines with no statistics. That’s a pretty good reason to start adding them to your headlines, right?
Here are a few ways to do this:
- How Headline Statistics Drive 10 Times More Traffic
- Boost Your Sales by 50% with this Headline Writing Tip
- Increase Your Conversion Rates by 35% with These SEO Techniques
Ask a question
Writing a headline in the form of a question is another way to drive traffic to your website. That is, if the question requires a specific answer, rather than yes or no.
Headlines with questions signal to readers what they’ll learn when they click on that headline. At the same time, they also intrigue your audience and encourage them to try and answer that question.
Test your headlines
We are all about A/B testing ads, landing pages, headlines, and any other content you share to drive traffic to your site.
In a recent post on our cross-platform lead-gen strategy that lowers CPL, we talk more about A/B testing:
“In marketing, A/B testing is also known as split testing or bucket testing. Each of these titles refers to a method of testing two versions of an ad/website/landing page, etc. to see which one performs better. One of our favorite things about A/B testing is that it lets you track how even the smallest changes can affect your conversion rates.”
So, try sharing two landing pages with different headlines and track them carefully to see which one performs best. This helps you determine where to spend your time and energy. On that same note, it helps guide the next steps in your content strategy.
Write headlines with your audience in mind
Finally, write headlines specifically with your audience in mind.
In most cases, your audience has different interests, needs, and wants than you. It’s tempting to write a headline that sounds good to YOU.
But if you want to drive traffic to your website, it needs to be written from the perspective of what’s most appealing to your audience.
We’ll help you drive traffic to your website
At Blue Water Marketing, our content marketing programs include strategy, creation, technology, tools, distribution, and measurement to drive traffic and results. We help organizations build agile and smart content engines that generate leads and sales.