If you’re like most small business owners, you spend a great deal of your non-billable time creating content to market your product/service, but little time crafting an accompanying headline that brings people to your content. What components make winning headlines, and how could a few thoughtful minutes here increase business?

Last week I attended a marketing luncheon with my Hubspot peeps (who are incredible inbound marketers!) to discuss content marketing in 2017, and the importance of headlines was briefly discussed. Only a few marketers raised our hands when asked if we spend at least 5 minutes developing a headline. It got me thinking about how much time and energy folks spend writing content for blogs and mass emails, but so little effort on the article headline or the subject line.

Eight of 10 people (80%) will only see your headlines and nothing else. Of those, two of the 10 will actually read your article, according to Copyblogger. Those few words in your headline decide whether a reader clicks to read the full article or actually opens your email. That great content you spent so much time developing will never see the light of day if your headline misses capturing your reader.  

So, what makes a great headline?

From researched studies on what works best as well as from my own experience working with various industry brands, headlines that include numeric numbers like “7 Types of Headlines” and “how-to” words inserted help increase conversions as do choosing words that are emotional. Check out these emotionally powerful words here as well as this PDF of great words to drop into your headlines.

According to CoSchedule, headlines with higher Emotional Marketing Values (EMV) get more social media shares. Highly-shared articles typically had headlines with a 30 or 40 EMV score (the scores of most professional copywriters’ headlines while the most gifted copywriters have 50% – 75% EMV worded headlines), and to “put that in perspective, the English language contains approximately 20% EMV words.”

When deciding what headline to give this article, I had two ideas:

  1. Secrets to creating profitable headlines
  2. Proven tips to successful headlines

I threw both into Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer (try it for free here!) and the first scored 80% and the second 40% — both great scores, but it was clear which I should use.  

Check out CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. It will evaluate your word balance of words that are common, uncommon, emotional, and powerful. It will also analyze the length of characters and word count to tell you if they need to be shorter or longer for increasing its share potential on social media platforms. Additionally, it will determine possible keywords in the headline and the sentiment — positive, negative, or neutral. Lastly, it will preview the headline for what it will look like in Google search results, as a email, and on Twitter plus sparse in some links to helpful articles to improving your headline that you should definitely read.

When I tested my two headlines for this article with CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, the “proven tips to successful headlines” actually scored slightly higher at 65 versus the 58 that “secrets to creating profitable headlines” received. The main reason? It missed having any power words.

So back to the drawing board to find a headline that included a power word that would improve an already good headline. How about these?

  1. Blow your Mind Secrets to Creating Profitable Headlines
  2. Announcing Secrets to Creating Profitable Headlines

The first got a 50% EMV and a 76% overall from CoSchedule — definitely both in the “gifted copywriter’s range!
The second got at 67% EMV and a 68% overall from CoSchedule — both great scores and ultimately better than all the others generated, so I changed my headline!

I have many other sources and articles that have been helpful to me as I edit and publish content online for my business and for clients’ organizations, so please reach out if you’d like assistance with your content marketing. We’re happy to help you be strategic so you get more online traffic, leads, and ultimately more business!

Among Austin marketing firms, GoodBuzz Solutions harnesses the best of marketing, communications, and events to empower the brands of entrepreneurs, public figures, and organizational leaders to become more visible so they can achieve their goals and be the best. Put your marketing expertise to the test by taking the free GoodBuzz Online Marketing Assessment here. The quiz will evaluate you in seven core areas with 31 questions. Your immediate marketing score will identify your strengths and show you where you can polish your strategy – all for free!

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