Grab Them with the Headline
This one sounds like a no-brainer, right? Of course you need an exciting or interesting headline to get people to click! But have you really put the time into finding out what types of headlines get more clicks? If not, that’s okay, because I’m going to break it down for you.
The founder of Copyblogger Media, a standout in this field, said that “A poor headline renders your article invisible.” If you’re not grabbing people with the headline, no matter how much time and effort you put into your article, it might as well not even be there.
So what makes a good headline? Think about what you would click on if it popped up in your social media feed. If you’re like most of us, you’re looking for titles that use eye-catching phrases like “How to do X”, or the “best ways to achieve Y.”
Or, go with an old standard that never fails “X tips to get Y.” How do we know it works? Well, you clicked on this video, didn’t you?
Take Advantage of Emotion
Take this one step at a time: your headline grabbed them, what’s next? Well, you want them to read that first sentence. Make sure it hooks them: make a bold statement, share a surprising statistic, make a joke. Your reader shouldn’t feel like they are reading an essay in grade school.
A great piece of advice that every writer should follow is to write like you talk. If you use a lot of folksy expressions, include one or two in your article! If you love to tell stories, tell a story that relates to the topic! This will help readers connect with you, the writer. They’ll feel less like they are reading a series of paragraphs, and more like they are being told a story or informed about a topic.
If you are writing about something that is a common issue among your readers, frame it as if it is happening to them. Push those pain points by helping your reader visualize what they are reading in their own lives. If your article is about how frustrating customer service can be, don’t just tell them “customer service is frustrating.” Remind them about the last time they were on hold, how they were tapping their fingers in boredom, listening to the same song on repeat.
Grab them with the headline, hold them with the story.
You’re Not in Sales
Well, you might be in sales, but your writing shouldn’t feel like that. Today’s average internet user is very savvy to the tricks of the trade, and they can sniff out insincerity in a second. If everything you are saying is in relation to how incredible your product is, or how essential your company’s services are, your reader is not going to buy it. Even if it’s true: your amazing product will gather dust in your inventory if nobody believes what you are saying.
This is another opportunity to put more of yourself into your content: don’t just tell people that something is difficult and they should hire you to fix it. Break down why something is difficult for customers or business owners, and how this is affecting their wellbeing. If its a potential customer, tell them how this problem is keeping them from getting the most out of their money, or how it keeps them from fully enjoying something.
For business owners, explain that the problem you are speaking about is hurting their sales, or unnecessarily costing them money. From there, explain how to solve that problem. Maybe they should use this software you built, or hire your company as a consultant. They’ll be much more receptive to this sort of sell if they understand how it affects them.
Keep it Scannable
It’s common knowledge now that most people on the internet don’t read the full content in front of them. They scan. Can they scan your content? If you are writing in thick, dense paragraphs, then probably not.
Think about the emails you send. If you really want someone to read a certain part of the email, what do you do? One of two things, probably: either you make it bold, or you make it its own line. Let’s talk about both of those briefly.
If you have a central thesis of your content or an important takeaway, put it on its own line. Readers who are scanning your content will notice this more than if it was tucked away in a paragraph. Or, if you want to make something bold, make it a subheading. Break up your article into smaller sections, each under its own subheader.
Say that someone wants to learn about something specific. If they can scan your content quickly and find that exact location thanks to your subheader, you’re one step closer to converting that reader.
But, use both of these methods sparingly. Too much is overkill. Think about it: if every sentence is its own line, then no one sentence will stand out. And if every other paragraph is a subheader, that seems like a mistake, not a stylistic choice.
Give Them a CTA to Remember
This is the final piece of any well-written content: the CTA. This is what you have been building up to, what you were driving towards. You’ve explained how this problem is affecting your reader’s happiness, and you’ve broken down how they can overcome this issue by doing X, Y, and Z. Now they just have to click and convert.
But they don’t. What happened? Like almost everything else on the internet today, CTAs are used so frequently people barely notice them anymore. Just putting a button at the bottom of a page or an article is not enough anymore. “Click here” is a death sentence.
What do you do instead then? Get creative! Instead of writing “click here,” put something personalized to your article. Say things like “Boost my Sales” or “Get Started Today” or “Fix My Website.” Anything that gives the reader something more engaging than a simple command.
And there you have it: 5 tips and strategies that can transform crappy copy into content that converts. Taking the time to ensure what you’ve written has all the elements of successful content will pay off in the long run. Don’t let your copy ruin your sales!
That’s all for today, but if you want more guidance about content strategy from experts in the field, click the link below to talk to us.
I’ll see you here next time!