It’s not enough that people can find your site or your blog: you’ve got to create information that matches with their needs and respects them as a reader. This blog post is all about creating headlines, subheadings, and creating engaging content so that visitors to your site will engage in dialogue with you.
Writing Eye Catching Headlines
Influencing readers is not about using a trick, schmoozing, or a pushy sales tactic. It’s about giving people something to think about and influencing how they think and feel about you while engaging in a dialogue with them. This kind of thinking takes work, just as your headlines do.
Since we know that readers are scanning what we read rather than reading it, we typically break the material up and use headlines and headers to catch their attention, or pull them toward you.
This means that instead of doing these things:
o Barraging our target market with messages
o Telling everyone our message
o Repeating the message ad nauseum
o Coercing, forcing, or tricking someone
We do these things:
o Encourage a dialogue
o Build trust by being credible and doing what we say we will do
o Show and demonstrate our message (walking the talk)
o Share the message and how our customers use our products or services
This shift in thinking means that we focus on content that people can use. Your headings don’t have to be wild and crazy, but they do need to be interesting.
Tips for Creating Great Headlines
Keep them short and direct
Often, readers are coming to your writing through a search engine, a link or from an e-mail, or an RSS feed. However, there are also plenty of ways for them to find you without coming to you directly, so you must be very easy to find.
Keeping headlines short and direct is a good start. Avoid being cute, and use vocabulary that relates to the audience you are appealing to.
Avoid confusing or pretentious language
Remember that even though we know some great vocabulary, headlines are the way for the reader to find you and tuck into your content.
Use active language and strong verbs. Don’t try to hide unsavory elements in your writing, either. Once you’ve frustrated or tried to trick a reader, it will be very difficult to get them back to your site.
Readers will engage when you catch their eye, and subheadings are a great way to help them scan through your material quickly and focus on the information they need and want.
Select a word or short phrase that describes what is in the section so that they can easily find what they want.
For more tips like the above on writing headlines, check out our writing for the web course where you can learn more tips about producing great content