Today, the average content creator is pulled between creating content for people and for Google. If you watch content trends like I do, you’ve probably noticed some big changes recently. Search engines are becoming more advanced and people are requiring more depth. Okay, scratch that last part. I think the depth is actually coming from search engines too but I digress.
The point is “okay” content isn’t cutting the mustard like it used to.
People, or bots as the case may be, expect more. And there’s interesting data to suggest how you can get more clicks by copying popular formats for headlines.
For the grammarians in the audience, they likely cringed at the headline of this post and yet, there’s a method to my madness which will be revealed below.
Best Performing Headlines
Last year, BuzzSuomo published some data about headlines that get clicks. The most popular phrases might surprise you.
Using these phrases in your headlines/titles may get your audience’s attention and drive more clicks. According to their research, these are the phrases that got the most shares:
- “Will make you…” as in Reading This Blog Post Will Make You Look Like George Clooney.
- “This is why” as in This Is Why a Chamber Membership Is the Best Investment of the Year.
- “Can you guess” as in Can You Guess Why 80% of Business Owners Join the Chamber?
- “Only X in..” as in Only 5 in 10 Business People Know This Secret to Productivity.
- “The reason is…” as in The Reason Is Shocking Why We Have So Many Renewals.
That’s a good start, right?
But these next couple kill me.
6. “Are freaking out” as in Members Are Freaking Out Because of This.
7. “Tears of joy” as in I Cried Tears of Joy at This Member Moment. I don’t know why but I feel compelled to add “literally” to that headline.
8. “Is what happens” as in This Is What Happens When You Join the Chamber.
Okay, the cynic in me must point out that these results were based on 100 million article headlines that received the most shares on Facebook and Twitter. Now the “tears of joy” part makes a little more sense. These were not pulled from a business audience, nor are these the most popular headlines clicked on the Wall Street Journal’s page.
Before you go out and drop these phrases into everything you publish going forward, know that you’re not trying to appeal to the whole world. You’re not going for top rankings nationally or internationally, for that matter. You only care what works for your audience, which is largely local.
Wait, There’s More
In addition to these sometimes laughable, largely-clicked phrases, you can add emotion to headers to help with clicks. For instance:
10 Reasons to Join the Chamber
Crush the Competition and 9 Other Awesome Reasons to Join the Chamber
What you gain in length (this is a long title and some will tell you Google will penalize you for it but only if people don’t click), you also gain in interest.
You can also add numbers outside of a list. Yes, “10 Reasons…” is a good one but you could also try something like:
99% of Chamber Members Grow After Joining the Chamber
One final suggestion…
use parenthesis or brackets as in:
10 Reasons to Join the Chamber (2018 version)
Try these suggestions and see if your audience responds. People often do to “click-bait” phrasing and these copywriting gimmicks. But the only way to tell if your chamber members will is by trying it.