Do you have a blog? Not one where you talk about the antics of your dog or what you cooked for dinner last night, but a blog on your business site that’s intended to generate home improvement leads. If not, you should. If you do, what do your headlines look like? There’s more to writing a good headline than you might think, and they’re also far more important than the typical blog writer realizes.
You can write the best blog post in the world and have no one read it if the headline doesn’t attract attention. A good headline is short, punchy, pointed, honest and promises intriguing information. That’s a lot to accomplish with a single line, so let’s break it down.
By short, I mean fewer than 60 characters, including spaces – anything longer than that gets cut off in Google’s search results and the message of the headline gets lost.
You can cheat a little bit if you have to, because most people can guess that “Home Imp … ” isn’t short for “Home Imps: Are They Hiding In Your House?” But try to keep it under 60 whenever possible – short headlines imply easy reading, which will attract more eyeballs.
What should those 60 characters contain? Relevancy sounds obvious, but many a badly-written blog post can start off being about roofs and end up talking about bathrooms. Keep your posts simple and on a single subject, or else readers are going to feel confused and misled. It sometimes helps to write your post first, then craft the headline. Otherwise you can end up with a post that varies at least a little bit from what you originally had in mind.
Making your headline intriguing, meanwhile, is more of an art than a science. Questions work well as long as they’re interesting – I’m willing to bet you clicked on this post because you wanted an answer to the question I posed. Lists are always popular too, because they let the reader know in advance how much of a reading commitment they’re making. Lists are also easy to skim, which a large percentage of readers always do no matter how brilliant the writing is.
Whatever approach you take, your headline should tease interesting information that’s relevant to the reader. But avoid giving too much away! “Why Are Heating Prices Rising?” offers additional information relevant to the reader’s interests. “Heating Prices Up 10%” tells the entire story in the headline – most people won’t click on a link that’s already given them the key information.
A blog will never be your biggest source of leads, but an active blog tells search engines that your site is dynamic, not static. The better your headlines, the more people will visit. That means a better search ranking, and hopefully at least a few people moving on to look at your services when they’re done reading. It can even be fun! So, to answer the question I posed to you to begin this: yes, but only if you write the headlines carefully. Start practicing.