Inbound Marketing Headlines – The Key To Success

stern is a leading Inbound Marketing Agency Located in Aurora Colorado.

In my inbox this morning and last came two related articles dealing with Headlines.

Whether in a PPC campaign or in an email marketing campaign, a carefully crafted headline can lead to more ROI and much more inbound leads.

I usually don’t repost articles, but these seemed to go so well together I wanted to showcase them that way.

6 Secrets To Writing Killer PPC Ad Headlines
In the world of paid search, you’ve only got a few seconds to grab someone’s attention before they are bombarded by the next ad. So how do you get your prospective customers to pay attention to your ads?
Too often, advertisers spend time writing the copy and throw in the PPC ad headline at the end. But approximately 80% of people will read a PPC ad headline, but only 20% will read the rest.

Writing powerful PPC ad headline copy is a must if you want to capture your reader’s interest. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you write killer ad headlines that get attention and clicks.

Feature your biggest benefit

A benefit is what your product or service does for your customers. Many times, this benefit is more valuable to them than the money they spend to acquire it. The key is to engage your target audience by letting them know what’s in it for them. A good example of a header that highlights a benefit over a feature is “Presenting the Easiest Way Ever to…”

Grab attention by eliciting an emotional response in your PPC ad headline.

People respond well to the emotions of fear, greed and love. Think of those spontaneous purchases you made because someone told you that it’s perfect for your spouse or how you will regret it if you don’t buy this now. Words such as “warning” and “never again…” are very powerful. Starting a header with “What if you could…” or “Be number #1 at…” appeals to instant gratification.

Use numbers and title casing in your ad headline

Beyond what your headline says, it needs contrast to stand out. A good way to do this is by using title casing in the First Letter of Most Words. Another way is to add a number so you can let your target audience know just how many points to expect (people love lists)! I did exactly this for the title of my post: “6 Secrets To Writing Killer PPC Ad Headlines”.

Throw in words that are trending

What’s everyone talking about on Twitter? Check out the trending topics and incorporate those keywords into your PPC ad headline copy.

Does your header show confidence and sound authoritative?

If you are at a loss for words, find someone else that can say it better and add credibility! Use quotes from influencers (Oprah), reputable sources (scientists), case studies, celebrities or better yet, testimonials from existing clients!

Use quotation marks around your header (when allowed).

Just this one simple trick can boost reading by 25%!

Ask a question.

Starting your header with “How To..”, “Would You….” or “What If…” can immediately captivate an audience and create open loops in their brains. Think of when you ask a question and the anticipation it generates as you wait for the answer. Curiosity is contagious and encourages people to click to find out more.

Once you know how to write catchy PPC ad headlines, you can convey a lot of information, letting your target audience know exactly what to expect while enticing them to click or continue reading.

Have you tried any of these tips? If so, let us know which ones have lifted the response to your advertising campaigns. We would also love to hear other examples of powerful PPC ad headlines that have worked for you.

The second half of our post is by Heidi Cohen a leader in inbound marketing.

In On Advertising, David Ogilvy stated, “On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.” This means for every reader, five other people viewed the headline and skipped on to something else. Therefore, you must craft killer headlines.

For bloggers and content creators, this means that only a small proportion of readers will actually click through and read the content you’ve spent most of your time creating if your titles aren’t strong enough to make them take action!

While it may seem like a waste of time, you must craft the best title you can to ensure the maximum number of people read and/or share your content.

Here are ten tips guaranteed to help you attract more readers and to get them to click-through on your content and blog posts.

1. Track which titles resonate best with your audience. Once you’ve a back catalog of blog posts or articles, assess which posts and titles perform best in terms of pageview, time on site and bounce rate. Consider what is driving this success. Is it the topic, day of the week, keywords or title?

2. Monitor competitors’ titles. Track what works for other content creators focused on your target audience. While you can’t see their metrics, use their social sharing buttons to give you a ballpark idea of their effectiveness. Are there areas or titles that  work for your competitors that you’re not using or aren’t performing for you? If so, examine these posts to see what the issues are. Maintain a list of these titles and adapt them for your blog or content. (Don’t copy them verbatim!)

3. Capture title ideas for later use. Don’t write your blog and content marketing titles on the fly. Keep a file of ideas in a swipe file so you can modify them to meet your content needs. Don’t use someone else’s exact title.

4. Write for three distinct audiences. Whether crafting articles for your blog and/or content marketing, you have three different audiences and they’re not all human.

  • Readers. These people see your title and click-through to see what your content is about.
  • Social media shares. These participants may not read your content but are on the prowl for interesting information to curate for their social media followers. Their followers may read and/or share your content.
  • Search engines. Their robots rank the importance of your content to respond to specific search requests.

5. Use keyword phrases in your titles. To support your search optimization efforts, incorporate an appropriate keyword phrase upon which the column is focused.

6. Make titles clear and easy-to-understand. Skip the fancy words and get to the point. Don’t use big words your audience doesn’t know or they’re more likely to skip reading your content than to look up the word. Remember the title’s job is to attract attention for your content. You want to drive more people in to read your information.

7. Craft titles relevant to your content. Don’t just use a title because it will attract lots of readers. You must deliver content related to the title or you’ll loose readers and hurt your content’s believability.

8. Edit your titles to minimize the number of words in your title. Remember less is more so get rid of the flab and the fluff.

  • Use a maximum of 70 characters as a rule of thumb. Reduce the number of characters in your titles so that search engines don’t truncate your title because it’s too long.
  • Cut anything extra. Eliminate small words where possible
  • Use the most powerful words you can. Commands do better than a more passive voice.

9. Let readers know you’ve included special content. This means including the relevant term in your title such as [Infographic]. I let readers know when I’m using research and/or charts. Depending on what’s being offered, calling it out to readers can increase your readership. For example, Pinterest Drives Sales [Research].

10. Test titles to maximize their effectiveness to achieve your goals. Don’t just go on gut feel when it comes to titles. Check your analytics to see what’s doing the best in terms of content on your blog. Is this aligned with your gut feel and social sharing? If not, what changes do you need to modify or test out.

Writing strong titles that yield measurable results takes work and practice. Even the most seasoned blogger can write a weak headline occasionally. That said the more you practice, the more readers you’ll attract with your titles.

What other title writing tips would you add to this list and why?