I don’t know if you know this (you should), but a new website is registered every SECOND nowadays in the Internet. Yes, seconds. And for business owners who care about brand awareness online, this is obviously a nightmare to deal with because it puts them in the middle of other 1 BILLION websites. You are now fighting for traffic day and night, whether you like it or not. Things changed. The Internet has become a very competitive space to play as you can imagine.
No wonder Mark Cuban says Business is The Ultimate Sport because of its level of competition.
He’s right. Today we are in a tight situation and without any differential, you lose. And you lose hard.
Money, effort, time, personnel etc. Name it.
There’s so much you can spend online without seeing any ROI.
And much of this lack of return is due to lack of TRAFFIC.
Because after you build your business, we all want more sales and more leads right? RIGHT? So this is only obtained once you get first one simple thing: MORE TRAFFIC. Period. Without traffic, there are no sales. And no leads. Just crickets in your Google Analytics reports.
So the question is: How do you stand out?
How do you destroy the competition online? How do you CRUSH other websites when you’re placed right next to them? What’s one essential differential you can have that can bring people in?
Period. That’s how you bring more traffic to your blog when you’re competing with other links. You may even have the best content, but if you fail to attract people to click on your links, you lose. This is how the game works now and publishing content like if it is still 2007 won’t help.
You NEED great Headlines to increase traffic to your blog.
This is game-changing, especially for websites that already has great content.
So before we start, I have a 5-second proof of concept to show you about this.
QUESTION: Have you browsed online in the past and bumped with several links on a website, but ended up clicking on that one link that seemed to YIELD at you? That one click that made your curiosity take over, control your fingers and click without your consent or even without you having any interest in that subject/niche?
Headlines. The Headline that was responsible for making you click like a trained monkey. A simple headline.
So this is a resource to give you THE BEST headlines formulas/frameworks that can attract more traffic to your blog. And although this is strongly connected with how to write headlines using Copywriting techniques, the focus here is entirely different. I’ll show you headlines FRAMEWORKS you can use in your blog, a pure copy and paste structure idea once you understand how each framework works.
OK. Enough introductions. I hate big intros, don’t you?
But at least you are about to understand why you click on certain links so much.
PS: I love Framework #2, #4 and #8.
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #1 — SUMMON AND SOLVE A PROBLEM
Problems are one of the main reasons why people use Google in the first place. When you want to solve something you definitely “ask the internet” by using Google to get to the answer you need, whatever doubt that is, whether it is “how to lift heavier weights” to “hot to cook rice”. Am I Right? And once you do your search, what happens next? Right after Google spits results in your face? What do YOU do?
You immediately search for the best link possible that answers your question and that at the same time, seems very easy to understand right away. Right? But there’s one important point you naturally do that you as a blogger need to start paying attention.
You JUDGE the given results based on Headlines only, not the content because you haven’t clicked on any of them yet. And this is the key to writing this and all other headline styles. Keep that in mind.
So this is the structure of the Solution/Problem Headline:
Didn’t understand it?
Here, let me make things a bit easier for you:
- This Is How To Permanently Incorporate Confidence and Destroy Shyness for Good
- This Is How To Completely Dominate The Stock Market and Kill The Fear to Invest
- This Is How To Definitely Become Incredibly Strong and Never Suffer Bullying Again
- This Is How You Can Increase Your Happiness Levels and Destroy Stress Nowadays
And yes, this is ONE problem/solution framework. If you use your creativity you’ll see that there are several variations you can implement, by changing the orders of the words or bringing different words into it. But this is usually used more because when people see the results, they will read the link from left to right (except jews, Japanese people and other right-to-left reading countries), and because of that, it’s smarter to put the benefit right away, at the beginning of the sentence, which is the very first thing the user will read on. The solution you’re offering.
But yes, you can play with these word variables, change its place, alter a few things and still cause the same effect.
- This is How You Kill The Fear to Invest And Dominate The Stock Market Completely
- Never Suffer Bullying Again and Learn How To Become Incredibly Strong
- This Is How You Kill Stress And Increase Your Happiness LevelsNowadays
Get it? It’s not that hard once you understand the core of it.
So take problems and create the solution. And wrap it all up in the headline.
Next headline framework.
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #2 — INTERESTING STATEMENTS
Interesting headlines are, well, INTERESTING. This is another headline that can get huge loads of clicks and stand out in the crowd, but they are slightly harder to generate. Why? Because you need a TRUE interesting promise and topic that is good enough to sell in it. You can’t talk much about pottery with it, you know? It needs to be interesting and a lot of it has to do with the topic you involve as well. Besides, since not every person finds the same exact thing interesting due to personal taste, you really need to think this through so you can make the best headline possible, even if you’re dealing with who is already your fan and visits your blog regularly.
OK, let’s cut to the chase.
This is the structure of the Interesting Statements Headline:
Relax. No need to think too much, just look at the examples below to understand it:
- New Twitter’s CEO Killed Himself In A Microsoft Meeting
- The Amazing Story of a 7-year-old Kid Who Survived Alone in The Woods for 45 Days
- This Incredible Startup Helps People Heal 70% Faster With Cryogenic Technology
- This Life-changing Diet Program Can Rejuvenate People’s Skin In 10 Years
The more SHOCKING the headline is, the better. This headline style is one of my favorites because it definitely stands out if you know how to play with words.
But watch it, because it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
When writing this sort of headline you must have additional care to what you’re “selling” in it, so you can deliver the content properly without frustrating anyone. So make no exaggerated claims just to get yourself a click. Never do this. Because in the end that’s actually useless, worthless, and bad for your blog.
People hate click baits.
And people hate websites that do it often as well. Many marketers who know this technique, use it for click bait strategies which only gives them angry users as a result and they are all ready to spread the bad word about their website. And can you blame the users? Of course not. Because after all, nobody likes to click on something just to realize he was deceived by the link’s headline.
So use it with caution and ALWAYS deliver.
And one more thing to give closure to this section.
I’m giving you below a list of a few powerful words you can use to build your own interesting headlines yourself. Choose the ones that fit your audience best, and unleash your content with it. And never overuse them.
List of a few powerful words:
There are way more words actually, but you can start with these above.
Now let’s continue. He have more to talk about.
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #3 — “HOW TO” HEADLINES
Have you searched for something on Google EXACTLY as you would ask it to a real person? I bet you did. I KNOW you did. Because most people do that all the time. Google quickly realized this behavioral reality and since December 2014, Google Suggest came out and now whenever you type “How To”, it suggests you something like this right away:
Genius, right? It lists the most searched queries when you type a “How To”, which means everybody is also making those same questions. But what I want you to pay attention here is that this new query pattern is being highly considered by Google to rank websites.
Because Google knows that you search with YOUR words and then try to connect the results given with what you asked for. So if a website gives the exact question that matches how your mind is asking at the moment, that website usually wins user’s clicks. Which is why they usually go very well on rankings too because Google wants these websites to win, so it can brag about its effectiveness.
This is why this formula works so much. Because once you present the content with The “How To” headline formula, which is usually how people ask things on Google, it can attract loads of traffic and all because you’re inside the searcher’s head. You’re speaking his language. You’re inside the user’s mind.
So IF YOU — the reader — asked yourself: “How can I learn Russian online?”, put that query into Google and pressed enter, which one of the first 3 links below would you pick first?
- “How to learn russian online”
- “Learn russian today with us”
- “The NY russian course”
Which one again?
Yes. Probably the first one. Why? Because you’re a trained monkey, that’s why (just kidding). The reality is that we can even shuffle the results and you would probably STILL pick that same headline. Feeling manipulated yet? Well, welcome to the smart online marketing Era, my friend.
This works because the link is responding you with the exact same language you asked Google. Period.
YOU WANT a “how to learn Russian online” and not a “The NY Prussian course” because THAT is what you asked for. Can you picture this conversation in person?
Let’s have a simulation with Gary and Jack:
Gary: Hey Jack! How can I learn Russian online?
Jack: The NY Russian course.
Would you rather say thanks or kick jack’s ass after this kind of response?
But let’s take a different approach now:
Gary: Hey Jack! How can I learn russian online?
Jack: Here’s How to learn russian online, Gary.
BAM! Gary is now paying attention. He’s now listening and he’ll follow Jack’s lead.
This is what works online, matching the user’s questions. And don’t get me wrong because the course may even be a better choice, but guess what? If you CAPTURE the user and have solid content to back it up, the NY course just lost this battle (and probable a lot more).
PS: I talked too much because I got excited, my bad.
So here’s the formula to this simple headline:
Let’s go with some effective headline examples:
- How to Become 70% More Productive In The Next 5 Days
- How to Delegate Tasks to Raise The Company’s Profits at 80%!
- How to Start A Real Business With Less Than 100 Dollars
- How to Get THE Girlfriend You Always Wanted
- How to Completely Melt Belly Fat With A Hard 1-Week Diet
- How to Make More Money Online
Effective, appealing and highly efficient.
A simple How-To headline can transform your traffic.
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #4 — POLEMIC HEADLINES
This is for those who owns a website that is in the gossip/news niche. If that’s your case, then you already know that people like to enjoy content out of the ordinary, boring, daily routine we all see. We love breaking news, especially if there’s a big polemic on it which we can discuss with our friends (or piss off the co-workers we hate). So polemic opinions are just the right choice to shake up people’s day.
Smart bloggers know that.
Because polemic sells. Even nowadays with this crowded internet. I even risk to say that this is one of the few headlines that almost 99% of the time will at least drawn people’s attention, steal their eyeballs for a few seconds, no matter what they’re doing. Is that effective. Is that powerful. Almost every time. Promise.
You’ll see in a minute why I say this.
Well, this headline usually involves at least one of the following core psychological strategies below:
- Make Bold claims
- Promote Controversy
- Promote Outrageous
Now, is time for action.
And here’s the formula for Polemic Headlines:
[SHOCKING | REVOLTING | ABSURD STATEMENT]
Now a few examples so you can fully understand why this is so powerful:
- Why Facebook Will be Dead In The Next 6 Months
- What Accountants Secretly Steal From You Right After You Hire Them
- Who Deserves to DIE between these 2 Entrepreneurs After Starting This Company?
- Why Women Should Never Be Able To Vote Again
- Why Muhammad Ali Was Actually A Very Bad Person And The World Didn’t Know?
- Who Is This Judge Who Legalized This Sex Law With Such A Ridiculous Excuse?
- Who Bought NIKE Last Night And Why They Closed The Company And Fired Everybody!?
WARNING: Be careful how you use this framework because it can even put you in legal trouble. Be wise. Choose your headlines and don’t offend anyone. My Muhammad Ali was just an EXAMPLE so you can understand how this works. I saw lots of website online investing heavy in this approach without caring about the legal consequences. Consider yourself warned.
So after you have created the perfect content, and you’re thinking on the best headline to go with, consider this framework a try if your niche allows it to do it because the results are really strong. This works really well for gossip websites and news websites, indeed.
It brings loads of traffic. Definitely. But you can imagine that just by reading these examples I presented above.
OK! Now FRAMEWORK #5!
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #5 — SHORT HEADLINES
Here’s something you probably don’t know: The Technology Era has completely destroyed our attention span and now we are even losing to a GOLDFISH. Surprised? Well, don’t be. How long can you stay in the same website without changing tabs in your browser? And how many times do you do this every 10 minutes?
That’s our new reality. It’s hard to hold people’s attention today.
Sometimes because they miss behave online by selling attention to click baits, and sometimes because they are very successful and therefore, very busy.
OK! So maybe you’re writing to BUSY PEOPLE.
The readers of this category usually are CEOs, Entrepreneurs, Business people etc.
Everyone who doesn’t have enough time to read one single article online. Everyone who’s truly busy.
However, they’re busy because they’re probably successful and if they’re successful, they likely read a lot but don’t have the time to do all their readings. So sometimes — and I’m speaking from experience here — you work so hard that you miss your reading day of the week and you even miss the NEWS, and you know nothing that’s going on around the world which people like us hate (at least I do).
But it’s MORE annoying to read gigantic headlines just to satisfy a quick need you have, like some closure about a new law that the government is trying to push that may affect your business.
So for some niches, SHORT HEADLINES are the right weapon to reach these busy people.
This is usually the ideal target audience. Busy people. People who need to consume something from your niche and get back to their work.
But besides that free marketing tip, you should ALSO know that people read a lot faster when your headline is less than 7 words because humans can read chunks of words, and even words with scrambled letters!
OK, so this is the formula you need to use for powerful short headlines:
Short headlines must do 2 things: present the entire subject and generate user engagement.
Period. Present your case and punch the reader in the face with a high-impact word so he can wake up and read your content fast. That’s really all you need.
OK! So here are some great examples on this:
- Cell Phones Prohibited on Bars (New Law)
- This Incredible Chocolate Brand Can Melt Fat
- Youtube Just Fired Half of Its Employees
- Euro Is Now Cheaper Than US Dollars
- The Overnight Bankruptcy of New York City
This is very powerful to deliver the word on something urgent as you can see. And along with a little mix of other techniques I’ve shown, you can make powerful short headlines yourself if you stop to analyze all of your options. So here in this framework, remember to focus just on what you’ll say, add that special sauce (high-impact word) and try to fit all the “news” in 7 words or less. Very effective.
Your readers and new visitors will love it.
Especially the busy ones.
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #6 — HEADLINES THAT ASK QUESTIONS
Questions are very powerful as well. But why? Because it forces the reader to enter “imagination mode” or “analytical /mathematical thinking mode”. This makes him want to answer your question at all costs most of the time, even if he doesn’t enjoy the subject much.
Obviously, there’s psychology involved.
Pride and curiosity, just to be more specific.
And those 2 things are POWERFUL mental triggers for human beings. You know that, right? Because there’s a human necessity to leave nothing incomplete, nothing unanswered, no curiosity unsatisfied whether that is due to a person’s pride or curiosity. It doesn’t matter. This is why simple things like clicking on a website’s link can also be incentivated with some strategies and tactics. After all, if you got REALLY curious about something, you’ll likely click on it. And that’s because humans have a strong desire to resolve uncertainty as fast as possible.
That’s why questions are powerful for headlines, as well.
But is there a secret behind this?
Are simple questions enough to pull this off and get more traffic? Do professional, psychology-based marketing questions exist for getting maximum ROI? And what sort of questions expert bloggers constantly use on their own websites? Do they approach the subject more or the individual? Which Topics do they cover the most?
(see what I did there?)
Nevermind, these questions above were all just to prove a point.
Focus. What you really want is the formula below:
[TOPIC] + [STRONG HOOK]
A Big gun to use, huh?
Yes. Good. We love to have options.
And the strong hook is crucial for a successful headline using this technique. But how do you hook? Simple. All you have to do is ask yourself a simple question: Did I got hooked by this?
If the answer is a big YES then you know you have something special that will definitely suck in visitors to your blog. Is that simple.
Now let’s check out some headlines that use questions:
- How Much Do You Know About Your Own Parents?
- Would You Invest In This Weird Kid’s Startup?
- Are You Making These 10 Training Mistakes At The Gym?
- Do You Want to Know The Full Truth Behind Transgenic Food?
- Why Did The American Government Approved This New, Hideous Law?
- Which Are The 5 Critical Areas Every Company Needs to Invest In The Next 2 Years?
By making questions you automatically FORCE the reader to interact at a mental level with your content. You’ll make him stop whatever he’s doing, and think about the answer. And if he got hooked, he’ll click just seeking to solve his curiosity then it’s your job to provide great content to keep him inside, reading your blog.
HINT: But he’ll only click on your link when he’s NOT SURE of the answer or if he doesn’t know the answer. This is the “weakness” of using questions.
Nevertheless, it’s a great tactic to use when you’re blogging.
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #7 — HEADLINES THAT OFFERS EXPLANATIONS
Explanations are the reason why a person googles something in the first place, so it’s only natural that it has a powerful marketing potential. And although this seems very similar with an HOW TO headline, it’s not that similar. Why? Because this headline style explains why or how something happened, it doesn’t have an educational promise all the time.
Usually, it involves a storytelling behind the headline as you’ll notice in the examples I’ll show you next.
Ok, so the explanation formula is also quite simple:
And here are the practical examples:
- Why Snapchat Is Now Beating The ROI of Instagram
- Why Facebook Is Better Than Twitter for Athletes
- How I Doubled My Online Income Using Just Twitter and Instagram
- Why Facebook Is Being Called A Bad Investment By Top Investors
- How I Was Able To Dominate The Marketing Market In 2 Years
Get it? Simple stuff. You’re promising explanations to something.
Just keep the interest of what you’re selling in your headline on the body of the content and that’s it.
And in case you’re lost on how to do this, just ask yourself this: “What’s the awesome story in this? How do I synthesize all this content in one single sentence, like a movie synopsis?”.
Do a reverse-engineering with your content and craft a killer headline that explains what’s the CORE of the content you’ll talk about to your readers. But it needs to be something explanation-oriented, not educational-oriented. Remember that point.
HINT: People like to know WHY things happened and HOW they happened.
Keep that in mind.
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #8 — HEADLINES WITH POWERFUL WORDS
There are a limited set of words that the brain links to epic stuff. Words such as: real, regret, guarantee, power, explosive, unrealistic, incredible, impossible, success, failure etc. The list goes on (I mentioned a small list before in this article). Those words TRIGGER memories and images in the human brain and strongly influences people’s actions.
So if I say to you something like this:
Now, this was a demo just so you can see a few powerful words in action.
But from this (huge) above, you can basically say that:
– results are guaranteed
– results are incredible and life-changing
– this is a real marketing system experts took a decade to dominate
So what really MATTERS to your eyes is that it is: Guaranteed, Incredible and Real (not a scam).
And this is what this framework is about. Using the best, most powerful words that trigger people’s attention, sells the necessary guarantees and pushes them to take action.
PS: If you want the whole list then you can look an article Buffer made on 189 Powerful Words That Convert, but I’ll only cover the framework because otherwise this article would become a book.
So here’s the simple formula you need to know for this:
The reason why you should have 2 high-impact words is because you put a little more “weight” in the headline’s value proposition. By doing it, you make the reader realize that the content has value he shouldn’t miss. Also, as I said before, certain words are hard-wired to our brains in such a way that when we see them, our minds instantly invoke emotions, memories, pictures, faces and even short stories which can all be used to our favor.
That’s how powerful this is.
For a clearer understand, just imagine for instance you just broke up with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Probably you two have a certain song you call it yours, right? The “this is our song” is a common thing among couples and almost every couple has a song of their own. So what happens if you listen to that same song NOW, after you broke up?
You’ll burst into tears.
That’s what will probably happen.
But why exacly?
Because the SONG is hard-wired with an emotion in our brains. As soon as the song is played, all those good emotions come to the surface instantly, you realize you’re not happy anymore, and this starts to making you cry. So a song (which is sounds) here is like a shortcut to your memories.
And what are words?
Words = Sounds.
So if certain words like POWERFUL or HEAVY or DESTRUCTION are hard-wired as well in the reader’s brain, you have more chances to make him take the action you desire, you just have to place the right words in the right place. That’s all. The rest is up to your reader’s brain to consider.
This is why powerful words works.
Alright. Now that I explained this let’s see some examples:
- The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Professional Online Business
- 30 Entrepreneurs Regret Having This Destructive Mindset at an Early Stage
- The Genius Business Model Behind This Inspiring Social Network
- How to Dominate The Market With A Powerful Sales Strategy
- How to Shrink A Competitor’s Business Using Domination Marketing
So apply this and test to see the difference in your CTRs.
You’ll see that even today when people are well-educated about this (or at least more aware), they will still fall into the “trap”. Why? Because it’s hard-wired to their brains. There’s no way to run. A certain word can still invoke an emotion in your reader every single time he sees that word, so there’s not much he can do to stop his natural impulses. Sure, in a certain way he can control himself if he realize he’s being “manipulated”, but most people won’t. Period.
So use powerful words strategically. Know beforehand what emotions you can bring to the surface with each word and play with them in your headlin. Think in the context your reader may be coming from, the website that sent him to yours and the content he is landing on. And always deliver the promises made by the headline.
Now we reached the end.
Time for the final headline framework.
After this we can go home.
HEADLINE FRAMEWORK #9 — LIST-BASED HEADLINES
Alright, let’s finish this fast. Lists communicate 2 main things to a reader: The subject is easy to understand and is easy to memorize. Therefore, presenting any type of knowledge in that format has a lot more chance to be consumed by readers because everybody loves to read EASY stuff. And list-based articles are definitely easy to read and easy to learn from. That’s a cold, hard fact. No wonder list-based articles is one of the forms of content that easily goes viral according to OkDork and Buzzsumo.
So doing this works, and it works A LOT. Especially for those who knows how to dominate their field and know how to deliver exceptional knowledge in a list-based content format.
OK, so the formula to do this is quite simple:
You may by now figure this out just with the formula, right?
But here are some examples anyway:
- 25 Ways to Revolutionize Your Sales With Artificial Intelligence
- 17 Books That Will Destroy All Your Fears in Weeks
- The 5 Best Business Advice From Mark Cuban To Becoming A Entrepreneur
Lists are simple even when you create them, as you can see above. There’s no complexity at all. That’s why they’re so attractive to the reader’s eyes and that’s why content in this form goes viral easily. Your job gets easier and they get easier-to-read content as well.
HINT: Use lists with odd numbers because our mind associates odd numbers with precision. That is why products cost U$ 27,85 for instance, so your mind subtly captures that this is the exact price for that product, making it honest and trustworthy. Even numbers, on the other hand, are only presented to represent something that was researched, that was gathered, and certain things aren’t an exact science in the Universe. This is why we subconsciously assume that “7 Ways to Master Sales” is way more credible than “10 Ways to Master Sales”. Because it doesn’t feel to us like the list was “mounted” or worse, incomplete. Use odd numbers to communicate precision.
The headline is the road the customer/visitor/lead takes from his realm to yours. If you are not selling well enough your content in your headline, if your headlines look like those from 2005, then you’re losing loads of traffic for your business. And in a world where competition has never been so fierce you can’t allow yourself to write poor headlines today. Ignore that warning, and very soon all your smart competitors will have a HUGE advantage over you in the market. Seriously. They’ll appear much more interesting and tech-savvy than your brand.
So if you’re still marketing your content with unattractive headlines thinking people will show up eventually to visit your blog and therefore, your business funnel, then guess again. Reconsider your marketing. Because people won’t even click on a link to your blog if you don’t tell them to do it properly.
Keep that in mind.
Master your headlines and dominate your field.