Would it surprise you to know that the most important, most relevant blog post on your entire website might never get read?
In the world of content marketing, your blog post headline acts as a gatekeeper to the content you and your marketing partner produce. It doesn’t matter how insightful or how useful the post is if it’s blocked off by a lackluster headline.
That’s why when we craft thoughtful and meaningful B2B blog content, we take it a step beyond keyword research and ideal word count to create a headline for that blog post that is compelling and intriguing to the intended audience.
The minute a blog post headline becomes intriguing, it becomes clickable. And when it presents an intriguing and meaningful value, it must be shared. Here’s what goes into making a blog post alluring enough to click on and share:
1. It Has a Clear Topic
The most important thing the blog post headline does is alert the reader to the topic that will be addressed. The blog post title needs to contain an keyword or two that will register with your B2B buyer. This isn’t just SEO best practice -- it’s about providing a context for your reader.
Just consider blog post titles like “Why We Love Our Customers,” and “Our Company History.” Even if these blog posts provide meaningful insight into the company and its relationship with its customers and history, these aren’t immediately useful or interesting topics that would compel anyone to click or share.
2. It Tells You What You’ll Get From It
Beyond identifying a clear topic, your headline also needs to provide a compelling reason the reader should read the post. Just consider how unappealing titles like “Newest Website Launch” and “Thoughts on Healthcare Marketing,” are. They simply don’t work. The reader is left wondering, “why should I read this post?” and “what value will I get from it?”
It’s the headline’s job to answer these questions before they are asked. We do this by including the value to make the post immediately more interesting: “Our Newest Website Launch Changed Our Marketing Strategy,” and “Thoughts On Healthcare Marketing That Will Surprise You” are not quite perfect, but immediately more intriguing than simply mentioning the topic. They point to an immediate value or result that may come from reading the post.
3. It Indicates Who The Post is Intended For
The best titles also help readers self-identify that a blog post is relevant to them. We take into account two important factors when deciding how to indicate who the blog is for: the purpose of the blog post and the target audience of the blog post.
Sometimes this is done in a more obvious way, such as “Five Things That PR Agencies Need to Future-Proof” and sometimes it’s done in a more subtle way, such as “3 Ways Your Non-Sales Employees Can Grow Your Sales Pipeline.” The first example is clearly written for PR agencies, and you can easily deduct that the second example is written for CEOs and Marketing VPs.
4. It Doesn’t Follow Any of These Rules
Headline writing isn’t an exact science, and sometimes it can pay to break all of the rules. Sometimes certain blog posts lend themselves easily to the rules listed above -- and sometimes they require specialty headline formulas to make them even more shareable. Make note of the times you “break the rules” and measure reads and social shares to measure how it works.
Just a title? We don’t think so. There’s a lot more to crafting a click-worthy and shareable B2B blog post headline than you might think. When we work with clients to offer content strategy and blog writing for SEO and customer attraction purposes, we know that the headline is crucial. It can be the difference between getting seen and getting ignored altogether.
Do you have any great headline writing tips to share?