Your headline is the first thing people see when they view your blog post or article. Don’t let it be the last thing they see of your writing though. By paying attention to your word choice and crafting the best headline possible, you’ll inspire your future readers to click and keep reading. Just follow these steps and you’re well on your way to making the best first impression possible.
Make it Catchy or Create a Hook
Creating a catchy headline is about more than just using fun adjectives. Rather, try using word play that incites an emotion, and that includes laughter or intrigue, like the headline: “Big Rig Carrying Fruit Crashes on Fruit, Creates Jam.” While puns like this one aren’t necessary to create a hook, it can be a great way to initially grab your reader’s attention.
Keep it Relevant
While you’ll often be rewarded for your creativity in a headline, make sure that the headline is still relevant and that it, above all, makes logical sense. After all, readers want to know what they’ll be reading when they click open your article. Headlines that simply state, “New Study Shows Health Benefits,” tells nothing new to the reader.
Promise Valuable Information
Headlines, and in turn your articles, should offer something that the reader wants to know or learn about. With that in mind, think of headlines as a way of introducing the new skills someone will learn about when they read your article, or perhaps teach them a new way of looking at the world, or simply, a way to make their business better. For example, this headline from Maxwell Systems — “Best Practices Guide: Optimizing Your Construction Business for Profitable Growth” — hits on a number of things that will intrigue people in the construction industry: learning new skills, making a profit and making process improvements. In other words, the headline gives people in the industry every reason to click.
People love lists, in part because they’re often quite memorable. Plus, since numbers promise a list of sorts, readers will know exactly what kind of format the article is in even before they open the article. When using this tactic, try focusing on just three to seven as the number to use, as its quick and to the point. Then again, short lists aren’t required, which Buzzfeed proves every day with its lists and reliance on numbers in its headlines.
Take a Stand
The best way to inspire a conversation is to build a controversy. Take a stand in your headline, and it’ll immediately make people agree — or disagree — with you. Crafting your article using either what, why, how or when is often a good start to doing this.
State the Facts
If you ask a question in your headline, you run the risk of someone saying, “Nope, that topic doesn’t interest me,” and you’ve immediately lost a reader. Rather, state an interesting fact that will appeal to a wider audience.
Demonstrate What You’ll Teach
Again, this goes back to providing a value to your readers. If you share what you’ll be teaching from the get go, your readers will know exactly what they’ll learn by clicking through to your article. How-to articles are particularly successful at this, and you can use this “teaching” method for a whole slew of topics, like “How to Break Up with Your Boyfriend” or “How to Tie a Tie.”
Utilize Celebrity Names and Brands
Name recognition is a wonderful thing when it comes to headlines. As long as the name is relevant to your topic, use it. It doesn’t hurt that using well-known names — whether of brands, celebrities or even current trends — can also help your article in the search rankings as well. For one, “CAT Machine in Skyfall Movie” ties a well-known brand to a timely movie. It keeps the brand relevant, while also linking two things that people wouldn’t normally realize were related.
Keep it Short
Headlines should be easily digestible and easy to share, but those aren’t the only reasons to keep them under 65 characters. That length is also the maximum amount of characters that Google shows in its search results. That means if one of your keywords happens to fall after those 65 characters, then it’s doing you no good.
All nine of these tips are important to consider when you write your headline, but they’re not the only considerations. Make sure you’re using an active voice in your headlines, because passive is bland and doesn’t inspire action. Lastly, read the headline out loud before you publish to make sure it has a natural flow.
Still need inspiration to craft a stellar headline? Get started with these template headlines:
1. The Secret of [Blank]
2. How to Create a [Blank]
3. 5 Ways to Jumpstart [Blank]
4. Scam Alert: Don’t [Blank]
5. The Truth About [Blank]
6. Why [Blank] is Wrong, and [Blank] is Right
7. Is [Blank] Shortening Your Life?
8. Discover Award-Winning [Blank]
9. Finding Your Perfect [Blank]
10. 10 Things Not to Share With [Blank]
11. Why You Should [Blank] Before You Die
12. When [Blank] Isn’t Good Enough
13. Can [Blank] Help You Beat [Blank]?
14. How to Take Charge of [Blank]
15. Thousands Have [Blank], Why Not You?
16. The [Famous Person]’s Guide to [Blank]
17. Do Not Visit [Blank] Until You Read This
18. End Your Struggle to [Blank]
19. 5 Tips to Help You [Blank]
20. Where [Blank] Found His [Blank]
As a small business owner, you know there are certain challenges you face that larger retailers and brands do not. Your audience is local, and they appreciate word of mouth advertising and recommendations. However, they’re also online. Because of this, a local online marketing strategy is essential for making 2014 and beyond a success. It all starts with the right focus and initiative; check out a few ideas below.
E-mail marketing through a regular, targeted online newsletter allows you to connect with past customers, potential clients and current prospects on their own time. It allows small business owners to create a brand personality while building trust with their online communities.
To be a success, an e-mail marketing campaign should play up the local angle by talking about community events that you’ve taken part of and news stories. Offer coupons – good online and in-store –and special promotions to those on your list. Create content that pertains to them and demonstrates your interest in the community.
For maximum results, work with an e-mail marketing platform that allows you to track opens, reads, click-throughs and deletes.
Never underestimate the power of a local search. Customers are looking for local businesses to support while receiving reliable service. Google+ simplifies this process. Businesses can claim free, local business listings that appear on Google search results.
By taking the time to claim a free listing, your business will appear in Google’s 7-Box, which works by highlighting the top seven local results for a given search term. This is especially useful when searchers enter a keyword followed by a community or city name. Through Google+, local businesses can engage with customers, offer coupons, and upload photos like a social network.
Online users don’t have time for poor customer service, faulty products or negative experiences. Because of this, they trust online reviews. They are easy to find through Google+ and other online directories and that ensure a company without a high ranking won’t be overlooked. Mr. Rooter in Syracuse, New York has taken advantage of this idea. By encouraging customers to share their experiences online, the business receives positive feedback and maintains a 4.5 star ranking on Google.
Google Places Review How To Step 3 (Photo credit: Frederick Md Publicity)
To get started in this area, send an e-mail blast and include a link on receipts. Ask loyal customers to visit your Google+ page and leave feedback. Take the time to answer each message and interact with those who take the time to communicate. Positive reviews can make or break a business with an online presence, so be sure to take control of this area of your business.
How many people open a Yellow Book when looking for a company to do business with? The practice is dated; instead, the majority of people rely on online searches that yield online directory listings. The majority of these listings – Yellow Pages, Yelp, Google, Yahoo, Local.com and more – are free and provide business owners with the ability to reach a local audience with little effort on their part. Look for local directories and start listing your company; with a minimal time requirement, the effort is worth every second.
It’s no secret that technology can change on a daily basis. What’s popular and effective one moment — especially as it pertains to online marketing strategies — may be dated and useless the next. As a professional, it’s important, even critical, to stay ahead of the trends to offer your clients the most valuable SEO services possible.
In order to keep your methods current, check out the following predicted SEO trends for 2014.
Voice Search Parameters
Search engines are changing regularly, and many are moving in the same direction. The major players have long since realized that computer usage has become a regular part of the lives of most people. This has lead to a new concept – that people type like they talk and think, not like robots.
With this in mind, search engines have created and released new algorithms, like Google’s Hummingbird, which produces search results based on what it believes the searcher meant, not what was typed into the query box. Based on this, SEO strategy must be modified to include long-tail keywords and a more natural feel.
Increase in Online PR Optimization
Inbound marketing has quickly taken the form of an online PR specialist in order to accommodate Google’s link building parameters. While only 42% of companies are currently using an agency’s online PR services, according to a report by Econsultancy, 33% of companies said they plan to use the service soon in the future.
Building links through getting placed online news articles may be more difficult. But the additional benefits, such as branding and reputation marketing on top of SEO, makes it an attractive option for companies.
Social Media Matters and Will Continue to Matter
The vast majority of individuals and brands have a social media presence of some sort. It’s where both people and companies go to make connections. In fact, it’s overtaken porn as the place that Internet users spend the majority of their time. The bottom line: if you’re trying to reach someone, social media is probably one of the best places to make a first impression.
It’s predicted that over the next year, social media marketing will be more critical than before and could be the most profitable strategy any marketer or SEO professional can utilize. Additionally, social media now factors into page ranks in search results. If a brand is looking to build credibility, social media engagement is a must.
Quality Content over Quantity
In the past, the popular idea was that the more frequently content was posted, the higher the search ranking could be. With the introduction of “smart” search engine crawlers, this has changed. To be recognized as valuable, content must be authoritative.
What does this mean? It means that all content should be well-researched and well-documented, that sources should be used wherever possible and that content cannot be pumped out quickly without regard to referencing source material. In 2014, we’ll see the trend of longer content blog posts that are packed with videos, images and graphics. These posts will be used as linkable assets.
Another aspect of authoritative content is now the writer. Google is now using rel=author as a form of ranking for articles in the search results. In 2014, we’ll see the number of pictures beside listings in the SERPs increase as more marketers realize the power of a Google+ Authorship.
While this is a basic overview of some of the changes to come in the next year, much remains to be seen. New releases in groundbreaking technology could change the online marketing landscape in an instant. To be the most effective marketer or SEO professional, it’s essential to stay abreast of current trends, to educate your staff if applicable, and, most importantly, to demonstrate the value of staying current to your clients. 2014 is approaching quickly; are you prepared?
If you’re ho-ho-hoping for big sales this holiday season, your small business needs to have a smart marketing strategy in place. It’s no longer enough simply to advertise your sales on Facebook and send out the occasional “happy holidays” tweet. To stand out from your competitors, you need a unique, fun and creative way to catch customers’ attention, whether you’re touting your latest product or promising deep discounts for Black Friday.
Read on for a rundown on six can’t-miss marketing tactics for your small business this holiday season.
1. Run a Free Shipping Campaign
You’re undoubtedly familiar with Cyber Monday and Black Friday, but have you heard of Free Shipping Day? Five years ago two entrepreneurs came up with the idea to band brands together to offer free shipping in mid-December, targeting the then-increasing number of shoppers who were doing their buying online. Each year since, the day has grown in scope and importance to include major brands such as REI, Harry & David, RadioShack and Bass Pro Shops. All participating businesses receive a link on the Free Shipping homepage, which can mean exposing your name and your product to millions of new users. What you gain in free exposure more than makes up for the shipping costs you swallow.
2. Use Retargeted Ads
Let’s be clear; you should be using retargeted ads throughout the year, but they’re especially important around the holidays, when people spend more time online shopping and scoping out deals. Retargeted ads are those that pop up only on screens of potential customers who have already accessed your web page once before. They include exclusive offers designed to turn uncertain browsers into buyers. If you add a holiday theme, there’s a greater likelihood your ad will be noticed and responded to this time of year.
3. Make a Holiday Mobile App
Mobile is the big buzzword in marketing these days, with more and more people shopping from their smartphones. If you want to up your mobile sales while also creating buzz with customers, a specialized holiday mobile app is a great way to optimize your sales. Sound too technical for a small business? Actually, there are a number of programs that will walk you through the creation of your new app, making it a project you can get done in a single morning.
4. Join a Location-Based
Again, the importance of mobile this holiday season cannot be overemphasized. Sign up with one of the location-based deal services, such as ShopKick or Shopify, which offers rewards in return for just stopping in at the bricks and mortar location of your store. The apps will alert users when they’re walking past your store, driving holiday traffic. Don’t forget to prepare your Google+ with great product images and testimonials and reviews from loving customers.
5. Start a Holiday Newsletter
According to a study by Visa, email marketing is the No. 1 way to entice returning customers to make another buy online. Offer a holiday newsletter that’s equal parts sales pitch and useful information. You could include a listing of local holiday events or tips for present wrapping. You can also offer discounts and special “flash sale” events available only to those who sign up for the newsletter. Promote it on social media and you’ll pack a double wallop, advertising to social media followers and former customers.
6. Sponsor a Pinterest Contest
This season Pinterest will be abuzz with people searching for gift ideas and holiday recipes. It’s a great place to sponsor a contest, especially if your small business targets women. Eighty percent of Pinterest users are women. How you carry out your contest depends on what you’re selling. For instance, a hobby/crafting store might invite people to pin the best gift wrapping ideas using items available in the store. Draw a winner at random from everyone who enters, with the prize being one of the items used for decorating.
Our Company No Longer supports 5 Dollar Wonder
5 Dollar Wonder Automated Marketing System was made for those who don’t know how to market online right through to those who know exactly what to do in regards to marketing a small business online such as this.
Many of my Facebook and list subscribers have been asking me “what’s inside”? I don’t have PayPal… can I use Payza? (Yes you can) The question you should be asking is “What’s not included in the 5 Dollar Wonder Business”? Lol…. Now obviously I can’t list every single bonus, however I will give you a list of nearly everything included in the program.
The only cost involved here is $5 per month (actually $4.99) or $50 lifetime payment… that’s it… no other costs involved.
5 Dollar Wonder program will put $5 and $50 dollars into your PayPal or Payza account instantly… this means there is no middle man… all commissions go directly into your PayPal account via PaySpree. This is going to make you a never ending monthly residual income for a long time to come. I’ve mentioned how the business works in my last post about 5 Dollar Wonder Business.
There are so many bonuses included I can’t list them all… you can check some of them out below…… so, here goes…..
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- Facebook Ads to copy and Paste
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- Ready-made email ads you can use and make your own
- Tried and tested classified directories with instructions on how to post
- Lots of classified ads for your own use
- How to Forum Marketing with more than 5 forums to join that work
- Banners to use on your website or traffic exchange
- Fact and Questions page, including support – online help
Free Bonus Products from the library – Some with Private Label Rights
- Facebook For Business
- Google Plus for Business
- Expert SEO
- LinkedIn for Business
- Copywriting Secrets
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- Blogging for Small Businesses
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Another Way to Earn with this Business is revenue that you will receive when a person places an ad on your website at the bottom as seen below.
Your automated website and digital sales page will include 14 125 x 125 banner ads spots. Should any of your website visitors purchase an ad spot subscription, their ad will be placed in a rotator and displayed on the 5 Dollar Wonder network of websites.
As a member of 5 Dollar Wonder, you will receive $5 per week per ad purchased through your automated website (you could earn unlimited extra dollars from this each month) on top of any membership and product sales you could already be making.
5 Dollar Wonder is an automated business that avoids all the pitfalls and struggles that the vast majority of other Internet Income opportunities on the market. This is NOT a risky MLM, Pyramid or Matrix program. It’s a fully automated marketing system that pays you 100% commissions and comes complete with optimised advertising and marketing materials to get you started quickly.
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Watch the video and see how easy it is to get started. For those of you reading who are already having success with 5 Dollar Wonder, feel free to share your success stories below or any other great marketing tips you want to share.
My Special Bonus When you Join
500 Free Business Leads per month
To claim my resource to your free monthly leads simply send me your PayPal or Pay Spree receipt when you sign up….. for $4.99 to WhoIsSandyMoore at gmail.com and I’ll send you the link claim your free leads.