“The Best Invention Since Sliced Bread!” (And Why That’s a Totally Crap Headline)
A handy headline-writing technique that boosts readership of your ACTUAL target audience
At face value, the headline “The most incredible invention since sliced bread!” may seem like a winner, but it’s actually not. Can you guess why it’s doomed to failure?
Sure, it’s got the makings of a 100% clickthrough rate (wouldn’t YOU want to know what’s the most incredible invention since sliced bread??) but the problem is it’s far too general and has virtually zero appeal to the intended target audience of the post.
You see, the post is really about newly-discovered yeast properties that stand to cut the production time of bread by half, so although the headline leverages a cute pun implying an exciting advancement related to bread, it doesn’t frame the benefit specifically enough for bakers or anyone who enjoys making bread.
To make matters worse, the vast majority of people who click on this headline would realize within seconds of arriving on the destination page that the post isn’t relevant to them at all, so the bounce rate would be brutal, doing untold damage to the blog’s SEO efforts.
But had the target audience been specifically referenced in the title itself (for example, “Bakers Rejoice! Newly-Discovered Yeast Extract Stands to Halve the Production Time of Bread”) — it’s highly likely that only people who care about baking bread would bother clicking through to read the post, and undoubtedly “ooh” and “ahhh” with excitement while reading it.
So the lesson is:
Headlines that indicate at least to some extent who the post is suitable for as well as what the post is about not only boost the likelihood of a click, but also that the post will actually be read, because the content is relevant precisely to those who clicked through to it.
For more of my tips on writing FOMO headlines your readers won’t be sorry they clicked on, check out the full blog post here:
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Or if you prefer to watch rather than read, here’s the video: