So, you’ve set up a blog for your company. Let me guess why: Someone told you it was the best way to promote your site in the search engines? The search engine optimisation community will tell you that content is king. And they’re quite right.
But a blog won’t be read unless it has great content. If you’ve done your research, you’ll have discovered that the minimum length you can get away with if you want Google et al to bother crawling and indexing your blog is 350 words. That’s not too much of a stretch – you can probably knock that out in 20 minutes if you put your mind to it.
Before you get started though, have a think about why you’re reading this post. At this point you’ve read 130 words. But the seven most important words were the headline weren’t they? They were the ones that made you read the first paragraph. And the first paragraph was intriguing enough to take you to this point.
I’d argue that the best way to produce great content – and by great content I mean content that elicits an action - is to begin with your headline.
Of course you’ll need to have a rough idea of what you’re going to write about, but by focusing on the title before you get stuck into the nitty-gritty, you’ll be more likely to create something that engages the reader.
That, after all, is the object of the game. While you might be writing to boost your website’s SEO performance, that’s purely a tactic in the quest to achieve your broader strategy of boosting sales or raising awareness of your proposition.
Without a compelling headline even the best ranking – and best written - article is unlikely to be read or deliver its call to action.
Think of your headline as a promise to your readers. It needs to clearly communicate the benefit that the reader will receive in exchange for granting you some of their precious time.
Get that right and not only will you rank well, but you’ll drive traffic to your website. And provided the post delivers on the promise of the headline, you’ll be one step closer to converting your audience’s interest to a concrete action.