How “Copywriting” Headlines Sells Your Health Blog’s Power Now

Why is copywriting headlines that sell so vital for online stores?

Because your audience is skipping, scanning, judging, skipping, scanning……click! Your blog is competing with social media, sports highlights, and emails but you TRULY can get their attention. (Don’t waste content by b.s.in’ on the headlines).

In 20 words or less with headlines, generate traffic and drive in qualified leads. But Statista reported there are 3.5 billion internet users worldwide, and only 2 out of 10 people will read your content.

Download a Headline Checklist

Your headline must clearly convey what your health blog post is about. If it does, 80% of people will ask themselves, “am I interested in this content?” (Most will skip it).

Headlines only pull in visitors when they are unique, informative, and SEO friendly. With reports showing eCommerce retail grows about 3x faster than brick-and-mortar shops, building a meaningful relationship with your audience starts when they read the headline of that helpful blog post.

What do all the highest converting health-related headlines have in common? A great first impression. (Yeah, that was a Dad joke, Sorry!)

How do you create an attention-grabbing headline? Read more. Click To Tweet

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll learn how to

  • Increase engagement by grabbing your audience’s attention
  • Easily change your blog idea into an attention-grabbing headline
  • How to make health blog headlines that convert
  • Boost traffic to your health blog posts

The Psychology of Copywriting Headlines that Sell

Reading is an automated process, confirmed by Cognitive psychology research. So most people automatically read headlines without realizing it. With 2 million new blog posts every day, the goal of your headline is to get the audience to read the lead sentence of your health blog post.

To get readers to turn into your audience, tap into their emotions, fears, joys, pains, wins, future successes, and universal beliefs. Headlines are the first step in getting a prospect to take action.

When writing your headline, show your value and don’t be afraid to embellish. The headlines that convert the most visitors sell, exaggerate, entice, and make liberties without misleading the audience.

“It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money…”

David Ogilvy

So Emotional about Headlines that Sell

People buy online based on emotions. They justify the purchase later with logic. There is no difference when they are looking for health-related solutions.

Typically, pain sells more than pleasure because it is more compelling. Condition your headline to speak to your audience’s pain since your blog posts is an excellent resource for people seeking a solution for health, fitness, or medical issues.

The three emotions anxiety, anger, and awe convert at the highest rate. Using superlatives in your headline creates emotions. Extremely positive headlines that use superlatives tend to perform better than headlines that have no emotional appeal.

Source

Examples of superlatives:

  • Best
  • Ever
  • Top
  • Perfect

Know Your Audience When Copywriting Headlines that Sell

The core purpose of a headline is matching the expectations of your audience when they search for a problem. Your headline has to tackle one specific health problem. What is the BIG BENEFIT of reading your blog post?

You can illustrate a point about the problem, state facts, or even ask your audience a question. Conduct VoC, competitor, and stage of awareness research on your audience so the headlines come from the audience’s mouth. Look for expressions, keywords, and phrases to use in the headline. 

Source

Understanding your audience will increase your ROI because you can create headlines that appeal to your audience’s emotions. When making a promise to your audience help them see a healthier future for themselves.

Copywriting Headlines that Sell Starts with Being Useful

Transforming the big benefit into your headline puts your selling point on front street. People search intending to find the easiest and fastest way to solve their health problems.  Connect your headline to common searches by addressing your target audience’s problems in the headline.

Show them why it’s worth the time to read your blog post. Click To Tweet

Addressing the reasons and motivations of your readers serves as the basis for a really powerful message. Fulfilling promises improves your visitors’ lives. They will convert in exchange for the meaningful help you provided.

“Features tell, benefits sell.”

With Your Headline, You Have to Promise

Headlines that lead to high sales start by promising to solve a pain point. Help your audience by suggesting the best way to improve something.

PROMISE:

  • To get rid of the problem by providing a solution
  • Massive results in your reader’s life
  • To reveal information that will empower your readers
  • Quick and easy fixes
  • Hard facts and solid research backed by science
  • Readers they’ll find all the necessary information about a topic
  • Once readers click, they will learn something unknown
  • To teach the reader a new vital skill
  • The reader information that can hinder their success

Transition Words that Promise Value

  • That, That will – “destine”
  • To, In order to – “the purpose of something”
  • So, So that – “with the result that”
Promise the desired result within a set timeframe.

Be Ultra Specific to Compel Your Audience

Inc contributor Carmine Gallo advises his CEO clients to use a 50-word pitch strategy to persuade their audience. Being concise forces you to be clear so approaching your headlines with a similar strategy evokes interest, engagement, and excitement.

When reading your headline, ask yourself “How can I help my audience today?”

Create content that speaks to their dreams, pain points, wishes, and fears. Just don’t be generic.

You have 3-8 seconds to capture the reader’s attention on the web. Click To Tweet

5 Steps to Being Ultra Specific

  1. Narrow your focus on one health-related topic
  2. Niche it down to a specific interesting and useful benefit for your one reader
  3. Communicate how quickly and easily your one reader will benefit from reading your health-related blog post
  4. Show your audience how it’ll benefit them despite the legitimate challenges
  5. Tell your one reader what is exactly in the blog post

Keep in mind, you must convey the reader’s self-interest as the major benefit of the post. By telling your audience exactly what is in the blog post, they know what they’ll get from it. They want to know what’s in it for them if they are going to read the post.

Include your product and/or problem in the headline so someone who isn’t your target audience will pass on the blog post.

Get the First Sentence Read with Clarity

Don’t confuse cleverness with being clear when conveying your messaging in the headline. Coschedule said headlines can increase traffic by up to 500%.

In the headline, make a clear promise in your audience’s language about what information is valuable to them without adding unnecessary words.

The curiosity trigger is great to use but if the headline is too vague, then potential readers will scroll past. Clarity doesn’t have to be simple, but “to the point” headlines get the best results. Speak your audience’s language without adding unnecessary words.

For example, lists are a great way to clearly show results.

Using Numbers to Convince Your Audience

77% of Internet users read blogs, according to Impact. To engage your audience, use numbers at the beginning of your attention-grabbing headline.

People prefer numbers in your headline and it adds credibility. The contrasting digit(s) stands out to us humans amongst all the words.

A study found odd-numbered headlines convert 20% more than even-numbered headlines. Science-backed headlines perform the best, so try to include a statistic in the headline.

Use

  • Lists
  • Steps
  • Checklists
  • Tips

If you have an even number of items for a list use these tactics to get to an odd number:

  • Use an odd number with a plus sign
  • Delete the least useful item
  • Use an odd number and have a “bonus” item

Optimal Headline Length

Research shows the average time to convert visitors with your headline is 2.6 seconds. Short and punchy headlines seem like they dominate, but the best length for your headlines depends on what you are trying to convey.

In that time people read, Kissmetric found, the first 3 words and the last 3 words of a headline.

When crafting your headline, you can go as low as 6 and as high as 20 words. Buzzsumo found headlines with 15 words got the most engagement.

For an optimal experience for the users and search engines, make sure your headline is no more than 70 words (use as many words as necessary).

Keywords Used In a Unique Way

During your audience research, you saw what keywords are important to your audience by seeing what they look for.

Find the most unique angle and the core differentiator. Using a target keyword in the headline will influence the search engines.

Bonus Tip

Use the keyword at the beginning of the headline.

Download a Headline Checklist

You can find the keywords using:

  • Suggested search terms
  • Related search terms

Stand out amongst your competitors with content focused on keyword phrases in your niche so consumers will become your customers. This more specific approach will allow headlines to show your brand’s personality while ranking on Google.

Being approachable is about positioning your blog posts for a specific piece of information, an answer to a question, or a solution to a problem. Your headline should include the most relevant keyword that matches your audiences’ search. Stand out to convert them.

To find out what keyword to focus on use

The information people love is what search engines rank the highest.

Create a Sense of Urgency When Copywriting Headlines that Sell

You can’t always create urgency. But when you can create a fear of missing out feeling within the audience, DO IT.

Using subtle forms of urgency increases your blog’s conversion rate. Neil Patel‘s urgency formula is Do X or Risk Y.

  • Create urgency by creating a headline that is deadline or scarcity driven.
  • Urgency can be real or implied.
  • Real urgency is the info about the blog post requires immediate action (stock-based items or time-based webinar).
  • Implied urgency uses words like “right now” “now” “today” “hurry” “don’t wait” “don’t miss out.”

Source:

Create a fear of missing out by mentioning,

  • Before it is too late
  • Tomorrow is too late
  • Time is Running Out
  • Last Chance

Capitalizing on fear is a common technique in digital marketing. Being specific creates the greatest degree of urgency. Let the audience know what they are missing out on.

According to WiderFunnel, urgency has two components: internal and external. Internal is pre-existing and create external with an offer.

How to Copywrite Headlines that Sell

There are two schools of thought when it comes to writing a headline. You can write the headline before you write the content or you can write the content and then write the headline.

Psychology of the Creative Process

When crafting headlines, you can rely on the 5 stages of the creative process.

  • Preparation
  • Incubation
  • Perspiration
  • Revelation
  • Production
Creativity is the ability to bring together disparate ideas in new and useful combinations. – Unknown Click To Tweet

Before you start make sure you have all basics covered. Use the 5 W’s:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why

Once you’ve collected all the information, you can choose how to go about crafting your “draft” headline.

For instance, I start with the headline and then write the content. Once I’m done with the content, I rewrite the headline using the first one as the base.

Always Use These Headlines Tips

  • Front-load your headline with a digit and a superlative
  • Use active voice
  • Reference your additional content
  • Segment your headlines based on the platform
  • Write the headline in 2nd person. “You”

Bonus Tips

You can create a pre-head, a short sentence directed towards the people you’re trying to attention. For example, Attention Marketing Directors!

Start with Writing a Headline that Sells

Copyblogger’s Brian Clark believes you should always write your headline first. If you’ve done audience research, then you have an idea of what it will be about.

Reverse engineering your blog post to fulfill the promise is beneficial because it forces you to focus on providing that benefit for your readers.

Promises tend to be made before being fulfilled.

Brian Clark, CopyBlogger

Copywrite the Headline After the Blog Post is Done

Create the content before you write the headline. Try to summarize the content in 25 words and then edit that summary until it is a headline.

Once you have the headline down to one sentence, keep working on it until it’s perfect.

Another way to write your attention-grabbing headline is to take a quote or statistic from your blog post and condense it.

Step by Step to Copywriting Headlines that Sell

CoSchedule’s Kelly Smith uses the “third third” technique from Tim Hurson’s book Think Better to produce the best possible headline. I adapted it to my technique to create headlines. (Use whatever process produces results).

Once you have your draft headline, brainstorm up to 12 headlines. Ensure your draft headline contains the keyword. This first group of headlines is the first third.

If you are struggling to come up with basic ideas start with “How to” and get more specific.

Create 2-3 variations of the top 5 headlines you created. The second third will produce between 10-15 more headlines.

If the story is already told in the headline – rewrite it. Create a curiosity gap. Joanna Wiebe, Copyhackers

1st Step

1st variation is with different formulas. For example, try making your headline into a question. So experiment with the structure of your headline. Try adding power or sensory words as well.

Power Words

  • Free
  • Advice
  • Secrets
  • Tested

Source

Disclaimer: Some experts say power words are better for social media headlines and not for search purposes.

Sensory Words

Legendary Anna Handley suggests triggering at least two senses out of the 5 in your copywriting to invite the reader into imagining their pain point solved. The same applies to headlines when applicable.

For example, sight sensory words are visual descriptions that pull the reader’s in:

  • Based on Color (Black, Silver, Crimson)
  • Based on Shape (Curved, Narrow, Rectangular, Oval)
  • Based on Size (Massive, Gigantic, Little, Miniature)

Check out Smart Blogger’s list of all the sensory words to increase your chances of getting your audience’s attention.

2nd Step

2nd variation is a different verb. Buffer conducted research that found headlines with more verbs and fewer nouns. Use verbs in their direct form when crafting your headlines. Try to use the superlative form of verbs instead of adverbs.

Selling Verbs and Adverbs

  • Hacks
  • Ever
  • Discover
  • Learn
  • Find Out
  • Understand
  • Limit

3rd Step

3rd variation is a different adjective. Try to use the superlative form verbs of adjectives.

Some Selling Adjectives

  • Brilliant
  • Big
  • Epic
  • Effective
  • Fantastic
  • Lousy
  • Mind-Blowing
  • Most
  • Proven
  • Persuasive
  • Valuable
  • Ultimate
  • Useful

Last Step

Based on those 15 headlines, write 10 more that are even better. This will be the third third. Typically, innovative headlines are produced on exhausting all the “least creative” headlines. Make sure the primary keyphrase/word is in the headline. Now you have a headline that will sell your post.

Bob Bly has a list of 38 Headlines that is a good starting place. “How to” and “Reasons why” headlines are the most popular headlines. They are followed by lists.

How to’s

How to (Mundane Task) that (Rewarding Benefit)

Benefits sell and “how-to” headlines promise a better, easier, and happier life. The expressed benefits of “how-to” headlines help the audience determine what content will be emotionally engaging. Show your audience the true benefits of learning “how to” do something with specific details.

The dual benefit “how to” structure

“How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Another variation of the “How to” – Leaving out the word “to.”

List

  • Reasons
  • Ways
  • Tips
  • Tricks
  • Secrets
  • Ideas
  • Techniques
  • Strategies
  • Facts
  • Methods
  • Statistics
  • 101
  • Complete/Beginner’s Guide

Copywriting Headlines that Sell Improve with A/B Testing

Test different sentence lengths, words, or expressions until you find the headline that will grab your audience’s attention. Use Twitter and/or Facebook to test the different variations of your headlines.

1st A/B Testing Step

Take two headlines you think your audience will react to. Use this headline as the control.

2nd A/B Testing Step

Post another headline at similar times on your social media platform. Measure if the 2nd headline for your blog gets more reactions. Keeping the process going until you have a winner.

Third A/B Testing Step

Based on engagement, select the headline that performs the best.

Some experts ( the Andrew Chen technique) post headlines before they write the blog post. If they get a lot of engagement, then they will create the blog post based on the headline.

You can also use your blog posts to test your headlines.

The Last Words on Copywriting Headlines that Sell

Maximize the impact of your headline by making a promise, teasing the value, and embellishing the benefit.

Be useful, ultra-specific, unique, and create urgency.

Front-load the headline with benefits.

Think to yourself, if your audience does this one thing (process, etc) they will experience this result (converting up to 23% more leads). Boil down the big benefit to the “means to an end” and tell a story.

Download a Headline Checklist

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