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5 Rules for Better Headlines: Improve Click-through Rates

July 19 2011

We know that many agents and brokers these days are avid bloggers. Not only that, they're active on social media. In any of these online spaces, the key to generating leads is to encourage people to read your content. To make that happen you need to motivate Web readers to click on your links (usually the headlines of your articles). Here are a few tips to help you improve your headlines/titles. We're working on these ourselves.

  1. Include a number. It has been proven that people are far more likely to click on an article if there is a number in the title. Further, some sources indicate that people are actually more likely to click on a headline if it has an odd number in it.
  2. Choose word count wisely. In general, a short headline is most effective. People are put off by headlines that are too long. A headline that is short and to-the-point is best. A shorter headline allows readers to quickly see what they'll gain by reading the article. One source we read suggested that 8 is the perfect length for a headline. We're not sold on this.
  3. Punctuate. A well-placed colon or hyphen adds interest, clarifies meaning, and encourages more readers to click on your link.
  4. Create a little mystery. When possible, use a question or statement to tease the reader into wanting to see the answer. Do you want to win more listings? Do you want to sell more homes? Yes! Yes! Yes! People respond to questions, particularly if the question asks them if they want to do something wonderful.
  5. Include an image. Sure, we're all grown-ups. But some things just don't change. We are still drawn to images. Perhaps this explains why headlines that include an image are more likely to be clicked by Web readers.

Those are just a few of the tips and tricks we've discovered. Do you have any of your own? Comment here to let us know.