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Making the headlines

Does your content grab attention? Nelly Berova suggests three simple ways to get your website content noticed and read.

Nelly Berova

Link to Marketing featureIt may sound too good to be true, but writing better headlines is one of the easiest ways to increase engagement with your estate agency. Even better, there are simple tricks anyone can use to crack the art of headline writing straight away.

Headlines are important in your blogs and social media for increasing clickthrough rates and generating leads, but they have so many other uses besides. Better headlines will improve everything from your emails and newsletters to sales literature and property details – even your internal reports and presentations.

Ask your audience what they are looking for, what keeps them awake at night and how you can solve these pressing issues.

Nelly Berova image

Nelly Berova

We’d go as far as to say that understanding the art and science of compelling headlines is a cornerstone of digital marketing, crucial to getting people to say ‘yes’ to whatever you are offering.

It’s important to begin with your audience. Ask what it is they are looking for; what keeps them awake at night and how you can solve these pressing issues. Focus your whole post around this – starting with the headline.

There are plenty of methods you can use to improve your headlines, but in our experience these three quick fixes really do get customers responding to your call to action.

1 Turn it into a ‘how to’

Lots of headlines are essentially statements – ‘Become a landlord in nine easy steps’, for example. Statements may work fine, but you’re much more likely to elicit a response by prefixing them with the words ‘how to’.

Using ‘how to’ turns your headline into a promise, which can be both tantalising and instructive – telling your audience that something will happen if they click. Your readers will see instantly that there’s something to learn from the piece; that it could potentially solve one of their big pain points.

Here are a few examples:

  • How to stage your property for sale in a way buyers will love
  • How to extend the lease on your property – as painlessly as possible
  • How to deal with damp and mould in your buy-to-let
2 Communicate time

One way of increasing your click through rate is to indicate how long it will take to achieve the promise you are conveying in your headline. By showing that the reader will see their desired results more rapidly than they might expect – or that a quick read of your piece could solve one of their problems, you are more likely to grab their attention.

It doesn’t always have to be about speed – offering 101 ways to improve your kerb appeal, for example can work too. By using this headline you’re indicating the audience is in for a longer read, but a potentially more satisfying one with many ways to solve their problem.

Other examples are

  • Our five-minute guide to becoming a first-time landlord
  • Three 15-minute jobs to boost your kerb appeal
  • Stage your home to sell in 24 hours
3 Add fascination

Adding a big of fascination can boost interest in your post hugely. The idea here is to pique your reader’s curiosity and make them want to find out more – often by adding an extra layer or interest or mystery to ordinary subject matter. Don’t go too far though, you need to be able to follow through with your promises or your headlines will be marked down as click bait. Linking your post to something that’s current or trending can also work well – again as long as the connection is a genuine one.

For example

  • A simple way to attract tenants without using Rightmove or Zoopla
  • Why I sold my entire buy-to-let portfolio – and why you should too.
  • Six properties with views we love.

There are plenty of other headline types that work well depending on what you are trying to achieve from your social media post or blog – the numbered list (we’ve used a few here) is a tried and tested way of generating interest.

If you’re new to all this, spend some time looking at headlines which you find intriguing – whether in the media, on social posts or your competitors’ websites. Think about what makes them work and how you can apply the ideas to your own marketing. Always analyse your own posts too and look carefully at the ones which work best – what was it about the headline that really drew the audience in?

A good way to get better at headline writing is to pull together a swipe file of great examples – or download our version, the ultimate headline swipe file. Whenever you’re struggling for ideas, just go back to the swipe file for inspiration. And remember, honing your skill at headline writing is all about practise – so get to work!

Nelly Berova is Managing Director at digital marketing specialists Art Division. Got a question?

November 3, 2020

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