Crafting quality headlines isn’t easy. What makes headlines so difficult is that they need to work for multiple audiences: SEO crawl-bots, social media readers, and website visitors. Finding wording that serves all three is tricky, especially when you’re working around keywords and strict character limits.
Today, we talk about what headlines different audiences respond to best and how to write them for better franchise advertising.
1- SEO headlines
SEO-centric headlines boost Google SERP, increase click-through rates, and minimize “pogo-sticking” (when users click through, then bounce out via the back button because the page didn’t meet the expectations that the title set).
This means that SEO headlines should be compelling (but not clickbait), keyword-friendly (but not stilted), and relevant to the user search. And that’s all just to keep the Google-bots happy!
2- Social media headlines
As we continue to learn more about user behaviours, most social media headlines have begun prioritize platform-based conversations, rather than trying to redirect traffic to franchise websites.
Today, the average user logs into their preferred social media app with the intent to stay there and browse, which is bad news for franchise advertising that treats these platforms like link portals. Think about it this way: if I want to kill 15 minutes on Instagram, I’m not going to sidetrack myself opening links in a new browser.
This isn’t as bad as it sounds: users are still happy to engage with your content and absorb your message, but they’d rather do it in the comments section of whatever app they’re on.
Instead of trying to force click-throughs, social media headlines should prioritize amplification, which means stirring up as many shares, comments, likes, and retweets as possible in order to attain the maximum reach and visibility.
This means that social media headlines have to be written as conversation-starters: they should tell as much of the story as possible to encourage people to form, share, and discuss their opinions on the subject, even if they don’t read the body of the post. Alternately, social media headlines can create mystery, building audience intrigue by not mentioning exactly what the piece is about in order to get people talking.
3- Headlines for website visitors
When you’re writing headlines for loyal website visitors, things change. Since the user is already on-site, we don’t need to write headlines that draw them in. Moreover, since we’re not looking to stir up amplification signals on social media, we don’t need headlines that stir up conversation.
Instead, the focus will shift more towards building positive brand associations. In this case, that means respecting the user and building their trust, which is done with transparent headlines that make “promises” that the content delivers on. Clickbait, keyword spam, or overly conversational headlines may start to cost you the support of loyal users over time.
Resolving headline criteria conflicts
As you can see, different audiences respond to different headline tactics, and conflicts are everywhere. Creating mystery for social media headlines harms the clarity that you need to rank well for SEO, while keyword-stuffed headlines are often too boring to earn a click. How do you reconcile these differences?
The key happens to be a fundamental of franchise advertising: knowing your audience. For example, if your product or service targets a younger audience and you’re posting on social media, break out some trendy lingo and build a mystery to get people talking. On the other hand, an article sharing hard-earned franchise advertising advice for a loyal on-site readership should be informative, transparent, and basically look a lot like today’s title!
Let’s figure out what headline strategy works best for your franchise advertising: call 905 564 0020.Back