Law Firm Bloggers: How to write magnetic headlines that compel prospects to (enthusiastically) read your posts
Your law firm blog headlines deserve attention, now. Here’s why …
The headline is the first impression you make on a blog visitor.
In a split second, you must give a compelling promise to turn that browser into a reader.
Fail in that and your post most likely won’t get read. And unread, your blog posts can’t convince anyone you’re the go-to-legal expert they need.
Stop wasting time and budget generating website visits that don’t convert
Blog posts are great business-building opportunities for law firms.
Blogs teach readers about your firm and valuable expertise. They establish authority and build trust. Direct calls for client appointments follow.
But this is investment without return if your content isn’t read!
Enter the hard-hitting headline.
Why blog headlines are a critical gateway to your content marketing success
David Ogilvy, legendary advertiser, put it this way,
“On average, five times as many people read the headlines as the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
On average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline. Only 2 out of 10 will read the rest in its entirety.
Hard-working headlines turn those statistics around. They convince the visitor it's worth their while reading on.
A headline's primary job is to compel the browser to read the next line of copy ... then the next, and so-on.
Even if they do read on, many will not give your full content its due. A recent study shows that 55% of consumers read an article for 15 seconds or less. Much of the 15 seconds go to scanning the headline and sub-headlines (but only if you have them).
See how critical headlines look now?
Let's take a closer look at ...
What we mean by law firm blog headline(s)
The (main) headline is the title of your post. The main headline is the H1 tag in SEO (not always the same as the title tag).
Every post must have one (and only one) H1 headline.
High-performing blog posts do more, though. They include sub-headings that structure the content (SEO tags, H2 to H6).
Search engines love sub-headings. Humans do, too. They help navigate and understand information fast.
This is of critical importance, so …
Give yourself time to structure your posts with powerful headlines and sub-headlines
Every post has a main headline. But not every post needs every level of sub-headings, from H2 through to H6. The choice depends on the depth and complexity of your information.
This post, for example, has one headline (H1) and nine sub-headlines (from H2 to H3).
Read them together without the body content and you'll notice that,
- each subheading has a strong promise of value
- they're focused on a sub-subject of the main topic, and
- read together, they provide a summary of the post’s entire content value
So, in 15 seconds or less, the reader can scan the core value and insights of this post.
And to get that happening, time-and-again, you'll want to ...
Write headlines like a pro-copywriter, using the 4U's framework to optimise impact
Pro-copywriters use proven techniques to write powerful copy time-and-again. One useful framework for perfecting headline writing is AWAI's 4Us.
When drafting headlines, write to ...
- Be USEFUL to the reader
- Provide a sense of URGENCY
- Convey the idea that the post’s main benefit is UNIQUE and,
- Do all the above in an ULTRA-SPECIFIC way
It’s not always possible to inject all features. Two or three might be your limit. Of course, all four will work best.
Take a look at this post's headline as an example.
- Law Firm Bloggers (ultra-specific)
- How to write magnetic headlines ("how to" = useful)
- compel prospects (“compel” = element of urgency)
- (enthusiastically) read (“enthusiastically” = an element of uniqueness - passionate reading)
Test the effectiveness of your headlines further using this “6 key questions” checklist
Don't settle with your initial drafts. Stress-test them for effectiveness with these questions from Clayton Makepeace (pro-copywriter).
- Does your headline offer the reader a reward for reading?
- What specifics could you add to make your headline more intriguing and believable?
- Does your headline trigger a strong, actionable emotion the reader already has about the subject at hand?
- Does your headline present a proposition that will instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?
- Could your headline benefit from the inclusion of a proposed transaction?
- Could you add an element of intrigue to drive the prospect into your opening copy?
Giving your headlines this level attention isn't time wasted.
Pro-copywriters often use the 50/50 rule. They put in 50% of their time writing post content and 50% perfecting headlines.
Draft 8 or 12 versions, aiming for more attraction and persuasion power each time. Then, use the drafts you reject as the post headline to feed your social media posts.
Watch how the "rejects" perform. If one shines better than your post title seems to be doing, try switching it over.
That's the data-driven marketing approach, to ...
Focus on what works to get browsers to become readers of your law firm blog posts
It’s tempting to write to shine creatively.
Headline writing, like blogging, isn’t about impressing with your literary flair.
Your headline's goal - get the post read
Remove all resistance, including "legalese" that confuses. Opt for plain language. It's easy to read and understand. It helps the reader move into the content fast.
Do what works.
A headline is not meant to be clever. It’s got one job, to get the browser to read. Give your post time to convince.
By the way ...
Did you notice how long this post's headline is?
It’s 16 words. That's long, right!
It might surprise you to know that long headlines often work best. Data-driven insights suggest the sweet spot for headlines is between 12 and 18 words.
And the use of parenthesis, like “(enthusiastically)”, can also help boost conversion rates.
Well, check out the upcoming post on mastering law firm blog headlines. We'll share more data-driven headline insights for your legal marketing success.
Until then, go draft some fabulous, high-converting headlines ....
And boost your law firm blog readership today.
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