Bounce Rate vs Avg. Time on Page – The true meaning

It has become a mantra that a good user experience signal is a low bounce rate and a high avg. time on page.

A user who is enjoying the site won’t be abandoning the page but spend quite a good amount on it. Ergo: low bounce, high time on site.

But…is this always the case?

In my opinion, this is not (always) the case. And I’ll explain why.

Pages are born different. Some pages are more important than others, and different page categories have different scopes. Blogs, videos, products, checkout, log in…they have designed with a different goal in mind.

Bounce Rate vs Avg. Time on Page – What’s their value telling us?

The homepage

Let’s consider a homepage. Would we consider a homepage with high time on site successful? Probably not as its main purpose is to encourage visitors to browse and explore the site. Conversely, would we consider a blog page successful a low time on page? Most likely not, as a blog main purpose is to drive users to consume the content (from texts to images and videos).

So, how do we measure bounce rate and average time on page to establish successful marketing? We measure those metrics based on the page main purpose. We expect pages that are more like gate-keepers -such as the homepage, the category page, the login page – to have a low bounce rate, but also a low average time.

Blog and informative pages

Blog and informational pages – including videos and even product pages- are expected to have a high bounce rate but also a high avg. time on page. Users might read the blog, get the information they are after and then leave. However, I would also expect these pages to have a high percentage of returning users and work well as landing pages.

Product pages

Product pages are a bit tricker. Before making a purchase, a user might need to come back to the product several times before committing. In an initial discovery phase, users might come back several times. In this case, I would expect a high bounce rate and a low avg. time on page. During the decision process, users might spend more time on the product page, looking for more details regarding the product.

In this instance, I would expect a high bounce rate but also a high avg. time on site. However, users might decide to explore more pages in case the product is linked to additional resources (i.e. a tutorial). In this scenario, the bounce rate will be low.

Finally, at the purchasing phase, users will spend little time on the product page and go directly to the check-out page. In this instance, I would expect both metrics to be low.

Not all pages are expected to score the same bounce rate and avg. time on page values. Also, some pages must be scoring poorly on either or both values to deliver a successful marketing effort.

But how do we define High & Low?

Now, the real trick is to establish what constitutes a high and low value. The easiest solution would be to look at benchmarking in Google analytics.

In summary…

Both bounce rate and avg. time on page values is an indication of marketing success depending on the page main purpose. If in doubt, we expect a high bounce rate and:

  1. Low time on page for new users or occasional visitors
  2. High time on page for returning users and for informational pages

Or, a low bounce rate and:

  1. Low time on page for customers and for gatekeeping pages such as the homepage and the category page
  2. High time on site for loyal customers

For any questions regarding this blog, feel free to contact me:

5 ideas on how to create, organize, share and manage content that drives traffic

Still thinking about strategies on how you could be driving more qualified traffic to your site without spending more money?

After reading several articles from influencers such as Neil Patel, Jeff Bullas, Brian Dean and digital marketing blogs such as Hubspot and KissMetrics, I came up with a short list of easy to implement action steps you could be taking for getting more targeted traffic.

Number 1: Know thy audience

who-is-it

Before even thinking about starting a blog, you should ask yourself who you will be writing your blog for. It might seem like an easy question, but it is key to define the tone of voice, style, and level of complexity your blog will have.

Are your future blog readers already familiar with your topic’s jargon? Are they beginners or looking for more advanced lessons? Are they looking for a business style or for a more friendly approach?

The more details you’ll be able to give when describing your ideal reader, the more successful your blog will be. Consider answering yourself questions such as age, level of education, financial means, aspirations, pain points could give you a better chance of attracting the right audience.

myidealreader

So, what could you do to learn more about your potential audience?

Here are few ideas:

  • Spend time on similar sites to learn more about the strategies that already established sites are successfully using (a quick Google search should give you plenty of sites to browse)
    • If you think of addressing beginners or experts in the field, remember to focus on sites specifically designed for them
  • Engage with their audience to learn more about your potential customers:
    • Join their blogs and read people’s comments
    • Join communities such as Quora or Reddit to learn more about their issues
    • Join social media groups and communities and invite experts into your circle
  • Learn about your competitors’ weak points that you could eventually cover
    • This is the key point – Identify the gap in the field and build your site around it

Find a gap in the field and build your site around it

Number 2: Start creating content that fills your niche gaps

Time to get creative

After 2-3 weeks spent browsing industry-related sites, you should have a better idea of what others have already found and the strategies they have already implemented. Hopefully, you’ll have engaged with potential customers, found a possible gap in the field on which you could build the new foundations of your site. Now, it is time to think about the content you could be generating. As said in the previous paragraph, you should focus on topics that have not been covered yet, have not been covered in depth or have been addressing just a specific type of audience.

Independently from your topic, audience, style, language, consider:

  • Supporting your statements by including accurate data and references
  • Writing no less than 500 words (here’s why)
  • Approaching the topic as you were solving someone’s problem
  • Presenting your concept as a list of key points
  • Posting your most successful blogs on Medium and Flipboard

Here are few tips on what types of content you could be generating:

How many forms does content have

Content that people will enjoy

Step 3: Promotion, promotion, promotion

social media promotion

After researching into your field and producing new content, it is time to spread the news. All your efforts will be useless if you don’t get visitors coming in at a steady pace. If none knows about your easy-to-follow webinars on how to master French for business meetings, or your infographics about the benefits of long walks in the park, you will never get traffic. The days of “You built it, they’ll come” are over.

Here are few simple steps you could be taking to promote your content:

  • Go back to the blogs and forums you have been engaging with in Step1 and add links that point back to your site.
    • The links must be relevant to the site’s main topic
    • The links must add something to the site’s content
    • The link must be added as part of the conversation; for instance, write a brief comment and then add a URL back to your site as a way for users to “find out more…”
  • Use social media for digital marketing. To make things easier, take advantage of automation platforms, such as Buffer and SocialOomph to help you manage, automate and track your marketing efforts.
  • Connect with groups, brands and social media influencers. Reply to comments, offer advice, be friendly and polite, address criticism calmly and always offer something positive to the community.

social media infographics

Promoting on social media

Step 4: Set up a landing page

Landing Page

Landing pages are generally referred to as pages on which your users land. From a marketing viewpoint, landing pages are “standalone” pages specifically designed for a single focused objective. Landing pages are generally designed to drive users to complete a specific action, that is “to convert”.

All the landing pages fall in one of these two categories, Click Through and Lead Generation (also referred to as Lead Gen or Lead Capture pages).In the first case, websites use that type of landing page to “warm-up” the visitor to make a purchase. The page shows the advantages of purchasing or signing up. Clicking the page will bring the user to the shopping cart page or the registration form.

A Lead Gen page is a landing page specifically designed to capture people’s details. In exchange for contact details, the user will receive some form of promotional content such as free e-books, discounts or free trial. These landing pages are ideal for collecting vital information from users in order to adapt the future strategy on their answer. Questions you might ask include:

  • Personal information such as email, type of job, location
    • Keep into consideration your type of business, questions might change
  • Specific questions regarding interests, issues, worries…everything that helps to create a better image of your audience
  • Ask them directly for feedback. Show appreciation by offering a small token in return (even a Starbucks gift card can make the trick).

Landing page

Lead gen landing page

Step 5: Offer something extra

Nurture your users

Now that you have regular traffic coming in, it is time to offer them a reason to stay and come back for more.

By now you should already have generated enough good content, which includes images, text, infographics, videos, links, supporting data and CTAs. In short, by visiting your site people should realize that you provide content that either solves their problems or “scratch an itch”. Now, it is time to turn an occasional visitor into a recurring one.

The best way is to offer them a bait such as:

  • Free downloads when they land on your page
  • Badges and certificates when they complete specific actions
  • A dripping campaign to move people further down the sale funnel
  • Offers and discounts to loyal customers
  • Special offers promoted through emails, social media, and landing pages

Nurture your user's experience Nurture your users

Are your webpages grabbing visitors’ attention?

Generate more traffic. Increase user engagement. Generate more leads. Repeat.

If you are like me someone that deals with digital marketing, SEO and website development on a daily basis, you are most likely very much familiar with the above mantra.

However, despite promising ourselves to dedicate an equal amount of time to each phase (traffic-engagement-leads) we end up spending most of our time and energies in generating organic, high value traffic. As we feel that our number one priority is to bring more people to our website, we dedicate most of our efforts to generate witty email campaigns, unmissable special offers, strategic Google Adverts, engaging social media updates and white-hat SEO implementations.

But what about the journey of a user from first-time visitor to potential customer? Are we sure that everything is so perfectly optimized that we can just ignore that phase between first visit and final purchase? Are we totally sure we are not missing out on something? Maybe something as vital as more customers?

Let’s find out…

First thing first: Google Analytics

As always Google Analytics should be our first stop. GA is packed with great insights just waiting to be discovered. In this specific case, we are interested to discover what is the abandon rate of our site.

Let’s look at our most visited pages. Are people visiting other pages or do they exit from the same page? Are most of the people leaving when reaching a specific page?

If that is the case, we should consider the following questions…

1. Is our page visually appealing?

On the internet the competition is fierce. To win the battle for users’ attention, a site needs to stand out both in terms of content and style.

Good content should:

  1. Have a clear goal, stated in the title
  2. Be Clear, concise and accessible to the ideal user
  3. Be Educational, engaging and comprehensive
  4. Be unique (speak your mind and use your voice)
  5. Contain high quality images and high resolution videos as visual aids

Good style should:

  1. Present a clear title that stir emotions: be bold in bold!
  2. Contain a body text that is at least 16px and divided in paragraphs
  3. Present italic, bold and underlined words to help readers

2. Is the loading speed causing people to leave the site?

If a page takes too long to load, visitors might have already pressed the back time before the website page has even started appearing on their computer screen. To find out if the loading page is killing future leads, we need to run PageSpeed Insight test. If the final score is high enough (above 50/100 and highlighted in green), the site is good to go. If the final score turns out to be below 50/100 and highlighted in yellow or red, it is time to get busy. Luckily, the website gives suggestions of what should be implemented to load faster, from images and CSS minified to browse cache.

3. Are we suggesting users what to do next?

It might be that after visiting a page -even a good one- our users are not given a reason to stay. It is therefore our responsibility to give users a reason to stay by carefully implementing a call-to-action, or CTA. The idea is to turn passive users active. An example of great CTAs?

  • Ask users to leave a comment…yes, ask them!
  • Recommend users the benefits of watching a video or downloading a PDF
  • Encourage users to subscribe to a newsletter
  • Encourage users to visit more pages by adding hyperlinks

4. Could we take advantage of personalized CTAs?

The idea behind personalized CTAs is to create a call-to-action relevant to any stage of a customer’s journey; from first time visit to first time buyer. If someone just landed on our website and it is still in the process to evaluate our site, offering a free download could help turning an occasional visitor into a potential customer. Conversely, someone thinking already about purchasing could be more interested in contacting a customer support helpline or taking advantage of a first time purchase discount. Whatever your CTA consider using:

  1. A clear title that exemplifies what the benefit is about
  2. A subtitle that adds some extra clarification
  3. Visual aid to make your CTA appealing
  4. A button that encourages conversion

Is your page F-shaped?

According to a study conducted from the Norman Nielsen Group in 2006, people read a webpage in a manner that resembles a F-shaped pattern. People focus mostly on the top part of the page, scroll through the middle and skim the last section. By keeping this in mind, you can structure your page by positioning your key elements along the F-shape.

Add a sprinkle of self-promotion

Show people that your customers trust and love your brand. Add a touch of self-promotion by showing:

  • Logos of companies that benefited from your services
  • Testimonials in the form of feedback that vouch for the great experience
  • Awards and excellent reviews from your industry
  • Affiliations to show your business integrity
  • Social followings to show your niche’s leadership

5 easy steps that you can follow to build your authority in your niche

We all know the struggle of always producing great content to attract more and better visitors. No matter what our website is about, we want to become the site-to-go for our niche market. In our wildest dreams, we aim to generate a mental connection in people’s mind between the product and our brand. We want to become what Apple is for computers, Chanel for clothing, Facebook for social media, Google for search engine!

Brain Gears Vector

In order to be recognized as an authority, you need to show your audience that your brand can stand behind such claim. First, you must have:

  • Great content that shows how knowledgeable your brand is in your niche of choice
  • A well-organized site that follow the latest SEO guidelines
  • Products that satisfy customers’ expectations
  • An attentive customer service (from contact us to FAQs to social media integration)

However, all the above-mentioned steps despite being necessary, are not sufficient to guarantee adequate exposure to your brand.

To begin with, you need to reach out to people, interact with them, show your knowledge and build trust. Only at this point, you will be able to drive quality traffic to your site and turn potential leads into paying customers.

Here are few steps on how to start creating a potential audience:

1. Find the best sites in your niche

Image result for query in google browserAs we all know, every site discovery starts with a query. The best way to discover who is already recognized as a leader in your niche is to ask a search browser.

If you type in a search engine keywords related to your niche, which are the websites that come up in the first page result? Consider the first 10, or even the first 5 results. Open their homepage and start browsing. By doing this exercise, ask yourself questions like:

  • Is the homepage reflecting the brand identity?
  • Does the homepage contain a clear statement followed by a call-to-action?
  • Does the style represent the brand’s identity?
  • Does the site contain a blog, videos, a chat to help visitors convert?
  • Does the site offer better value for money such as discounts or free shipping?
  • Does the site show a knowledge that your site does not have yet?
Improve your site style to reflect your brand

If the competitors’ site shows a stronger design in terms of promoting their brand identity, try to get inspiration from their sites and from those you like. In specific, ask yourself what it is that makes you want to know more about their sites.

If you need ideas on how to improve your site design, check examples at the best-designs for inspiration. They have plenty of cool layouts to choose from!

Joy Interactive Homepage
Joy Interactive Homepage

After finding a style that visually represents your brand, think about adding:

  • A logo that well reflects the brand identity
  • Inspirational quotes on the homepage to communicate your vision
  • A simple call to action that helps conversion
  • A contact us page that shows the human behind the brand
  • A search button to help users find the right content
  • Stylistic buttons to help visitors navigate the site
Focus on offering value for money

Everybody loves freebies, discounts and special offers. A discount or a free gift are great strategies to attract new visitors, build relationships and generate loyal customers over time.

Consider the sites that rank high for your main keywords, are they offering discounts, running special offer campaigns, add free gifts to every order? Are people linking in to their sites from promotional campaigns? Are the brands building strong relationships with customers thanks to special offers?

Enjoy Free shipping

If you are even a small company but with room for a one-time offer, think if you can come up with a promotional campaign that could attract more visitors. Free shipping is a very popular form of discount that can generate massive sales. If you do not have enough budget room for such a substantial reduce in price on an order, you could consider offering a small gift to people’s first purchase (for instance, a small sample of a complementary product…however, the possibilities are endless).

Even if you could not offer a discount to all your line range, try to encourage people to purchase the product that better represents your brand or better distinguishes your company from your main competitors. Whatever offers you a competitive advantage should be the main focus of your value-for-money campaign.

Be the big fish in a small pond

So far you have visited competitors’ sites based on your niche keywords and got inspiration on how to improve your site. However, despite the effort, you feel discouraged by your competitors’ knowledge, well crafted sites, massive traffic, high ranking and social media strategies.

Suddenly you feel you will never be that expert that you imagined one day you would be. You find your knowledge too basic, your design not stylish enough and your lack of visitors a big worry and your small budget a dream crusher.

The solution? Stop being the small fish in a big pond and start being the big fish in a small pond! Instead of competing with large sites and well established brands, find yourself a sub-niche (or smaller niche) in which you can be the expert.

You cannot compete against travelling sites? Become the blogger that knows everything about Prague! There are already too many cooking sites? Become the only channel that talks about Bolivian cuisine! You can even consider less popular niches such as stamp collection.

Be the big fish in a small pond

This strategy can even play at your advantage: by becoming the expert on a specific topic, you can easily be identified as the go-to-person (as the competition is less). In order to increasing the chances of your popularity consider guest-blogging on the competitor’s site or leaving comments that direct readers to your website.

And this brings me to the next point…

2. Add Value to existing sites

Adding value to existing authoritative sites in the form of comments or guest-posts is a great way to promote your profile, reach out to the right crowd, get exposure and finally traffic to your site.

You might be wondering how adding value to a competitor’s site in the form of a comment or a blog post when you are spending all your energies in promoting your own brand could eventually be beneficial to your own site.

First, because the competitors’ sites are the place where the right crowd hangs out, the type of crowd you are interested in engaging with. You want to connect with potential customers, show them you have the solution to their pain points in the form of product or services. Let’s assume you blog about places to visit. This is a main niche in which a new blogger could find difficult to emerge. By posting valuable content on competitors’ sites, you are already interacting with people interested in travelling.

Unusual places to visit in NY City
Example of a Blog Post

Second, showing people that you have the solution to their pain points is a great opportunity for organically moving potential customers to your site. Let’s assume people are interested in visiting unusual places in NY city. By posting an article or a comment on sites that talk about NY city is a great opportunity to show your authority as blogger and as the expert in “unusual places to visit in NY city”.

Third, consider how commenting can bring traffic to your site. Let’s come back to the travelling example. You post a comment on a well established site about travelling. You visit the page about NY City and you notice the author missed to talk about the recently opened ice-cream museum that you just visited. Wouldn’t this a great opportunity to show your knowledge? Of course it would be!

Just a little word of advice…whatever you do, do not spam. Do not automatically add a link that sends back to your site. Read the post on your competitor’s site, consider if you have relevant information you can add, fill in the blog comment form with valuable content and at the end add a link to your site for people that want to know more. If not, your comment show be sufficient. Ah, and do not forget to add a little thank you line to the author! A kind word goes a long way…

Finally, do not consider competitors as enemies. The Internet is a place where professional can meet and create meaningful relationships.Every blog that you visit, any blog that you comment on has a person behind it. Try to reach out and be helpful to them.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could be creating a relationship with another blogger that can complement your site with their insights? Wouldn’t be free promotion if you could post on another platform? Wouldn’t it be great if a restaurant owner could offer a discount to people that signed up to your site?

Of course it would be!

3. Focus on Quality not Quantity

So far you have identified your main niche keywords, reached out to relevant sites and started to get some organic traffic. You might think that the main work is behind you and that you can finally relax. Of course not!

First, because even if you get some traffic today, it doesn’t automatically mean that those visitors are coming back tomorrow. Second, it is time to keep them engaged to make them stay. Indeed, you want visitors to browse your site, read articles, post comments, share your pages on social media and finally purchase your products or services.

How can you keep visitors on your site after they opened your landing page? As always by offering engaging content -in short- a reason to stay. There are several ways in which this can be accomplished. Some strategies include: well-crafted articles that include stylish images, explanatory free videos, downloadable PDFs and infographics.

If you want to have better visual content for your site, you can consider

Image result for canva

Visual content is so essential for the success of a site, that videos and images are included in any SEO guidelines. First, because our brain is hard-wired for images and second because human’s attention span has reached such a low threshold, that images can help explain your content in few seconds. Let’s consider the case of infographics; they present two clear advantages: they help explain complex topics and are extremely shareable on social media platforms such as Pinterest.

As people love freebies, offering a free downloadable PDF or a free on-demand video is an easy way to engage and retain visitors. You can easily embed a video using YouTube and a downloadable PDF using Slideshare. You do not need to be a hard-core developer to add media to your site.

4. Be Creative in link building

As outlined in previous paragraphs, when you are starting out it is important to connect to to the right crowd and in specific to those sites that rank high for your niche keywords in the search engine results (SERPs).

However, at times people can find themselves a little limited by their own niche-related keywords. Let’s re-consider the traveling blogger case. They might reach out only to traveling sites as they find that other sites are not niche-relevant. This is totally false; you can reach out to as many sites as you like as long as you can find a meaningful connection.

Image result for creative in linking building
Source: WebyGeeks

A traveling blog could reach out to skin-care sites and come up with an article about the 10 best tips to keep your skin fresh during a 10 hours flight, it could reach out to a yoga site and describe how specific yoga positions can help recharge the body when it is suffering from jet-lag or it could reach out to a heavy-metal site and come up with a list of the 5 best underground bands to listen to in London, it could even describe the advantages of using specific apps to navigate Milan.

Try to be creative, possibilities are endless (as long as you are adding value)!

5. Add a human touch

So far you have reached out to other niche-sites with whom you have build meaningful relationships and added value to your site with relevant and useful content. Now, it is time to build meaningful relationships with your audience.

The first step is to add a page about you on your site; show who you are, what you look like, your passion, interests and the reason behind you building your site. It adds a level of trust and make people feel like they are connecting to a real person. Have you noticed that some of the major brands are also recognized by the face of their founders?

Finally, give people a platform where they can speak their mind, allow people to interact with your content in the form of feedback, comments, likes and social shares. Thank them for their nice comments, reply to their questions, value their insights, link back to their sites if they are valuable and address bad comments and complains rapidly. Do not forget to keep your site spam free by removing bad backlinks and spammy comments.

Listen to suggesting to generate more targeted topics and add internal links so that people can find additional content in case their are additional questions that you have already covered. It helps keeping users engaged, it helps SEO and your site’s navigation architecture.

In summary

As  a proud website owner you want to make your site a success: be identified as the leader in the field and a constant flow of organic traffic that keeps coming in to consume the site content. In short, you want people to know you as the guy to-go-to in case a certain problem arises; your aim is to gain relevant and high quality traffic. To achieve ths goal you need to:

  • Identify your main niche (fashion, cars, education, sports)
  • Identify your specific niche using relevant keywords (fashion for businessman, city-cars for busy mums, online courses for the elderly, most popular sports for youngsters)
  • Reach out to relevant and well established sites to create meaningful relationships and reach out to the right crowd.
  • Add value to the relevant sites by posting comments and answering questions
  • Add meaningful backlinks to your posts so that people can find additional information
  • Create extra and well-presented content that keep people engage to your site
  • Keep adding value on other sites and on your site
  • Interact with your visitors by answering their questions
  • Keep doing this till you can employ someone to do it for you or you retire!

How to write powerful headlines and become a better blogger

We all know as SEO and marketing oriented people, that headline rocks: they are calculated as important factors in SEO, they help ranking high in SERPs, they encourage people to click on links and consequently affect click-through-rate (CTR), traffic and return on investment (ROI). As many experts keep repeating the same old adagio: “pay attention to your headlines”, in this article I will present few steps on how to get better at writing headlines that drive traffic.

  • Step 1: Come up with a topic

When I start thinking about writing a new blog post, my main idea represents my very first headline. Let’s say I want to write about creating headlines. My first title would be something like “How to create headlines“. This helps remind me what I want to write about even few days after I got the idea.

Then, when I start writing, I let the inspiration flow.Only at the end, when I re-read my blog several times, make the needed changes in terms of style, grammar and content I might end up either changing the title completely or refining my first draft. It might be that while writing the proverbial juices took over and I ended up diverting from my main topic; instead of talking only about headlines, I started talking about the essential elements that every blogger should keep in mind when writing. If that was the case, I need a major title change. Conversely, if the title still applies, I move to the next step.

CoSchedule-How to make better Headlines: Test1

Coschedule-How to create headlinesOne of my favorite SEO tools is definitely CoSchedule headline analyzer, as it gives a headline a score out of 100 based on four main parameters: common, uncommon, emotional and power words. The title “how to create headlines” gets a score of 61/100 which is equal to a C-. As expected from a very first draft, the title need some improvements. By looking at CoSchedule analysis, the headline is considered too short and too light in words. In addition, it does not include either keywords that people look for or strong negative or positive words that people are generally attracted to. Taking inspiration from the result, we can start making the headline more attractive by adding keywords and emotional terms.

  • Step 2: Add keywords to help SERP

As highlighted in step1, our headline needs a little bit of TLC; in specific, it needs additional keywords and emotional words. To begin with, “How to create headlines” could be improved by adding “for your blog“. This option achieves multiple goals: it adds length, specificity and contributes to generate interest in people who are looking for a guide on how to generate better titles to attract an audience. Finally, to make the title even more specific, I decided to change “create” with “write“. The final title will then be “How to write headlines for your blog“.

CoSchedule-How to make better Headlines: Test2

CoSchedule-How to write headlines for your blog

The second proposed headline scores already much better, 72/100 indicating how adding just few extra keywords helps generating a more powerful headline. As the headline contains now 7 words, CoSchedule ranks the new title having a good length, in terms of words and characters. However, it ranks poorly in terms of sentiment as it does not express a strong feeling but rather a neutral one. So far, our title has the right length, contains keywords such as headline and blog, but needs a bigger emphasis on generating a strong negative or positive feeling. Therefore, our next step would be coming up with words that stir strong emotions in our readers.

  • Step 3: Add some feelin’ 

As indicated in Step2, our headline needs some keywords that stir strong emotions, either positive or negative feelings.

If we think about it, there are 5 aspects on which our lives turn around: health, finances, relationships, emotions and purpose. Every time an headline dips into one of these aspects the chances of stirring people’s interest raises. Lets’ give you one example for each scenario:

  1. How to create headlines and become a less stressed blogger (health advantage)
  2. How to create headlines and increase sales (financial advantage)
  3. How to create headlines to engage with your audience (relationship advantage)
  4. How to create headlines to inspire your readers (emotional advantage)
  5. How to create headlines that turn people into entrepreneurs (strategic advantage)

Therefore, we could stir feeling by simply referring to one of these key aspects of everyone’s life. Let’s take into account the first case: we dip into a strong feeling (being stressed) and also the cause of such stress (writing a blog) by addressing a solution (How to write headlines). Therefore our new title would be something like: “How to write headlines and become a better blogger“.

CoSchedule-How to make better Headlines: Test3

CoSchedule-How to write headlines and become a better blogger

The third proposed headline has again an higher score compared to our first one. It scores 73/100, a B+. The headline has the right amount of words and characters, it contains enough emotional and power words.

By adding “to become a better blogger“, we specify that the article will address mostly bloggers who might strive to become better at what they do. As bloggers we have also more freedom in creating headlines that might range from very technical to humorous, a liberty that marketeers might not (often) have. As we have now covered all the main aspects of what makes a good headline, we could just stop here and be satisfied with our final product. However, we could try to strive for more and maybe get some better insights into headline making; for instance, by changing headlines to powerful headlines, we score 74/100 in Coschedule. We have now a great title!

  • Step 4: Take advantage of Marketing History

History of marketing 1900 to date
Source: Slideshare

Marketing has been around since mankind started trading. We can easily imaging merchants promoting the wonders of their goods to potential customers. Marketing acquired a well-rounded scientific identity starting from the 20th century, when people such as Howard Gossage, Leo Burnett and  Claude C. Hopkins  helped defying marketing key features still valid today. In particular, the pioneering work of Hopkins helped the understanding of how headlines can contribute to the success or failure of a marketing campaign.

As explained by Peter Sandeen, in his book “101 headlines formula” you can basically write any headline by following some simple rules:

  1. Start with a positive headline: “You need to”, “The secret of”, “What you can do”
  2. Ask a question: “Where”, “Why”, “Would you”, “Which one”?
  3. Be inspirational: “Learn today”, “Do not be afraid”, “Discover how”, “The easiest”
  4. Explain how: “The art of”, “Boost your”, “Become more”, “Here’s how”

Despite not getting a higher score on CoSchedule by adding words such as “Learn Today” or “The art of” to my title, they are still valid in helping you generate better titles.

  • Summary

In conclusion, to create powerful headlines, you need to:

  1. Come up with a topic you want to write about
  2. Summarizes your post content in 3-5 words
  3. Add some keywords to make it more specific
  4. Give your post keywords that stir strong feelings and raise emotions
  5. Take advantage of past marketing successes and learn from them
  6. Test your final product with CoSchedule headline analyzer
  7. Track your successes with Google Analytics
  8. Repeat and reinforce your successes

How to add Tags to your WordPress Blog

WordPress is a great platform for bloggers that want to start out without paying a company to to deliver a costly website. The magic of WordPress is that to a user it looks like a Word document where words and images can be easily added and turned into an entry that everybody on the Internet can enjoy. One great feature is to be able to add a category to any blog entry so to help people to find related content far more easily. In addition to categories, each blog entry can also be tagged by relevant keywords that cross-match multiple categories and help to tell readers what that topic will focus on specifically. Adding a Tag is like creating a Book Index, where categories are instead chapter titles.

Tags and categories -known in WordPress as Taxonomy- should be seen as tools to help your visitors navigate your site and find relevant content. This will also be appreciated by search engines that will be using tags to help them index your content under specific search terms.

How to add a Category and a Tag

WP-Category    WP-Tag

An easy way to think about tags is to consider your main keywords, those that would best describe your content. Let’s assume you are talking about a great smoothie recipe that helps improve your skin radiance and loose weight. A good category would be “Recipe” or “smoothies”, while examples of good tag could be something that describes one of its qualities (tropical) or its benefits (weight-loss). Remember, Tags are not Meta-tags. Make sure that they are used sparsely to help visitors and improve your website visibility in search engines, but above all offer relevant content to an audience. No one likes to open a webpage that contains either poor quality content or something completely unrelated (or both).

Use tags to interlink your blog entries

In your post, it could also be a good idea to add tags that refer to other pages of your blog. Despite some people raise their brow like it was a way of blatant self-promotion, this strategy could help to provide more quality content to visitors. If you have extra information that could help people know more on a specific topic, why shouldn’t you add a tag that links back to a series of blog entries that cover that topic? In this manner, people that have already read one of your posts will be encouraged to remain on your site. Again, do not exceed with the number of tags, use relevant keywords and avoid duplication.

SEO on tags and categories

Tags and categories are very useful tools for helping people find content of interest and therefore rank better in Google. In addition, if you direct only people interested in those specific keywords towards posts that answer their questions and therefore decreasing your bounce rate.