7 Stats That Will Change How You Write Headlines
If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?
You’ve heard that question. And it rings true for your healthcare organization’s web content.
If no one reads your stellar content, does it even matter?
There are plenty of ways to get your healthcare organization’s content out there. Sharing on social media, having your physicians provide patients with links, emailing it to your members — the possibilities are endless.
Getting it read, on the other hand, is a different story. One of the main reasons why people don’t read articles is headlines.
Up to 80% of people read headlines they come across, but only 20% actually read the whole post.
Headlines are clearly important, so what’s the magic formula?
Well, there isn’t one. But there are proven strategies to make your headlines go from snooze fest-inducing to attention-grabbing.
1. Headlines that are completely made up fool US adults 75% of the time.
Most people believe the titles they read — even if they are fake. That means that your headlines must accurately represent both the article and your hospital’s values.
Bad example: This Post Is Awful
Good example: This Post Is Awesome
2. “Will make you” is the #1 headline phrase that will make your story go viral.
Show your audience the future and let them know exactly what they’re getting.
Bad example: How to Safely Lose Weight After Pregnancy
Good example: These Recipes Will Make You Lose Pregnancy Weight — Safely
3. Using the title to tell the audience what they will get can reel in readers.
This is great when your audience is more interested in learning about the benefits they’re going to receive — not how they will get those benefits.
Bad example: A Look at Our New Cafeteria
Good example: What You Can Buy at Our New Cafeteria
4. The average click-through rate for titles with negative superlatives outperform those with positive ones by 63%.
And titles with positive superlatives perform 29% worse than titles that don’t have any superlatives at all.
“Never” or “worst” seem more authentic to readers than “always” or “best.” Readers have started to think of positive superlatives as cheap marketing ploys, and either ignore or don’t believe them.
Bad example: The Best Ways to Treat Acne
Good example: The Worst Things You Can Do if You Have Acne
5. Just adding a colon or hyphen can increase your click-through rate by 9%.
A little mark can go a long way.
Bad example: Inside the Neurology Unit at [name] Hospital
Good example: Neurology Unit at [name] Hospital: An Inside Look
6. List features with odd numbers perform better.
People love odd numbers. Apparently, readers find odd numbers more authentic — as if the content is there because it’s actually important, not added in for fluff.
As for the number 7? Lucky number 7. And in a title, use 7. Not seven. Use the number 7 and click-through rates increase by 20%.
Bad example: 10 Exercises You Can Do at Home
Good example: 7 Exercises You Can Literally Do in Your PJs
7. Google usually displays the first 50 to 60 characters of your title.
Keep it under 60 and Google will display your titles correctly about 95% of the time — go over 60 and your titles might get truncated.
Rules are made to be broken.
As a healthcare organization, your goal shouldn’t always be to get as many clicks as possible. It should be on hooking in the right type of person and getting them to follow your call to action. It’s better to get 50 clicks and 10 patients making appointments, vs. 200 clicks and only three patients making appointments.
This means that while it’s obviously a good idea to follow expert recommendations, you should never force content to fit into “best practices.” Make your content — including titles — work for you.
For example, the word “need” in titles has been shown to decrease clicks. However, when the target audience does read the article, the word “need” actually brings conversion rates up.
You know your audience best. If you can balance industry best practices with your audience’s needs, you just might be able to create that magic formula.
How can CareContent help you create awesome titles — with killer content to match? Contact us today to set up an intro call.
Healthcare Content Marketing: How Much Should It Cost?
It all starts the same way: Your healthcare organization needs to reach a certain audience online. Maybe you’ve been producing healthcare content for years, and now you have so much that you don’t know what to do with it. Or maybe you’ve just realized that content is your ticket to engagement, and you’re just getting started.
The end goal is the same, too: When your audience encounters your content, you want them to to raise their hand and become a patient, client, member, etc.
So, how much should that action cost?
Content should be considered a long-term investment, not an expense. That said, expect to make a bigger investment if …
You Need Strategy.
It’s one thing to have already ironed out your healthcare organization’s content solution. Now, you just need help executing. But if you’re looking for insight, ideas, and solutions to challenges, then the content team that helps you is more than just an extra set of hands.
Ideally, they come in on the front end when you’ve discovered the content challenge. They can get to know your organization, your challenges, your business goals, and your audience. Then, they apply years of expertise, experience, and lessons learned to pitch ideas and solutions.
Read this twice: Solid ideas are the pulse of a strong content solution. Ideas are what distinguish you from your competitor—ideas about compelling topics, distribution channels, etc.
You want your content team to be a pack of rabid problem solvers and idea generators—and don’t expect that to be cheap.
You’re Looking For Experts.
Think of it like this: The average family medicine physician makes $225,000 annually. But a neurosurgeon—around $700,000. Why the difference? One is a specialist, offering something that you can’t find on a shelf—and you need it.
Many of our clients come to us because we are healthcare content specialists. We only work with healthcare organizations, so we know the space inside out.
Good luck trying to ask a lower-cost general interest content team to work on a project about a very technical healthcare topic, like the mechanism of action for a new drug or anything dealing with the Affordable Care Act. The acronyms alone will give them a headache.
Plus, you’ll spend precious time getting them up to speed on healthcare when they should be learning about your healthcare organization and your goals. And in the end, you may have to redo it all.
If you choose to go with a specialized healthcare content team, expect to pay for brain power, not just taskmasters.
You Need The Groundwork Done.
Content audits. Social media promotion. Analytics. Tracking down subject matter experts. These are common and important aspects of many content challenges, but they take a lot of time. And you can’t have an intern doing this unless you just like headaches.
Ideally, the same content team who tackled your strategic challenge can roll up their sleeves and execute the solution. That way, they can circle back to the strategy to build on what works and improve on what doesn’t. Plus, you’ve already developed a relationship with them.
So now, you’re paying them to lend their expertise toward taking these tasks off of your plate.
How much is that worth to you?
The Best Approach?
Let your prospective content partner know your ballpark budget. Save everyone some time, and put it out there. If you don’t know your budget, ask the prospective content partner to throw out a number. Then ask yourself: Is it worth it?
If you’re with a healthcare organization and curious about pricing for healthcare content solutions, shoot me an email (email@example.com), and I’ll let you know how CareContent charges.