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Headlines are the first thing that people see before reading any content. And, these are what determine whether or not they will go ahead and actually read your content.
That is why writing attention-grabbing and relevant titles should be an essential part of your content strategy. If you’ve got your headlines right, then you’ve already won half the battle.
In this post, I have listed 12 of the most effective headline writing tips that you can use to ace your headline game.
1. Use Numbers and Statistics
Using numbers and statistics in your headlines is one of the best headline writing tips. It immediately builds credibility and authenticity. Even if you don’t provide statistics, just using a number helps the brain organize information in a logical manner, thus, making it more click-worthy.
If you write a listicle and tell readers exactly how many points you are going to cover, they will instantly know whether to invest time in it or not. A study conducted by Venngage clearly shows that using numbers gets more engagement than using just words.
For example, check out the two headlines mentioned below to see which one you’re more likely to click on.
- 9 Simple Tricks to Lose 3 Pounds in a Week
- Simple Tricks for Quick Weight Loss
Most people would prefer the first one because it makes a specific promise and quantifies it. It is, unquestionably, more believable and seems credible.
Using numbers is one of the most effective headline writing tips that anyone can give you. So, leverage this and see the results for yourself.
Pro Tip: Odd numbers tend to work better in listicles because they seem more random.
2. Include Your Primary Keyword
This might seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to this useful headline writing tip. You should include the exact keyword you’re targeting in your headline, without exception.
This will help the users searching for that keyword find your content easily. Headline writing tips like this one will also help your content rank well in Google search results.
3. Provide a Solution
Solutions make for great headline writing tips that definitely work. People often search the internet looking for answers to specific questions or solutions to some challenges. You can grab their attention by using a headline that provides a solution to their problems.
This is probably why “how to” content works so well because it gives a step-by-step solution to a user query.
Check out this blog post headline that provides a solution to the people who are struggling to rank well on Google search results.
4. Generate Curiosity
This is another one of the essential headline writing tips that you should try to make your headlines catchy and click-worthy. The basic concept behind this is to pique the readers’ interest so that they want to know more.
One of the best headline writing tipsto generate curiosity is to ask questions in your headline.
Writing question-based headlines has two benefits. First, it generates curiosity in readers to find the answer. Second, a lot of users search the internet by asking specific questions and thus question-based headlines will match their search queries and help you rank better.
Additionally, if you add humor to the question, it can further grab the attention of the readers. The same applies for weird questions. Both of them pique the curiosity of your readers and make them want to discover the answer.
Check the below headline from one of my blog posts. Doesn’t that make you want to read further to know the answer?
Create a Hook/Cliffhanger
This is another one of the headline writing tips that aim to generate curiosity among your audience.
You need to provide a hook and bait, similar to catching a fish, to make your readers want to learn more. One of the best ways to do this is by providing incomplete information and leaving your audience wondering what it is all about.
Read the following headline and answer honestly if it didn’t pique your curiosity? This is the power of hooks and that’s why it’s one of the best headline writing tips.
Another way is to tell a shocking or even unbelievable fact in your headline so that people want to read your post to validate its authenticity.
Make a Controversial Statement
What better way to grab audience attention and generate curiosity than to make a controversial statement. Making a statement that most people would object to is a real head-turner and helps get people interested.
For this headline writing tip to work, you should make a statement against any popular belief and then elaborate on it in your post. Just make sure that you give a twist on the popular belief instead of opposing it, otherwise, that might backfire.
Check out the below headline where the writer makes a controversial statement. But, in the actual content, she writes from the perspective of how men and women are different instead of saying they shouldn’t be treated equally. The title, in such cases, is slightly misleading, but it does grab immediate audience attention.
5. Use Action or Emotion-Evoking Words
No list of headline writing tips is complete without adding this expert tip. There are some words that work better than others. These magic words are usually strong action words or words that evoke some form of emotions.
Some examples of such action words include “learn,” “make,” “create,” “execute,” etc. You can always add some more drama by adding superlatives like “best” or “worst” and by using words like “always” and “never.”
For example, read the two headlines below:
- X Ways to Write Good Headlines
- Learn the X Secrets to Writing the Best Headlines Ever!
Which one attracts you more? I’m sure it will be the second one, for most people. The reason is the use of words like “learn,” “secrets,” “best,” and “ever.” These words add that extra drama and emotion to an otherwise plain and boring headline. This shows you the power of headline writing tips such as this one.
6. Keep It Short
This is one of the well-known and yet underrated headline writing tips. Everyone knows that headlines should not be too long, but while writing one they often forget.
A lot of times people end up writing long headlines in their zest to include all of the other tricks mentioned in this post.
Also, keeping headlines short means that they are easier to read for people who read it on their mobile phones. They constitute a majority of your audience and hence you should keep your headlines short and easy-to-read.
7. Use A/B Testing on Headlines
All the other headline writing tips in this list focused on creating the best headline, but this one focuses on choosing the most effective one.
A/B testing requires you to test various headlines and see which of those perform the best. So, if you are not sure which type of headlines work best for your audience, do a split test and find it out.
8. Keep it Simple
One of the most important headline writing tips is to keep things simple. The language that you write the headings in matters a lot. It must be simple enough for everyone to understand. At the same time, it must have an impact on your target audience too.
You should consider using simple but powerful words that can grab the attention of your readers. For instance, you can try giving your headline a call-to-action twist.
You can use words such as “Click” or “Try” to prompt visitors to read further. You should also try to talk directly to your readers by inserting words like “You.” Doing so can make it more conversational.
As stated before in other headline writing tips, it’s also a great idea to use negative superlatives such as “Never” to further improve the power of your headlines.
9. Research Your Competition
Researching your competition is one of the most essential headline writing tips for brands. It’s always a great idea to research your competition when you’re writing headings.
Check if they’ve already written content on the same or a similar topic. If so, then you can look at the headlines they used. Researching your competition will also give you an idea of which headlines are ranking better on Google.
By looking at other headlines, you will get a better idea of how to craft yours. After all, your goal should be to stand out. Check out the top ranking articles by doing a simple Google search.
Alternatively, you can use tools such as BuzzSumo to check which articles have the most number of shares or views.
It is often due to a great headline that people end up reading the article and even sharing it. By checking the best performing content, it’ll help you come up with better headlines.
And using headline writing tips like this can improve your chances of getting better results.
10. Leverage FOMO
No list of headline writing tips is complete without FOMO (fear of missing out). You can use headlines to create a sense of urgency in the minds of your readers.
By doing so, you leverage FOMO. For this, all you have to do is show the readers that they might miss out on something.
You can do so by adding a dates to the headlines that you create. Let your audience know that they may miss the thing that you’re offering. Yet another way of doing so is by letting them know that there’s only a limited amount of stock left.
You can use urgency installing words such as “Hurry,” “Limited Numbers Left,” or “Limited Time Remaining” to further push them to take action.
For instance, this headline by Skyscanner uses FOMO. By using words such as “Book Now!” and “Save Today,” it encourages searchers to click on it.
Image via Google
11. Use a Headline Analyzer
One of the best headline writing tips is to use a headline analyzer. You can come up with a list of potential headlines and run them through the headline analyzer to find the best ones.
You can use a headline analyzer such as the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer for this. It gives your headlines a score out of 100. This can give you a better idea of which headlines might work and which ones may not.
Image via CoSchedule
Sharing your experience is another one of the best headline writing tips. You should tell your audience about your experience on a certain topic. When the headline tells them that you’ll be sharing your experience, it can pique their curiosity.
One of the best examples of headline writing tips such as this is a post on Entrepreneur titled, “What I Learned From Being a Broke, Unemployed Graduate.” The article managed to get over 19,000 shares because of its engaging nature and, of course, the catchy headline.
These useful headline writing tips will surely help you write headlines that convert. Use a mix of these techniques to create powerful and engaging headlines that make your audience want to read further.
Know of any other headline writing tips that worked for you? Share them with us in the comments below.