Hello! I'm Eliza, a marketing expert who is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
Did you know that 5 x as many people read the headline as the body copy? As David Ogilvy put it “when you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents of your dollar”. Sadly, all too often people write their headline as a last-minute thought or add on.
I’m going to share with you some tried and tested tricks to writing a great headline that will grab readers attention. The first half of this article focuses on how you approach headlines and the second half on how to get them to stand out.
Ask yourself, what do I want my reader to take away from this article? Why have I written it? What is the key message? Make sure you communicate this in your headline.
When you’ve finished a blog article, don’t just write one headline – write multiple headlines, try to write a minimum of 5 headlines and then choose your favourite.
If you can A/B test a couple of headlines. If you’ve not got headline A/B testing set up – ask your friends and family, do a quick poll on Instagram or create multiple Pinterest graphics with different headlines and see what gets the most attention.
Start to take note of headlines that you click on, see what your competitors are doing and look at headline structures in magazines and newspapers.
Creating a clickable title is important but don’t forget about SEO. If you are trying to rank for a specific topic you need to make sure that you are including those keywords within the title.
Remember broad keywords will be harder to rank for and attract a wider audience than a more specific keyword phrase.
There is no point creating a clickbait headline that gets you loads of traffic if people then don’t spend any time reading your article and bounce straight off your page. Make sure that the headline you create is relevant to the content in the rest of the article.
Numbers make content ordered, broken up and easy for the reader to follow. When you are next in the newsagents take a look at the magazines on the shelves or on Buzzfeed and see how often lists or numbers are used in headlines. Numbers get people’s attention – and it doesn’t need to be a round number like 10, obscure numbers work just as well.
Use the number rather than the word and where possible place this at the start of the headline.
Psychological tactics are a fantastic way of peaking a reader’s interest. Making something scares increases its value.
Another way to use fear is to include a sense of urgency.
Fear and secrecy are very linked, as secrecy often plays on people’s fears and we all like to know something others don’t or to be let in on a secret. There are two ways to generally use fear the first is to play on the fear of missing out and the second is a fear of something such as failure.
Making a big claim so long as you carry through with it is a great way to get interested.
Use specific numbers and timeframes and include words like ultimate, lifechanging, forever, most important, best, every time etc to show that you are telling them something big.
Many people are reading articles because they are researching and want to learn so appeal to your readers thirst for knowledge. The most common start to a title like this is “How to” but you can also include words like learn, discover, guide, checklist etc
Use intrigue and mystery to draw the user in and make them want to find out more. Sparking curiosity is a fantastic way to get someone to read your article.
Using a question helps to engage a reader emotionally sometimes playing on doubt or fear to do this.
It also works when the answer is likely to be yes from most readers.
Speak directly to your reader by using the word YOU.
Making your headlines short and snappy can help get attention – it also ensures the reader sees the entire headline.
Are there any headline tips I’ve missed? If you struggle with headlines, don’t forget to bookmark this page so it is one you can keep coming back too.
Now you’ve got your headlines sorted, do you need my traffic driving tips?