While browsing online or checking social media, think about the number of headlines you read every day. What prompts you to click on a blog or article to read it? No doubt it’s the headline- which has caught your attention. While the headline may not be the only important element of any article or blog, it is the first impression that a potential reader gets of the content. A great headline helps sell the content. And remember, a link to an article or blog post often shared in social media is accompanied by a headline or title, so the headline needs to be attention-grabbing if you want people to click on it.
So what makes a great headline? How long should the title be? What are the apt words to be used? What are the words that one needs to be avoided?
As David Ogilvy once said,” On average, 1 out of 5 readers gets beyond your headline”. Hence to draw your reader’s attention you need to form a strong headline.
And then writing exceptional blogs and articles titles may seem to be an art form, but there is a science of writing an attention-grabbing title.
Six tips to keep in mind while crafting an attention-grabbing headline.
- Keep your audience in mind: When writing a headline, write it in the audience’s language. Considering the social and marketing personas, determine what phrases or words will have easy connect while following on social media.
- Be Clear: There shouldn’t be any ambiguity while communicating your idea. Headlines should clearly communicate what the article and blog are about. Ask yourself, is this headline clearly indicating what the following content I am about to read will tell me? If the answer is no, you need to rewrite the title.
- Look out for headlines that resonate best with your audience: Try to assess which are the blog or article headlines which are performing best – regarding page view, time on site, etc. Find out whether the topic is driving the success due to the day of the week, or is it the keywords which are important, or the headline itself.
- Make use of popular search queries: Start your headline with How-to, What is, etc., titles. As people look for something relevant and useful, most of the searchers are looking for How-to and What is blog posts. Having How to, What is in blog or article titles increases your chances of getting attracted by the search engines.
- Incorporate target keywords: There are two reasons why you should include keywords in headlines. First, headline titles are used to form URLs and can have an enormous impact on search engine rankings. Second, searchers tend to do a broad scanning of content and click titles which have relevant keywords. You need to place the most important words at the beginning of your title without losing the meaning of the title, critical for the keyword phrase.
- The headline should be intriguing: One look at the headline and your reader should think to themselves, ‘ Oh that sounds interesting’. But then this depends upon the topic. Most of us have a natural curiosity, which is why headlines having an intriguing question tend to be more effective. But you need to make sure that your answer should be in the paragraph that follows the headline. Intriguing headlines works best when it is conveyed to the audience how your product or service meets the needs of your intended audience by solving their problem.
Finally, the headline of the blog or article should be able to draw your potential readers in; otherwise, the most informative blogs can have lacklustre results. You can write the most beautiful and insightful blog or article in the world, but if your headline doesn’t drive people to read your article, no one will ever discover your excellent post and the wisdom that is contained within.