Headlines are often referred to as “the gatekeepers of your content.” This is certainly one way to look at them, but you should also treat them like giant billboards on the highway, asking readers to get off at the next exit and come visit your content. Just like these giant advertisements, if you don’t grab their attention and entice them, they won’t stop and look. Today I’m going to show you seven of my favorite ways to spruce up your blog’s headlines.
7 Ways to Write Killer Blog Post Headlines
Here are two basic questions we’ve all asked ourselves at some point:
The answers can be different for every blogger, but the goal is the same: create content people want to read and bring them to your site. A great headline is the first and possibly the most important step in this journey. Here are seven ways you can start writing headlines that are irresistible to your users:
1. Be Accurate in Your Headline’s Promise
Headlines should make a bold and exciting promise to your readers. You want to make them an offer they can’t refuse, but if you do that, you had better make good on your promise. This way keeping accuracy in mind is helpful.
A great way to do is by providing clarification in your headline. Let’s say you’re doing a post that includes an infographic illustrating your headline’s promise. Your headline could look like this:
The brackets allow the headline to clearly state what type of content is being used. Not only does it immediately make the post more interesting by promising varied content, but it also sets the proper expectations.
A combined study by Hubspot and Outbrain found that headlines with clarification performed 38% better than ones without it.
2. Make it Work For SEO and Social Media
This tactic is great for making your headline more friendly on search engines and social media, but it should never be used at the expense of a well-written headline. That being said, social friendly headlines can do wonders for your social media marketing efforts.
Essentially, we know that Google’s title tags will allow a max of 70 characters, so keeping your headline beneath this will prevent it from being cut off in search results. Furthermore, headlines with rich keywords will rank better in search results as well. If you know which keyword you’re looking to target, try placing it as close to the beginning of your headline. Don’t, however, force it in.
In terms of social, you should consider that headlines within the 120-130 character range are the most successful on Twitter in terms of click-through rate.
3. Use Numbers and Lists
A number in a headline is a great way to catch someone’s eye. It’s similar to the way we are attracted to contrasting colors. That why you should always use digits in your headlines instead of written numbers.
Providing a number value and the promise of a list sets a realistic and accurate expectation for the post. Once you’ve chosen your number, consider these worlds often used to describe lists:
4. Demonstrate Value
What is the reader gaining from the time they spend reading your article? Much like value proposition is important in landing pages, it’s also important when your headline is pitching a post to potential readers.
Let’s take a look at an example!
How to Make Eye-Popping Visuals in Minutes?
This headline is demonstrating value by promising a valuable skill (creating great images) and offering a way to do it quickly. Since it doesn’t take long, we can also assume it’s easy. Since there are more people in the world who have zero graphic design experience than those who do, this is a valuable promise we’re making for the average blogger.
5. Use Powerful Words and Writing Techniques
There are plenty of words in the English language that carry a lot of weight. Using these “power words” in your headlines can give them more impact and excitement. As it turns out, using ominous words also works.
Here are some examples of dark and powerful word choices for your headlines:
6. Use The 5 W’s
Your headline should seek to address the 5 W’s:
Try mixing and matching which of these words you use, but use them to make your headline more interesting. They arouse curiosity and are commonly used to gather information.
7. Include Images
Many social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow you to use images that will further enhance your headline’s impact. It’s important that the images you choose reinforce the concept of your headline.
For example, if you’re talking about social media, it’s probably smart to include an image of Facebook’s logo or Twitter, or a collection of social media logos. This way you’re reinforcing the topic that your headline is presenting.
Headlines are one of the most important elements of your content. In order to attract readers and keep their attention, you need to write compelling headlines. With these tactics in place, you have the tools you need to make that happen.
How do you write amazing headlines? Let us know in the comments!