Of everyone who reads your headline, only 20% will actually read the main content within. From email subject lines to blog posts and e-books, you need a strong, sexy headline to make your readers swoon.
Ever since content migrated to online space, writing headlines has been tricky. They must be SEO keyword friendly. In addition, they have to be creative and unique. The goal is to write highly click-worthy and irresistible headlines.
The internet is swarming with headlines; every day, over 2.7 million blogs are posted. This should tell you how overwhelmed your readers already are. Therefore, the best way to grab their attention is by using eye-catching headlines.
Content production companies like Daily Posts perform many tests regularly to find out which headline formats work best for online articles.
Here are the top four consistent tips to make your headlines stand out:
Include numbers, digits and lists
Many media websites have already worked this format into their strategy. Buzzfeed set the bar for making every post seem like a listicle or photo list. Readers are mesmerised by lists, so starting your headline with a figure makes it stand out.
In the same way the human eye is attracted to contrasting colours, we are automatically drawn to a juxtaposition of digits and text. A list also helps readers get an idea of what your post is about and gives them the promise of a quick, scannable read.
Some words that go well with lists are:
Make it Sexy
There are ways to give your article a sexy flair whilst remaining accurate. However, it’s necessary to know your audience and what type of language patterns they speak and understand. Once you have an idea of your readers’ buyer personas, include some of these tips to improve their appeal.
Play with alliteration
Use powerful language
Words like ‘Terrific’ and ‘Awesome’ make a bold statement, but they must be used in moderation to avoid giving your post a tacky feel.
Make an audacious promise
Promise your readers something of value. Are you teaching them a secret way to save money or giving them a ‘backdoor’ to lead conversions? Provide the feeling of a hitherto unknown skill.
You want to dare your reader to open and read your article without overpromising. Keep it bold and live up to the promise. Here’s a recognised formula to use:
Number or impact word + adjective + keyword + promise
Keep it the right length
There’s no given length that works for everybody. A lengthy title that works for a Buzzfeed article could simply put off a reader visiting a finance website. The trick is to ensure it’s neither too short nor too long, depending on the tone of the post.
However, a headline should not exceed 70 characters if you want to make it visible in full on search engines. Another tip is to make sure they are tweetable. On Twitter, the effective character range is between 120 and 130 to allow it a good click-through rate.
Don’t forget to insert your keyword into the title for purposes of search visibility and ranking online. Your post has to be seen before it can be clicked.
Finally, always get a second opinion with regards your headlines, because we each tend to be slightly biased in our self-review and another pair of eyes always helps.