Have you ever perceived the aroma of delicious food? How did you feel when you first perceived it? It is the same way a reader feels when they read the headline of your article.
An article is like a system, many things come together to form it. For you to have a great article with lots of readers and conversion, each part of the system that forms the article has to be perfect. One of the key factors every article must possess is a headline.
According to stats from www.copyblogger.com, 80 percent, of your visitors will read the headline of your article, only 20 percent may go ahead to read the rest of the article. This figure says a lot. Since the headline is the first port of call for most readers, it is therefore very necessary to create your headline in such a way that it becomes irresistible to readers.
What is a Headline?
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a headline is the head of a newspaper story or article usually printed in large type and giving the gist of the story or article that follows. In other words, a headline is the heading at the top of an article or blog post.
As they say, the first impression matters a lot. Your headline is the first impression your article is going to have on your readers. Since it is such a big deal, it is necessary to invest time in creating a perfect headline, as a poor-quality headline could spell doom for your article.
This article will be guiding you on how to create a top-quality headline that wins the attention of your website or blog visitors. Let’s go already!
How to write a headline That Captivates Your Readers
To write a headline that captivates readers that visits your site or blog, do the following:
Include a number
Several researchers have shown that including numbers in your headline increases the click rate of your article. This explains why many articles online usually have a number attached to them. Why include a number in your headline?
Writedirection.com provides five reasons why including a number in your headline makes a lot of difference. They are as follows:
- They make specific promises to readers, giving them an idea of what they stand to gain when they read the article.
- It makes reading the content easier for readers, especially skimmers, as they know where to go to find what they need.
- It helps to keep your work organized.
- Numbers are brain candy; they are attractive to the brain. So readers will most likely click on headlines with numbers.
For more details, visit www.writedirection.com/5-reasons-numbers-in-headlines-work.
Write it many times in different ways
One of the ways to come up with a captivating headline is by trying to write it in different ways. In doing so, you will explore other ideas and come up with a better headline than you would have had without exploring.
In his book “Think Better”, Tim Hurson discusses what he describes as the principle of the third-third. Simply put, this principle argues that the mind gets new and better ideas as it digs deeper into an issue.
For instance, if you are trying to come up with an idea, in the first third, your mind will arrive at ideas that are easy to stumble on, not really new, etc. In the second third, your mind will produce more unique and creative ideas, than in the first third.
By the final third (third-third), your ideas will be most creative and unique, as the mind is now at its most creative stage, having exhausted the obvious ideas, and reached deep for inspiring ideas.
This principle of the “third-third” shows that the best headlines will only emerge when you keep writing the central message of your article in different ways. You should at least write it out in 10 ways. This will give you options to select from. And if it does not sound as good as you want it to be, write out more options. Remember, the more you write it, the better it gets.
Make your headline solution-focused
Let’s face it. Most persons on the internet searching through blogs and websites are simply looking for a solution to a challenge or need. When your headline suggests that your article is offering a solution, it becomes very attractive and increases its chances of it being clicked.
A Marshable.com post titled “How to Pay, Exercise and Take Photos Using Apple Watch“, generated over 1500 shares, simply because it offered a solution to the users of a gadget.
If you adjust your headline to offer a solution to the needs of your audience, it will most likely capture their attention.
Offer Better Way To Do Something
Most persons are seeking better ways of doing whatever task they presently carry out. Therefore, a headline offering them a better way of carrying out a task or doing a chore is most likely to capture their attention.
Headlines that start with “The best way to…”or “The easiest way to…”,are far more likely to captivate readers to click on your article, than just simply writing it out.
Note: For this to be effective, please ensure your article delivers on its promise. If the headline says “The best way to…”, ensure that the content actually offers a great solution. If it does not, the readers will quickly abandon the rest of the article.
Many times, people already know what to do, but for some reason, they are yet to take any action. For such persons, an article that advises them to do the needful will be very key. This makes it important to model your headline to offer advice if the article really offers advice on a course of action.
For instance, if your article offers reasons to start content marketing, your headline can sound like this: Why you should start content marketing.
Share Your Experience
Headlines that share personal experience also captivates readers, making them click to see the article. Most persons want to hear about the personal experiences of others on how they managed a situation, achieved something, etc.
In addition, we just naturally like stories as humans and so are very likely to click a headline that promises a story. An example of such headline is: What I learned about…, My experience using…, etc.
Include evidence in your headline
A headline that offers evidence to support its claim practically compels readers to take a look at what the article offers. To support your headline with evidence, you can add phrases like, backed by data, backed by science, etc.
For instance, Research data suggests that…., 7 ways to ……. backed by data. Headlines are written this way to capture the attention of readers.
Avoiding clickbait simply means avoiding over-promising and under-delivering. Clickbaits are notorious for over-promising in their headlines and delivering way below expectations in their content.
A quick way to lose reader confidence in your articles and blog or website is by using headlines that sound like clickbait. Avoid this temptation at all costs. Always write your headline in a way that captures the essence of your article.
When a reader stumbles on a headline written as a question, it tickles their mind to find out more about the article. Questions by nature stir the mind to think. In the process of thinking, the reader may feel the need to read the article to find out more.
Examples of headlines written in the form of a question are as follows:
What is the best way to write a headline?
Are you writing your headlines perfectly?
Does your headline suck?
However, when choosing to write your headline in the form of a question, ensure to try out other means. Questions should not be your first resort when writing a headline. It should only be used when it is the best available option or the best way to write the headline of that article.
Understand The Emotions Of Readers
Did you know your choice of words in writing your headline influences how appealing it will be to readers? According to a study done by Moz.com, extremely positive or negative words influence the emotions of readers and determines whether they will click your article or not. For more details, visit www.moz.com/blog/5-data-insights-into-the-headlines-readers-click.
The study done by Moz.com suggests that extremely positive words or negative expressions encourage readers to click on an article. Such positive words include Best, Always, Fastest, etc. While the negative expressions include Never, Avoid, Worst, Don’t, etc.
Optimize for Search Engines
These days where most articles are published on the internet, the need to optimize your headlines for search engines is even more pressing. When writing your headlines to do well with search engines, ensure that the characters are not more than 70. In addition, integrate keywords in your headline to improve its ranking on search engines.
Lastly, your title tags (the headings that appear when you look through search results on a search engine), should be short enough to be seen completely by viewers. Users like to see the entire heading before clicking.
Use Headline Analyzers
Most persons will be uncomfortable publishing their article if they have not tested it on Grammarly. Like Grammarly checks for grammar, Headline Analyzers helps to check the readability, SEO ratings, tone, and sentiment of your headline, etc.
Getting a headline analyzer will be a good move for you if you wish to improve the quality of your headlines. The list below was put together by themeisle.com, as a list of the best Headline Analyzers available:
- Sharethrough Headline Analyzer.
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
- Advanced Marketing Institute – Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer.
- blog about by Impact.
- Headline Analyzer by Capitalize My Title.
- Portent’s Content Idea Generator.
- Answer the Public.
For more details, visit www.themeisle.com/blog/best-headline-analyzer/.
There are several ways to write a headline that will captivate your readers, even beyond what has been discussed here. This article has only tried to identify some of the easiest ways to do this.
Furthermore, you just need to identify the steps that are easiest for you and start applying them. You do not need to master all the above steps to be able to write great headlines. However, ensure to avoid anything that has been warned against here, such as click-baiting.
In conclusion, if you find it challenging to get a great headline at your first trial, do not give up. It gets better with frequent practice.