When you’re writing an article for your blog or website, you probably spend a lot of time making sure it looks and sounds just right. However, how much time do you actually spend on the title? If you’re just haphazardly throwing a headline on your post, you’re doing it wrong. It’s important to carefully craft a title that will practically force potential visitors to click for more information.
Here are 11 tips on how to write a headline that grabs people’s attention:
1. Make it a “how-to” article.
Including the words “how to” in your post’s title can be a very effective tactic. After all, it likely led you to the article you’re reading right now. When you promise to tell your reader how to do something, you’ll be helping him or her solve a problem. We could all use a bit of advice sometimes. Let your site’s potential visitors know that there’s a solution and you can tell them all about it.
2. Use a number.
Using a number in your title can help catch a person’s eye. Research shows that pairing digits with words can create visual interest and stick out in the reader’s mind. Try writing your article in a list format (like this article!) and take the time to number each point. “Listicles” are quite popular and they can really help draw traffic to your site.
3. Go with something a bit unusual.
Including something slightly out of the ordinary can create an interesting headline. Nearly everyone creates list articles with five or 10 points. Consider writing one with an unusual number like six or 11 and make that number a part of your title. That simple tweak can make all the difference when a person is staring at the search results. Having an uncommon element in your headline will distinguish your article from the rest of the pack.
4. Be descriptive.
When you’re trying to write an attention-grabbing headline, you should always make it descriptive and clear. People like to know what they’re getting. You don’t have to describe everything in detail, but the reader should definitely have a good idea of what the article’s about before he or she clicks. Avoid choosing a title that’s overly vague or confusing.
5. Don’t make it too long or too short.
Choosing a headline for your post is all about finding the right balance. If you pick one that’s too long, it can look complicated and could suggest that the article is boring. On the other hand, a title that’s too short may not be interesting enough. Shoot for around 10 to 15 words to intrigue without going overboard.
6. Show you’re in the know.
When someone does a search online for a particular topic, he or she is likely looking for knowledge on that subject. That’s why you should always have a title that shows you know your stuff. Words like “tips, “tricks” and “secrets” will promise the reader that he or she will learn great information that may not be found anywhere else. Also, if you’re an expert, then say so! Using terms like “expert” and “advice” may add a bit of credibility to your headline.
7. Make your word choice stand out.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Go big or go home.” That’s a wise expression when it comes to crafting the perfect title. Don’t be afraid to be bold with your word choice. Whether you choose words that are shocking, strange or just plain fun, your post will stand out from the crowd. You’ll easily prevent your article from getting lost among the rest.
8. Don’t insult your audience.
As a general rule, you want to avoid insulting your readers. If someone feels like your headline is belittling, he or she will never want to click on it. For example, it’s best to steer clear of titles that suggest your visitors are unintelligent. Stay away from phrases like “idiot” or “dummy.” If your readers are smart enough to come to your website or blog, they’re certainly not dumb. Keep that in mind when you’re writing your post’s headline.
9. Advertise your post’s benefit.
People typically want to read articles that are going to be beneficial in some way. Even if the benefit is just being entertained, you still want to provide an incentive to click. Try including words like “improve,” “solutions” or “advantages.” Potential readers will be able to see that your post will benefit their lives in some way.
10. Remember you can be negative.
Your article can still be beneficial if it shows the reader what not to do. Don’t be afraid to take your headline in a negative direction. For example, feel free to use the word “failure” if you’re telling people how to avoid it. Similarly, it’s fine to inform people of actions they shouldn’t take, such as what they should never do in a job interview. As long as your headline is thoughtful and engaging, you can use one with a negative slant.
11. Make it exciting.
A great headline draws the reader in and makes it nearly impossible for him or her to stay away. Add some excitement to your post’s title with words like “amazing” or “unbelievable.” Just make sure your article lives up to that headline. By pairing an exciting title with an equally exciting article, you’ll have the perfect formula for pleasing your site’s visitors. Do that every time and you’ll keep those readers coming back on a regular basis.
Creating a fantastic title isn’t as difficult as you might think. You just have to know a few simple tricks. By using the great advice on this list, you can learn how to write a headline that grabs people’s attention. With these easy tips, you’ll be on your way to securing clicks and making your readers happy. Give all of them a try to give your post a headline that can lead to success for your site.