Reeling ‘Em In- 10 Tips for Writing Impressive Headlines
April 18, 2016
The importance of headlines is often overlooked. As something that just sits above the content of a story or post, headlines have taken a seat on the back-burner. But, a good headline will lead to more clicks to the actual post and can help the post be continually picked up by search engines.
Headlines need to tell the story
- Try to avoid puns on the web; it’s important to tell the story through the headline and be as descriptive as possible.
- Headlines are important when it comes to ranking, pun headlines won’t be helpful for SEO.
Stay away from clickbait
- Clickbait tends to dumb-down a site and the post tends to not deliver on the promise that the headline makes to the user.
- Overdoing it can be enticing but it’ll eventually disappoint readers and will fail as a long-term strategy.
Headlines need to stand alone
- These headlines are often competing with other sites and posts on news outlets and social media sites.
- Readers will scan through similar headlines and choose which one is the most appealing.
Keep the length short
- It’s important to remember that the web can limit the amount of characters allowed for headlines.
- Keeping the headline short will be more attractive to the reader, it allows them to digest the information and to, then, click to the post.
- A good rule of thumb is to keep headlines under 60 characters.
Don’t overdo it with verbiage
- Titling a post with filler adjectives, such as “amazing” and “the best”, can sometimes lead to false promises for the reader.
- If the headline is dying for these adjectives, make sure to be able to back up the headline with “amazing” content or the reader will feel cheated.
Short and sweet
- Excessive verbiage and too many characters can kill a headline, but being aware that most users are reading and scrolling at the same time is important.
- If every word isn’t essential, then those words can be removed.
Do your research
- Take a look at what articles are being shared more on social media. Compare and contrast headlines of popular posts to those that don’t receive as many clicks.
- Common factors will emerge to assist in creating useful headlines.
- Keywords will always help with the post’s ranking.
- They will attract the attention of your target audience.
- Readers gravitate towards lists; it shows them that the post has structure and it’s not essential for them to spend a lot of time reading the post.
- The information is easier to digest and the reader feels as if they’ve gained something.
- Bouncing ideas off of colleagues or an innocent bystander is always helpful.
- Getting an outsider’s opinion is important; after all, they’ll be the ones clicking on your post!