Unless your content has catchy headlines, it’s very unlikely that anyone will read it – whether it is your blog posts, whitepapers, or even emails. Did you know that Upworthy writes 25 headlines for every post? Do you know that 33% of emails are opened based on subject lines alone. That’s the importance of writing catchy headlines for your content. There’s no point in producing great in-depth content, if it doesn’t have a great headline. No one will read it anyway. Here are 9 best practices and tips to write catchy titles for your posts, emails, and other content.
9 Tips to Write Catchy Headlines
1. Use Simple but Enticing words
Use simple words that everyone can understand. Avoid complicated words that are unknown to most people. They may make you look sophisticated but people avoid things they don’t understand.
Also remember, headline is like a sales pitch to read your article. So use attractive words that entices viewers to click on your post title. Avoid using bland and boring words that simply state what your article is about. Also, avoid using negative words like never, don’t and no.
Adjectives are a great way to make great titles – awesome, amazing, best, etc. In short, don’t tell it to them. Instead, sell it to them.
2. Use Target Keywords with High Search Volume
Every headline you write must target a keyword that has a high search volume. Search volume indicates how many people are interested in a topic. It means that many people are actually looking for the information your provide in your post or article. Targeting High Traffic Keywords in headlines will ensure that your post drives good traffic via organic as well as paid search. There are plenty of keyword research tools to help you find the right high traffic keywords for your content.
Here’s how you can use Google Keyword Planner to do keyword research.
3. Make it Bold and Attention-Seeking
Making a bold or shocking statement is another amazing way to increase click-through rates of your articles and email open rates. Think about how to make your headline sound opinionated, bold or controversial and word it in such a way that makes readers wonder “What? really?”, or “No Way! I disagree. Let me see what’s inside”
If your headline sounds controversial or too good to be true, chances are people will be tempted to read and find out for themselves. Here are couple of examples:
- Become a millionaire by age 30 – via Business Insider
- There’s no such thing as a good Trump voter – via Slate
Bonus Read: Best Blog Topic Generators for content idea generation.
4. Use numbers in your headlines
Numbers are a great way to grab reader attention. Numbers inherently indicate that your article is backed by data, and written by an expert or someone who know what he’s talking about. There are 2 ways to include numbers in headlines.
- Use it in list-based posts. E.g, “30 Ways to Become Rich in 1 Month”. People love lists. List based posts somehow make readers feel that the content is useful and important. You can use it at the beginning of your headline .
- Use it as a percent to show growth. E.g “Lose 30% body weight in 10 days with these tips”
5. Do Competitor Research
See what are the headlines & titles used by your competitors. If they’ve written about the same topics, see if they are ranking well in Google, and how you can make your headlines better. You can simply google your target keyword and look at the headlines of the top 2-3 pages. You can also use content curation tools like BuzzSumo to find the most popular posts (based on shares & likes) and articles about your target keyword, and analyze their headlines. A great headline makes people to share and reshare your content with their audience.
Bonus Read : How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
6. Ask a Question
Questions are an awesome way to grab reader’s attention because it piques their curiosity. It instinctively makes them want to find the answer which can’t be done unless they click on your post. Even if they know the answer, they’ll read your article to validate their thoughts & ideas about your question.
Here are some examples of question-based headlines:
- Can You Plan Your Wedding Without Going Over Budget?
- Is Your Hectic Schedule Leaving You Constantly Feeling Low Or Tired?
Bonus Read: 7 Best Free Blog Title Generators for Content Creation Ideas
7. Create Sense of Urgency
People are generally afraid of missing out on great deals and offers (called FOMO) and you can use this to your advantage while crafting headlines. Create a sense of urgency by making your headlines time-sensitive
Here are couple of examples of headlines that create urgency
- 10 Ways to Reduce Your Bounce Rate Today
- Are you ready for UK’s Anti-Spam Law from July 1?
This works especially well in Ads. You can use create a sense of urgency by using words like “Hurry”, “Today” in your ad copy, or even showing the amount of time left
8. Create a sense of intrigue
Another way to create catchy headlines is to reveal just a little bit of what’s inside your article, without divulging your main point. Here are a few examples
The 1st headline mentions that Jimmy Kimmel has an update about his baby, but doesn’t tell you what it is. The second one tells you that Chrissy Metz responded to body shamers but doesn’t tell you how she did it. The third one makes you wonder if baby talcum powder can actually cause cancer. In all 3 cases, there’s only one way to find out. You have to click the headline.
9. Write Multiple Headlines and Choose the best
Coming back to Upworthy’s tactic of writing 25 headlines per article, make an exhaustive list of all headlines you can think of about your post. Think of ways you can mix and match them to create new headlines. Share your favorite 2-3 headlines with your team and friends, and ask them to pick their favorite. Finally, choose the most popular headline.
I can’t exaggerate the importance of writing catchy headlines for your posts and articles. According to CopyBlogger, you should spend 50% of your time writing catchy headlines for your content. Hopefully, these best practices and tips help you write catchy titles for your content, increase click-throughs, grow your blog and drive more visitors to your website.
Do you have any tips to write catchy headlines & titles? Please share them as comments.