Your headline serves as the first, and probably the only impression you make to your prospective readers. Without an attractive, compelling headline that turns a browser to a reader, the rest of your content becomes irrelevant to them. Therefore, for your content or article to standout, writing great, compelling headlines is critical. So, how do you make your headline catchy? Well, here is what you need to do;
Create Your Headlines Before Content
Try brainstorming sample headlines before you create your content. Even if you might want to change it later, having a specific headline will give you a guideline and straightforward blueprint for your post and also help you organize and direct your points while writing.
While elements of mystery and cliff-hanger titles have their benefits, studies suggest that clear headlines have high conversion rates. Your prospective readers want to know what they are going to read before committing to jump out of their all-enticing newsfeeds, click the title, wait for the content to load, decline to sign up for offers or newsletters and click out of ads.
Remember, online readers are like toddlers, they hate waiting; they are impatient. As such, you should not make them guess what your story is all about. Your headline should, therefore, be informative, descriptive, and as clear as possible. Use words that personalize your headline. For instance, “5 Creative You Can Use to Create Catchy Headlines.” This headline will do a great job as it succinctly and clearly name the article with keyword terms, value statement, and numbers. The reader is prepared to see the 5 ways they can use to come up with striking headlines.
Choose Simple Keywords Over Jargons
Complicated synonyms alienate your audience, but there is a better tactical reason for trading big words for simpler keywords; people search for content on the web using simple words, not jargons. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to come up with simple words; think about the words you would type in search engines to find your article and use those words in your headline. Keep in mind that Google bots are getting increasingly clever about keyword stuffing; therefore, make sure your headings sound natural. After all, you are writing for humans, not machines.
Numbers provide clarity and quantifiable value, telling your reader in a few characters what they are about to get. “5 Ways to Write Striking Headlines” is more attractive than “How to Write Striking Headlines” despite saying the same thing. Why? Because it shows the ready they will read a list- readers love lists.
Make a Great Promise
Promise your web readers an audacious possibility. Will you teach them a new expertise? Will you persuade her them to do something they have never done before? Will you reveal an antique mystery?
You need to challenge your reader to read your post. Don’t overpromise, but be bold. Be dangerous. Be seductive in an innocuous way. Then deliver your promise.
Keep It Sweet and Short
Web readers have a habit of scanning headlines, and they do this by reading the first word and last word. Also, keep in mind that social sites such as Facebook abridges long titles around the 65-characters mark, often burying your catchy line. Instead of counting your characters and words in each headline, make sure each word you are writing has weight. Editing, especially headlines, is tricky and can take multiple reads before you settle for the final title. That’s why I recommended you start with a few headlines, write your content, and then reread your headlines to make edits, before choosing the best one. With breaks in between your multiple reads, you will see where you can make adjustments.
Answer the Question “So What?”
A better headline tells the reader what they will get, while a great headline tells readers why they should read the article. Often, you accomplish this by adding an adjective before a noun or creating a sense of urgency. For example, this article can be titled “5 Rules for Writing Headlines That Gets Clicks.” The “That Gets Clicks” part shows readers they could improve on something.
Lastly, make sure your article delivers on what you promised in the teaser and headline. Outrageous claims, controversial words, and shocking statistics are great at grabbing peoples’ attention. However, if they are just click baits and irrelevant to the article, you will immediately lose readers and credibility, and Google might punish you because of high bounce rates.