Headlines are one of the most important elements of online marketing because they serve as the gateway to the rest of your content. They’re what make readers want to continue reading your article. And you know what else makes headlines engaging? Emotion.
Emotions are powerful forces. In fact, according to research published by the University of California San Diego, people tend to read articles that evoke positive emotions three times longer than those that trigger negative ones.
So while writing your blog post, how do you use emotion to grab attention? Here are some ways to write compelling headlines that increase the click-through rate on search engines, engage readers and help them scroll down your page.
The headline aims to summarize a piece of content in the fewest words possible.
Are you ready to take action? What are the best and easiest ways to write powerful headlines? Here are some headline writing tips:
1. Start With What You Want People To Do
The best headlines start with what you want your target audience to do. Instead of telling them what you’re offering, tell them why they should care about your product or service. For example, rather than writing, “How to Make Money Online,” try something like, “Learn How to Make $10,000 Per Month Using Social Media Marketing.”
Customers’ psychology is wired to respond quickly, because they’re motivated by emotion rather than reason. However, potential customers respond best when they feel pressured to act now. Online stores often use these tactics to get people to purchase right away.
2. Use Action Words
Action words describe actions that people should take. If you’re selling cars, for instance, you might say, “Get Your Car Fixed Today” or “Buy Your First New Car Now.” But don’t just rely on action words; add context. Say, “Get Your Free Credit Score Report” instead of “Buy Your First Car.”
3. Include SEO Keywords
Keywords are the search terms that people type into Google when looking for information. When you include keywords in your headline, it will appear more relevant to searchers. This is especially true if you’re targeting long-tail keywords (search phrases). For example, “how to get rid of acne scars” would be a good keyword phrase to target.
4. Be Specific
People love being specific. That’s why they click on links to websites that have the exact products they’re looking for. Write a headline that includes all the details about your product or service so people can find exactly what they need.
5. Add Some Humor
Humor works well in headlines because it helps people relax and feel less stressed. It also gives your audience permission to laugh at themselves. Try adding some humor to your headlines to see if it makes them more interesting.
6. Tell A Story
A story is an excellent way to hook readers. Stories give people a reason to keep reading. They also make headlines more interesting because they offer context. For example, “How I Made $100,000 Selling My Books Online” tells a story while “How to Make $100,000 Selling Your Book Online” doesn’t.
7. Keep Them Short
Headlines are designed to draw attention quickly. The shorter they are, the better. Studies show that people remember headlines that are between 50 and 70 characters. Anything longer is too much to process.
8. Focus On Benefits
Benefits are always more memorable than features. That’s because benefits are concrete — they focus on results, not processes. For example, rather than saying, “How to Create a Facebook Fan Page,” write, “How to Create a Facebook Fan Page in Just 30 Seconds.”
9. Use active voice while writing
To make your headlines easier for readers to understand, use an active voice.
The passive voice is a common grammatical error that can be difficult to spot and fix. It’s also one of the most common mistakes made by new writers. Here are some examples:
- “I was told not to do it.”
- “It was decided that we would go there.”
- “We were given the task of doing it.”
10. Avoid clichés
Clichés are overused words and phrases that sound trite or boring. They’re often used as filler words such as “and,” “but,” “so,” etc. Clichés can also be misleading. For example, “the best” is not necessarily the highest quality. Instead, choose words that accurately reflect your message.
What are the 3 types of headlines?
The first thing you need to know about headlines is that they’re not just a way for your content to be more visually appealing. They also play an important role in how people perceive and interact with your content.
Here’s what I mean:
1) Headlines that grab attention
Headlines can help make your content stand out from other articles on the same topic. If your headline isn’t interesting enough, it won’t get read or shared by anyone.
Instead, choose a title that grabs attention. Here are some examples of catchy headlines:
- How to Get Rid of Acne Scars
- 10 Things You Need to Know About SEO
- 7 Steps to Successful Content Creation
- Top 4 Mistakes People Make With Their Websites
- 8 Ways to Increase Sales From Your Facebook Page
- How to Create a Profitable Social Media Marketing Strategy
3) Headlines that inspire action
When you write a headline, think about whether it inspires action. Will it motivate someone to take action? Will it help someone solve a problem?
In addition to inspiring action, headlines should also be persuasive. Persuasive headlines convince people to act.
Here are some headline examples which are persuasive:
- How To Start An Email List In Less Than 30 Minutes
- How To Find Out Which Type Of Traffic Is Least Expensive
- What Are The Best Places To Buy Instagram Followers?
2) Headlines that encourage sharing
When someone shares your article online, their friends will see it. But if they don’t like it, they won’t share it. So you want to write a headline that encourages people to share your content.
For example, here’s an attractive headline that encourages sharing:
How to Find Out Which Type Of Business Is Right For You?
And this one:
The Best Way To Start A Business
Or this one:
How To Make Money Online Without Spending Any Money!
I could go on and on. The point is the same – you need to know what your audience wants from you so that you can provide it in an engaging way.
If your headline encourages someone to share your article, it will probably go viral.
What makes a headline ineffective?
Your headline needs clarity and preparation for your audience. The worst examples are just a “bake sale” type of deal where you don’t add any value beyond what was originally offered.
If you aren’t providing more value than what was initially offered, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to grow your audience. Unless you have an amazing product or service that people want, they won’t come back.
To speed up your skills development, practice as many variations of a single headline as possible, even if they’re not perfect grammatically, long, or follow conventional headlines rules.
As you can see, headlines are one of the most important elements of online marketing, and using skillful planning and creativity in your headlines is a great way to engage readers and encourage them to continue reading your content. Keep these tips in mind the next time you write a headline, and you’ll be sure to create headlines that pack a punch!