Why Headlines Matter (Even This One)

By December 30, 2018Blogging
Headlines are your first point of contact with a potential consumer.

Headlines, whether it be in the form of blogs, email subject lines, or over social media, are the driving force behind creating your first impression with your reader. According to Copyblogger, 80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% will actually read your content. This isn’t about simply creating clickbait, it’s about delivering solid content that happens to have an intriguing headline.

Alright, now lets go over the basics for creating your own amazing headlines.

Successful Headline Formulas

  • The “how to” headline: “How to Create a Successful Blog” is a form of headline we’ve all seen before, but that’s because they work. People always want to learn new things and these how to headlines are a perfect way to bring out a reader’s curiosity.
  • The list headline: “10 SEO Tips for Bloggers” for instance is another headline tactic that is frequently used. Who doesn’t love a good list? (Especially ones that offer guidance and tips for its readers.)
  • The question headline: “Can I Eat Bread Everyday and Not Gain Weight?” These work because we of course want the answer and sadly the answer to this one is “no.”
  • The emotional headline. This can be anything that will draw in a reader by evoking their emotions. It can be uplifting and meaningful or even somber, as long as it’s authentic and serves a purpose to the reader.
  • The “What I Learned…” headline. We each try  to learn from our own mistakes and struggles, so why wouldn’t we want to learn from someone who’s already been through it and has come out the other side? These headlines are more personal and that’s why they’re one of the more successful headline formulas out there.
  • Use the word “you”: “This Small Change Will Make You Millions” for example. People love to read about themselves and it makes whatever you’re writing about seem that much more personal.

Creating Your Next Headline

Creating headlines can be simple (if you let it be.)

One of the very first steps to take when creating your next headline is deciding what focus keywords to include. Incorporating the most common words or phases searched regarding your topic will boost traffic to your page. It may not be the most fun a writer will ever have creatively speaking, but what’s the point of creating great content if no one will see it?

Your headline should be under 70 characters. Google doesn’t like headlines that are longer than this, and what Google wants, Google gets.

If you’re looking to get inspired, visit sites that you enjoy reading yourself and copy them! Well, don’t copy them exactly, but read their headlines and make better versions of them yourself. There are even tools out there that will help you with coming up with headline ideas based on your topic, such as Portent’s Content Idea Generator.

I tend to write out several different headlines for each article and then I narrow it down from there. It’s rarely ever instantaneous. There’s nothing wrong with spending some time brainstorming, but just be sure not to overthink the process.

Now that you know where to get inspired and about the most used headline formulas, you’re well on your way to making your next amazing headline!

Please leave a comment below if you have any further tips about creating engaging headlines.

Geoffrey Purkis

About Geoffrey Purkis

Geoffrey is the Founder and CEO of Seattle Web Search. He’s a web developer and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert located in Seattle, Washington with extensive experience in the field. Geoffrey specializes in helping his clients find the right combination of web, search, social, and video content to get the best results from their online marketing efforts.