• The Importance of Understanding Powerful Headlines

The Importance Of Understanding Powerful Headlines

Niraj Bagade | 20 JUL 2015

No matter how great your content is, no one is going to sit up and pay attention to what you have to say if your headline isn’t compelling. Take a look at sites like Buzzfeed or Thought Catalog – they generate millions of visitors based on their captivating headlines.

By having a strong, magnetic headline, you’ll no doubt increase your conversion rate and ensure people read on. A few small tweaks can make a world of difference between a mediocre title and an enthralling must-read.

Convinced? Here are 5 ways to create headlines that will make a difference to your traffic, shares and rankings:

 

Use data and evidence for clickable content

There have been a number of studies on the ways headlines with numbers and data can generate an increase in engagement and social sharing.

 

This is no surprise when we consider the fact that:

  • The human brain is attracted to numbers as they organize information logically.
  • Numbers are more digestible than long words. Try using the numeric ‘11’ instead of the word ‘eleven’, for example.

It’s also important to remember that:

  • Small numbers are easier to follow than long ones.
  • Odd numbers often appear more ‘authentic’. Just take a look at Buzzfeed, you’ll often see articles promoting ’13 ways to…’ or ’11 reasons why…’.

 

Take attention spans into account

Remember – your readers are human beings with busy lives and distractions. When combining this with the fact the average attention span is reducing each year (according to Statistica), it’s obvious that you should be focusing on headlines that grab attention.

To do this, try to develop engagement throughout your site. When engaged with your content, users will be more likely to share it around the web.

To ensure a headline is good enough to hold the readers’ attention, try to utilise the ‘4 U’ system:

  • Make sure the headline is unique.
  • The content used should be ultra-specific.
  • The headline should express a sense of urgency.
  • Overall, it should be useful.

These are all aspects that will encourage the user to click the link and begin reading your content.

 

Keep it simple

People won’t bother reading your headlines if they’re full of confusing phrasing or difficult words. In today’s online world, people are more likely to skim content – something they can’t do if it’s too complicated.

Avoid using long or fancy words to sound ‘smarter’ – it doesn’t work. Instead, focus on simplicity. For example:

Instead of ‘Twelve Ubiquitous Ways to Increase Interaction Levels on your Blog’, try ’12 Simple Ways to Boost Engagement on your Blog’.

 

See how much better that works?

Another easy way to jump-start your headline is to add engaging or persuasive adjectives, such as:

  • Free
  • Essential
  • Effective
  • Easy
  • Fun

And plenty more! These words stand out in any sentence and will help when enticing the reader to click your links.

These tips may sound simple, but they’ll make a huge difference as you use them to craft the perfect headline.

 

Would you consider these points when writing headlines for your content? Is there anything else you’d suggest? Don’t forget to share your ideas below!

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