How To Write Smashing Headlines To Increase Engagement

Content has been king for a long time, and it looks to stay that way. However, when you generate content in the form of articles, infographics and blogs, your next challenge is to get people to read it!

Perhaps the most important part of any content is the headline. It simply has to be written in a way which will make people want to find out more.

Like anything, writing headlines is an art form. Here are a few tips for creating masterpieces and some great example of headlines.

How to write a great headline

Seasoned copywriters follow these strategies when writing catchy headlines. Take a look at these tips for higher click-through rates:

1. Write a few different headlines

If you’re having trouble getting started, write down a number of headlines. You may start with something average and then find the inspiration to create something more noteworthy as you continue.

2. Use simple yet powerful language

Overly complicated headlines are not only difficult to read, they discourage readers. Instead, write words that are easy to understand like ‘use‘ instead of ‘utilise‘, or ‘wrong‘ instead of ‘inaccurate‘.

Also, use powerful words like best, fastest, strongest, biggest, ever, perfect or top. This works in reverse too – consider using negative words like never, stop, no one, no way, avoid, stop, and don’t.

3. Include numbers

Readers are more likely to read articles if the headline clearly states what they are getting from an article. This has been supported by studies, which have found out that headlines accompanied by numbers are 36% more popular than those without one.

Interestingly, headlines with odd numbers draw in more readers. Odd numbers facilitate easier and faster recall, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

4. Use bold statements…

Bold statements are attention grabbers. They spark people’s curiosity and lead them to the rest of your content. However, make sure that your content is substantial enough to answer or establish your controversial point.

This leads to the next tip…

5. … but avoid ‘clickbait’

Have you clicked on a headline that is too juicy to resist, only to end up annoyed because the content was worthless or not very exciting? If that’s the case, you are a victim of clickbaiting!

Clickbait is a web content strategy that uses sensationalist headlines to draw attention for advertising revenues. It’s all hype and no substance! Often, clickbait includes headlines like “you won’t believe what happens next!”

Be sure to always deliver what you promise in your content, or else people will click away quickly.

Great headline examples

Here are some strong headline examples from different brands around the world, using examples of the tips I have shared:

Strong statements

From Delish.com:

  • Why you should never buy skim milk

From Metro Trains

  • Dumb Ways to Die

Numbered lists (these include positive words too)

From Buzzfeed:

  • 27 Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts Dad Will Love

From Houzz

  • 37 Showstopping Open Plan Kitchens

Positive wording

From Refinery29

  • These are the Best Glitter Lip Glosses on the Market

From Canva

  • Your Guide to Winning on Instagram

Write great headlines, every time

At this point, you should have ideas on how to create a great headline which will encourage your target audience to click.

At my next 52 Ways seminar, I’ll be sharing an incredibly handy tool which will give your headline a score out of 100 and show you exactly how to improve it. Sound good? See you there! Book now at 52ways.com.

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