If there’s one part of your content that it is extremely important, it’s got to be your headline. Headlines are what your audience see first when they happen to catch a glance on your articles. They also encourage people to check out each and every post you make on your website or blog.
But if you think headlines are just for grabbing attention, think again. According to Copyblogger.com, great headlines can also communicate a full message to their intended audience. With people’s shrinking attention span, a great headline is just the thing you need to get your point across.
But how exactly can you make your headlines irresistible and note-worthy?
Go straight to the point
Most people these days have extremely busy schedules, so many of them don’t have the patience or the time for guessing games. If you want to attract the attention of these people, create headlines that go straight into the heart of the matter. Be specific and sell the benefits as much as possible.
For example, if you’re having a sale, consider this headline: “Get 50% Off on Our Premium Items” instead of “We’re Having a Sale.” It is more direct and it conveys the message that you want to send to your audience while using just a handful of words.
Sometimes, taking an indirect approach doesn’t hurt
It is also a great idea to take the indirect approach from time to time to pique your audience’s curiosity. David Moth of Econsultancy.com suggested using vague, curiosity-driven statements as headlines, much like what folks at Upworthy are doing. According to David, these headlines make it seem that the readers will be missing out on a lot of things if they don’t check out what your article is all about. As a result, they will be compelled to investigate and read on the rest of the content.
Use numbers and adjectives
Numbers and adjectives add muscle to your headlines. They make them more forceful and interesting. Just take a look at BuzzFeed. You’ll notice that most of the articles posted on the site have headlines with numbers and/or fancy adjectives in them.
According to David, this is one of the reasons why BuzzFeed content is very popular. Numbers make the articles look “digestible” and it encourages people to see what tips or examples have made it onto the list. Adjectives, on the other hand, add excitement to the headlines and make the articles sound useful.
Let your audience decide
Don’t know which type of headlines works best for your readers? Then let them decide. Daniel Burstein of Content Marketing Institute (CMI) recommended conducting an A/B testing to determine what kind of headlines is more suited for the readers you currently have.
In an A/B or split test, Daniel explained that your readers will be randomly segmented and assigned a different treatment of a variable you want to test, like the two, proposed headlines for a baseball team in this case. By measuring the results, you can avoid hit-or-miss headlines. You will be able to tell for sure which of them is more effective at catching your audience’s attention.
Nevertheless, there is also a need to be cautious on the use of attention-grabbing headlines, said Joe Pulizzi from CMI. Your headlines might bring numerous readers, but not the right ones that will contribute to your business. In creating headlines, always keep your target audience in mind to be able to reach your marketing goals.
Not all of us are born great writers. Therefore, the key to writing better and more interesting headlines is to practise. Despite your busy schedule, you should take the time to improve and sharpen your writing skills. You should also develop a good reading habit. Learn from the examples of other copywriters and content marketers so you’ll know how to vary your headlines and make them more catchy and worthy of a second look.