Your headline is the first thing a potential reader sees. You therefore need it to grab people’s attention right away! But how do you write an attention-grabbing headline for an article or blog post? We have five top tips to share:
- Summarize what your article is about and how readers will benefit.
- Perform keyword research to find out what people are searching for.
- Where appropriate, use a number in your headline.
- Use emotive language that invites the reader to take action.
- Keep your headline to around 60 characters long.
For more detail on how to write an attention-grabbing headline, see below.
1. Summarize What Your Article Offers Readers
An effective headline to an article or blog post will always do two key things:
- Tell the reader exactly what the article is about.
- Give the reader a compelling reason to read the full article.
The first point requires summarizing the subject or purpose of your article clearly and concisely. And the second is about offering the reader a reason to read, such as promising useful information, a solution to a problem, or a way to achieve a goal.
The headline of this post, for instance, clearly explains that it’s about writing an “attention-grabbing headline.” And it promises to tell you how to do this effectively!
For your headline, then, think about how to clearly communicate the subject matter in a way that also tells potential readers how they stand to benefit from reading.
2. Perform Keyword Research
In SEO terms, keywords are words and phrases that people search for online. And if you want people to notice your article, you need a headline that includes keywords.
If you haven’t done so already, then, do a little keyword research based on the topic of your article. Ideally, you will want the main keyword near the start of your headline.
You’ll also want to make sure the main keyword and any related words or phrases are worked naturally into the body of your article, not just the headline.
3. Use Numbers in Your Headlines
People love lists. It seems to be a basic psychological fact. But numbers also work in headlines because they give an immediate sense of the length and structure of an article, helping readers know what to expect.
If you are going to include a number in your headline, though, remember:
- Numbers work best at the start of a headline.
- A numeral (e.g., 7) will work better than a word (e.g., seven).
- Odd numbers work better than even numbers (they’re seen as less contrived).
- Low numbers may be more appealing as they suggest a concise article and easily digestible content, but high numbers are great for comprehensive lists.
Of course, you shouldn’t use numbers in headlines unless the content itself will deliver on the promise! But if your article has a list-like structure, or sets out a step-by-step process, adding a number to the headline is a great idea.
4. Use Emotive Language
Persuasive language can trigger emotions in readers. For example:
- Now, fast and limited convey a sense of urgency.
- Secret, rare and unique can pique reader’s curiosity.
- Free, save and earn a fortune all appeal to greed.
- Proven, effective and advantage suggest trustworthiness.
- Action verbs like succeed, accomplish and beat are motivating.
The best language to use will depend on the article. For instance, for a blog post about an event with a limited number of tickets, you could use words that suggest urgency or scarcity in your headline. But in a headline for a how-to guide, words that convey a sense of simplicity and success would work better.
You can also use a thesaurus to help you find the perfect persuasive word for your headlines, but make sure you are using the word correctly if you do this!
5. Keep Headlines Short
Less is more in headlines. This is partly because a shorter headline is usually easier to follow, making it easier to catch the eye of readers. But it’s also about SEO.
For example, Google truncates page titles after 60 characters. If your article’s title is too long, then, it might cut off key information from your article’s headline.
This might not seem so bad. But if someone is looking at results on a search engine, they might overlook your article without the full title. This is also a good reason for putting important information near the start of headlines!
Expert Business Proofreading
Writing an attention-grabbing headline doesn’t guarantee success. You also need to deliver on the content. And this includes making sure your writing is error free (headlines included). We have expert editors who can help with this, though, so why not submit a free 500-word trial document to find out more today?