Best Practices for Writing Compelling Headlines

Content marketing is an essential part of putting modern brands in the minds and hearts of customers. As our online worlds get larger, the viewing audience becomes more selective about their time and focus.

So how do you create catchy, clickable headlines that will capture their attention without using a clickbait gimmick? You write compelling headlines that serve a purpose and offer solutions to a problem. It can be challenging, but it’s worth it. You’ve created great content, now it’s time to showcase it.

What Makes A Great Headline?

A compelling headline is comprised of the following parts:

  • A purpose
  • A hook
  • A reason to read more (call to action)
  • Concise and emotionally powerful

You may think this is too complicated for a headline, but trust us when we say that science and millions of viewers have backed up these best practices.

Start With A Purpose

Headlines need to clearly state what the audience will get for clicking on it or reading more. You need to catch their attention in as few words as possible. One of the ways you do this is by creating a call to action, a way to help them improve their lives in some way. These elements need to be concise and emotionally powerful. Emotionally powerful words written in a concise format can have a lasting influence on your audience.

So how do you do that? You draw the eye.

  • Use specific numbers and data in your headline. You’ll want to break up the visual cycle and numbers. The brain automatically treats numbers differently. Single digit numbers tend to work best.
  • Use influential words that trigger the need to know more. Tips, reasons, tricks, ideas, ways, facts, .etc are all power words that invite the reader to dive into the article. Remember, you want your audience interested in your writing and willing to share it to help others.
  • Be specific. You may be tempted to make a general overview headline, but that means the eye never stops to see the contents. The more precise you can be, the more authority you have in your field.
  • Be useful. You need to help your audience in some way. Time is valuable and writing an effective headline means stopping the eye, making them pay attention, and, in turn, wanting to learn more about how to better their lives, business, etc.
  • Use concise, conversational words and phrases. Those influential words mentioned earlier can be included here. You’ll want powerful, evocative words to get your viewers interested.
  • Make it about them. Use pronouns like “you” to get them interested in the content. Identify the problem, offer a valuable solution, and make a promise to them that they can find at least part of that solution within your article. The article needs to be relevant.
  • Measure your success rates. Keep track of how your articles are doing. Engage with your audience, ask questions, and find out which articles are the most shared, liked, and interacted with.

Creating compelling headlines is an essential part of your content marketing. Think about the headlines of articles, and videos that get you to click. Consider the ones that make you roll your eyes or ignore based on their word usage.

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