What made you click on this article?
The headline probably had something to do with it. Right away, the headline told you what the post would be about and provided some extra information about the length of the post in brackets.
Imagine if the headline had been “How to Write Headlines That Get More Clicks.” Would it have appealed to you as strongly?
Writing amazing headlines that make people click is less of an art and more of a science. Through collective trial and error, we’ve figured out the formulas that seem to work and those that definitely do not.
Certain phrases, word positioning, pronouns, tenses, and more can affect the so-called ‘click-ability’ of a headline. There are times when witty or smart headlines work well, and times when you should stick to the basics.
We’ll talk about all the considerations that should go into a headline below.
Steer clear of click-bait headlines
Surprisingly, many bloggers and writers are still using outdated buzzwords that turn readers off and repel people from your potentially well-written content.
Poorly written headlines are everywhere you look online – “I Thought It Was a Normal Aquarium Until I Noticed THIS” – and people have officially wised up. Click-bait headlines are not effective. If your headline includes “clues” about the content within but no real descriptors of what your readers are about to see, it’s probably click-bait.
3 parts of speech every headline needs
Here’s a tip that will help you create better headlines every time you write a blog post or article: Most of the words used in headlines fall under the category of nouns, verbs, or adjectives. Without going into a full-on grammar review, the three parts of speech work together to create appealing phrases that are enough to spark our interest and make us click on a headline.
For example, the headline “How to Write Headlines” doesn’t appeal to many people. It’s too short and it doesn’t describe anything about the contents within the post.
However, add an adjective, and it’s a relatively appealing phrase: “How to Write Better Headlines.” Try other adjectives: How to Write Amazing Headlines, How to Write Effective Headlines, etc. Suddenly, better headlines are occurring to you:
- How to Create Click-worthy Headlines (Verb Verb Adj. Noun)
- 10 Awesome Formulas for Writing Headlines (Adj. Adj. Noun Verb Noun)
The more descriptive, active, and powerful language you use in your headlines, the more compelled people will be to click on them. While there isn’t a specific formula to follow as you write headlines, if you remember to be descriptive and direct, you really can’t go wrong.
These phrases are great headline openers
The following phrases are great ways to start your headlines and get your creativity flowing. Save this list and refer to it when you’re having trouble coming up with a good headline.
- How to
- Learn to
- You can
- Here’s how
- 10 ways
- 5 tips
- The best
- Why we
- When to
- The complete guide to
- The big list of
- The basics of
Above all, stay in testing mode when it comes to your headlines and content in general. Even if you strongly believe a headline you tried should’ve worked, if the results say otherwise, accept it and test something else. True headline optimization has no hangups and is always striving toward what’s working best, not what someone wants to work best.
Your headlines should be snappy, informative, and promise a lot to a reader (but not more than the content delivers). Try these tips and measure the difference it makes to optimize your content and get better results.