JI Design | How to Write Captivating Headlines
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How to Write Captivating Headlines

There is little value in writing a blog post if no one ever sees it, and yet research suggests that most people are just consuming titles, often gazing barely beyond the first paragraph, if at all.

In fact, according to an article in Forbes, 59% of all links shared on social media aren’t actually clicked on, suggesting that we may all be turning into goldfish with our blink-and-it’s-gone attention spans.

The ultimate significance of these findings is that a person’s skill in formulating a truly captivating headline is almost more valuable than the ability to write a meaningful post. Fortunately, there is a lucrative market in researching and discovering whichever fresh and shiny blueprint is deemed to be most effective at attracting and keeping readers on your site.

Attract & Keep Readers on Your Site

Let’s look at a few ways:

#1 The Ultimate Headline– Lenka Istvanova of Koozai Marketing developed a headline formula based on her analysis of best practices for headlines that get clicks. The formula goes like this:

Numbers + Adjective + Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise

For example: 907 Recipes for Moose Meat That Will Get You Married Off by Spring

#2 Use a Headline Generator– There are many excellent and free ones available online for anyone that lacks the time or ability to craft winning headlines. This one generates 700 headlines with one click!

#3 Try out some of these clever and effective templates from twelveskip.com.

#4 Really powerful SEO headlines are those that offer “the best” way to get, do or be something. For instance: The Best Way to Find Your True Soulmate.These headlines work especially well because they are typically exact-search matches.

#5 Headlines that promise less effort or better time-saving tips work well at attracting readers who like shortcuts. For example: Learn to Speak Mandarin on Your Bathroom Breaks will certainly be clickbait for some entrepreneurial reader.

#6 Headlines that promise really useful information can be very compelling. Ironically, the reason for this, according to Dean Rieck of copyblogger.com is:

Most people don’t want information…[because] people are drowning in facts. What people really want is a sense of order and predictability in their lives. We want to feel a sense of power over our world. Therefore, we seek out the secrets, tips, hints, laws, rules, and systems that promise to help us gain control and make sense of things.

A good example: How to Make Friends When You are Afraid of People

#7 Sexy sells. If you want headlines that will resonate with your audience, try using alluring language. Using the lexicon of a specific industry with powerful imagery can be very compelling.  For instance, 15 Shocking Photos that Prove BlueBull Gives You Wings is sure to inspire some clicks.  

copywriting word cloud - handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee

These are just a few of the many prescribed formulas for writing truly effective headlines, but the only way to find out what works best for you is to keep testing different headline structures to see what provides the desired outcomes. Feel free to share your favorite headlines and tips in the Comments below. Good luck!