There are a lot of factors that go into creating a successful blog post. One of the most important aspects is an eye-popping headline. Your article may be full of valuable content, but you have to get the audience in the seats. A strong headline has the potential to bring in a lot of traffic. It can also make people turn and look for another option if done poorly. With that being said, let’s get into the 7 tips that will start helping you write better blog headlines.
1. Brainstorm Headline Ideas
Ever heard of the saying, “you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket”? Well, that saying applies to the creation of headlines. The most common mistake made during the brainstorming process is getting locked in on one idea for your headline. It can be helpful to write out a number of different headline ideas. Each with different styles (we will get more into the different styles a little later). This not only gives you different options to choose from, but it can help spark creativity and get your ideas flowing. I generally try to write out at least five different headlines whenever I am brainstorming. You should not limit yourself to that though. Sometimes it is necessary to write out 10+ ideas before finding the one that fits perfectly.
2. Use Numbers in Headlines
The next easy tip for writing better headlines is to use numbers in your headline. A study done by Conductor shows the preference for each headline type. It showed that the brain is more receptive to numbers. It is easier for people to understand the value they will get from reading your article whenever the headline has a number. Using a number also makes your headline stand apart in the crowd. It is important to use the numeral form and not the word form (7 instead of Seven). This makes it more of an attention grabber when someone is just scanning through headlines.
Pro Tip: When choosing a number, go with an odd number. It has been proven that odd numbers are seen as more authentic.
3. Use SEO Keywords
Using keywords in your headlines is a great opportunity to help with SEO (or search engine optimization). One way to do this is by using keywords that your audience is already searching for. Another good technique would be to use websites like Buzzsumo to see what words are getting the most engagement.
4. Pick Your Style
There are a few different styles of headlines that you can use. Certain styles fit better with certain articles, but ultimately it is up to you to choose the style of headline that will work the best. Some of the styles (with examples) include:
- Normal (Writing a Blog Headline)
- Question (What is the best way to write a headline?)
- How To (How to Write Better Blog Headlines)
- Number (9 Steps to Writing Blog Headlines)
- Reader Addressing (Tips You Need to Write Better Headlines)
Knowing these different styles will put more tools in your tool belt. The most important part of picking a style is still to choose the headline that will fit your audience and article the best.
5. Stay Accurate
There is nothing worse than clicking on a headline and realizing that you have fallen victim to click bait. Headlines have definitely become more likely to give in to clickbait culture and use catchy titles that are enticing but do not represent what is actually in the article. Use a headline that gives an accurate portrayal of what a reader will be able to see whenever they click your headline. This does not mean that you can’t use certain wording or phrases to peak interest, but once you fall into the realm of clickbait it can have negative effects on your audience. Eventually, your audience will turn on you and no longer see you as a trusted source for valuable content.
6. Use Capital Letters the Right Way
This may seem like a rather obvious point, but it can have a big effect when it comes down to it. Studies done by Conductor have shown that readers have a very high preference for headlines that are sentence case over alternative options. An example of a sentence case headline would be “How to Write Better Blogs” instead of “How to write better blogs”. This helps the headline to come across as more structured and reliable.
7. Choose the Right Length
The next tip is choosing the right length for your headline. As a general rule, you do not want to exceed 60 characters. Any headline that goes over this character limit can be cut off on Google searches. If you put the time and effort into crafting the perfect headline and it gets cut off in a search, then all your hard work goes for nothing. That is why a simple fix to this solution is just making sure that you stay under the character limit.
There are definitely some other factors that go into creating successful headlines, but hopefully, these tips will get you started on the right track. When it comes down to it, having content that is valuable for the reader is what can make or break your content. Having a solid headline is just the icing on the cake!
If you have any questions or would like to talk some more about content tips, feel free to contact us! If you would like to learn more about when and what you should be posting, check out my blog on the 10:4:1 rule!