"Titles change the destiny of your posts” ~Darren Rowse. Headlines matter for a variety of reasons, most importantly of which is more traffic, more reads, and probably more links. Headlines are what entice a user to click through and read more.
But writing headlines for web content can be a bit tricky. Let’s see, you’ve got character limits to think about, SEO keywords, and then the actual creative copy to entice clicks. And oh ya – about 8 out of 10 of those savvy online users, on average, will only read headline copy and 2 out of 10 will actually read the rest!
Quite a few components to keep in mind, but I’m here to share with you 30 different headline tips. Have a tip you’d like me to add to the list? Feel free to add to the comments below.
The headline you craft, in the end, must stand alone and for that matter – stand out! Ask yourself, does my headline allude to what’s contained in my post? If it stood alone, without a byline, could the reader immediately understand what they’d be reading upon clicking?
The length of your headline is crucial. Think about how someone might share your post – on Twitter? Well don’t make it too long that it’s untweetable or unretweetable; remember the 140 character limit. A title with eight words performed the best, according to Outbrain, so try to stick with eight as a max and you should be fine. Unless of course your headline has the longest word in the English language in it.
Creativity is Winning
Using punctuation and interesting characters that draw the eye may prove to increase click through rates and interest in your post. Some are using special characters in meta titles, so why not headlines? Try these on for size.
- Media Type – [PHOTO], [VIDEO], [INFOGRAPHIC] – when of course the post contains those items
- Exclamation Points – !!
- Question Marks – ? ?
- Hashtags – #
- Quotes – ‘ ‘
- Special Characters ?
Make Promises & Deliver
Deliver what is promised in your title. If you say there are 10 tips, make sure there are 10 tips. If you say there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, make sure it’s there! The last thing you want to do is start a blog commenting riot by not delivering what your headline says you will.