Headlines do more than just add titles or extra words to your articles. It’s your first (and sometimes only) opportunity to grab your reader’s attention and make him want to read the rest of your article or infographic. Headlines used to be long and bold, especially in newspaper articles. They were meant to be controversial and thought-provoking because magazines and newspapers needed to sell more papers every day.
Nowadays, headlines are still important because people’s attention spans have become shorter. Additionally, there are thousands of articles and other types of content which are published online every single day. In order to people read and for your websites to convert into clicks and sales, the headlines need to be truly interesting and attention-grabbing. Bear in mind though, that this is not an excuse to make up stories and sensationalize your headline for the sake of clicks. Anything you publish or add to your article must have value and a clear purpose. In this case, the headlines must give an idea of what the content is about. It must be creative, catchy, but truthful.
There are countless instances when the content is not related to the headline. Search engines like Google keep track of these and penalize websites with content that don’t comply with best practices and rules.
To make content more readable, headlines must be short and straight to the point. The aim of headlines should be to help and not just tell. This is why numbers are often used in modern headlines. For example, 10 ways to make headlines more appealing is more attractive to the readers than a long-winded title that does not offer any idea on what the rest of the article is supposed to be about.
Adding graphics such as photos and videos below the headline also helps since it reinforces the theme of the subject. How to articles and headlines are also very helpful since they answer a lot of questions and problems that readers might have. People go online to search for answers and often need instruction from something as simple as how to properly boil an egg to how to change a tire and many other mundane things. Some people take these for granted, but for individuals who are stuck in a sticky situation, these are the kinds of content that can help them solve their problems.
An article with the headline How to Cook Rice in 5 Easy Steps will have more clicks and conversions than an article that reads: Cooking Rice Made Simple and Easy, simply because people want to know how to do things the fastest and most efficient way possible. Some marketing companies have done split tests on headlines and have seen that the how to’s and numbered lists always perform better.
To find out more ways on how to write headlines that convert better, here is an informative graphic showing 7 effective tips and tricks. These have been tested and proven, so don’t hesitate to try these on your own sites. Track and measure them to see the difference better headlines make!