Fact: 80 percent of people read the headline, but only 20 percent will actually take the time to read the entire article.
If part of your digital communications is writing or having articles written for you, what does this mean? It tells you how important it is to invest in creating headlines that capture the interest of your target audience. When you fail to engage the reader with your title, you lose the opportunity to deliver your message.
But here’s the thing: Because of the promise and value that a headline carries, that headline may be the smallest part of your content, but it can be the trickiest to produce. Some seasoned copywriters admit that they use half of their time for writing the material and the other half on coming up with the most compelling headline.
So how do you create the right headline? No matter how many tips and tools you see around, there’s no single right or wrong way. Like any other content you write, your approach is dictated by your audience and your overall marketing strategy.
Here are a few proven and tested guidelines to live by, because they are universally effective:
- Catch their eye with figures. Use numbers in your title to get their attention. Numbers are helpful for readers as it forces you to explain your content in a way that’s simple and easy to understand.Samples: 5 Easy Ways to Write Better Headlines, Top 3 Tricks for Creating Great Titles
- Use power words. Some words have an emotional pull for most readers. Use these words wisely in your title to connect with the reader: Free, Fun, Easy, Essential, Hate, Love and Now.Samples: Fun and Easy Headline Writing Methods, Free Tools to Create Catchy Titles
- Use the pull of “now.” Create a sense of urgency when structuring your headlines to pull your readers into action (in this case, read your content).Samples: Headline Tricks You Should Use Now, Title Tips to Apply to Your Posts Today
- Optimise your headlines. Don’t be afraid of Small business and solo marketing teams can benefit from learning how to use keywords in an organic, authentic manner as part of an effective marketing strategy.Samples: (Keyword: digital marketing) The Digital Marketing Leader’s Guide to Writing Effective Headlines, Headline Formulas that Digital Marketing Winners Use
- Test, test, test. There are numerous headline-writing tips and tricks you can find if you do your research. Some have been affirmed and championed by the most successful digital marketers. But the only way to know if it works is to put it out there. Publish your headlines and see how they stand in the real world, and what kind of response they get from the audience you write them for.