80% of readers will decide if they want to read your article based on the headlines. Having a catchy first impression can make a great article stand out from the crowd and get clicked. There are a few types of headlines that have done well consistently and are reliable no matter who your audience is. Knowing what they are and how to utilize them can greatly improve your content.
1- The Most Whatever Ever:
People respond to over-the-top headlines and claiming to have the best or the brightest way to achieve some goal is one way to tap into that. Be specific to your niche for best results, claiming to have the best solution for a broad category is recipe for disappointed readers.
“The Most Popular Headlines Ever”
“The Most Delicious Desserts Ever”
“The Most Effective Fat Burning Workouts Ever”
2- The Re-Invented List Post:
It’s just like a regular list post but with more urgency. Create a list that people need to read before moving forward with their lives. List posts work because people want easily digestible articles that require little to know thinking. Add in a measure of timeliness and you’ve got a great headline.
“11 Things You Must Do Before Starting a Twitter Account”
“7 Steps You Must Take Before You Can Be a Successful Blogger”
3- How to (something awesome) and (something else awesome):
“How-To” posts are found everywhere on every subject and are effective because they answer a question that is pertinent to everyday life (Think “How to Install a Television Set”) Now double the benefits and you’ve got a post that promises a lot to the reader. In a world where internet browsers have many options for how to spend time, offering more reward for clicking on your article is a must.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People”
“How to Start a Blog and Drive Traffic to It”
4- Give Me (Some Amount of) Seconds and I’ll Give You (Something Awesome):
Effective because it puts a time limit on value, the ‘timed’ post convinces readers that they have to put in only a minimal effort to receive reward from your post. While most articles only take a few minutes to read, putting a time on yours assures readers their time is well spent on your content. This is one of Copyblogger’s favorite techniques for increasing article clicks; by setting a timer on the delivery of valuable content, they have established themselves as a site where real results are just minutes away.
“Give Me 30 Seconds to Restore Your Faith in Humanity”
“Give Me 45 Seconds to Explain How You Can Double Your Blog Traffic”
5- The “Why” Post:
Explaining why things are the way they are (or aren’t) is a powerful method for engaging readers. If there’s a problem or if things are going well, people want to know why. Being the authoritative voice that understands situations and explains them to readers is a strong method for getting click-through.
“Why Your Competitors Outrank You”
“Why there is War in Syria”
6- The Curiosity Post:
Leaving an open-ended, important question unanswered in a headline is a perfect seaway into a full article. “You’ll Never Guess Which Company Just Got Acquired by Google.” Knowing your audience here is crucial; if you ask a question your readers don’t care about, this title will not work. The skyrocketing site Upworthy uses this technique to create a sense of curiosity.
“You’ll never guess Who Taylor Swift is Dating Now”
“You’ll never guess How This Site Got Ranked #1 in Google”
Headlines determine clicks, and clicks determine the value of your site. Readers have limited time and respond in different ways to varying types of headlines. Use headlines that are proven to work for stronger engagement. Do you have headline templates that work for you? Please share in the comments.