Write Compelling Headlines

Write Compelling Headlines With These 5 Tips

If you want to standout in the search engines, you will need headlines that catch people’s eye. Yes, headlines. That’s one way you can think about the titles to your blog posts. When you read a newspaper, do you scan the headlines to see what grabs your attention? It’s the same with search engine results. We scan the list to see what catches our eye. So, with that in mind, you can see the importance of knowing how to write compelling headlines.

The headline, your article’s title, is probably the most important sentence in each and every article. The headline has the job of getting people to click on the link to open the article. If no one clicks on that title link, no one reads the article.

How do you write titles that make people want to read your article? Well, there are a few important things you’ll need to think about.

Start with a Great Topic

Before you can write a great title, you need a great topic. The title’s job is simply to communicate the topic as interestingly as possible. Just like a newspaper headline, it needs to draw the reader’s attention. In order for the title to do this effectively, the topic needs to be genuinely interesting to the potential reader. Luckily, your headlines can be more fun, or creative, than newspaper headlines.

It’s important that you understand what your reader wants. If you’ve researched your niche market, you should have some idea of what people are looking for in your chosen subject. What do they want to learn about? What interests them the most? Answer questions like those and choose your topics accordingly.

A great headline is the crucial first step to attracting a reader, but it can’t do the work all by itself. Once they follow the link to your article, the content needs to live up the promise. Having a relevant topic and a well-written article makes writing an eye catcher of a title that much easier.

Use Power Words

Use words that ignite the senses. Choose words that stir emotions and words that generate visuals in the mind of your reader. These are power words, that go beyond mere descriptions.

A well-placed, carefully chosen power word can set the whole tone of your title.

Let’s look at an example: “Tips for Making a Speech”

Instead, try: “High Impact Tips for Making a Dynamic Speech”

In this example, “High Impact” and “Dynamic” are the power words. They change the whole perception of the article.

Include Numbers & Specifics

Using numbers and other specifics tend to do well in article headlines. They often catch the reader’s eye and the search engines typically like them, as well. When I say “specifics”, I mean things like a specific location, number of items in a list, names of people, or dates.

Building on our previous example, it might look like this:

Instead of: “High Impact Tips for Making a Dynamic Speech”

Try: “15 High Impact Tips for Making a Dynamic Speech”

Or you could try: “A Debate Champion’s Tips for Making a Dynamic Speech”

See the difference? The first title uses powers words, but other two sentences add specific details. Those specifics add more weight to the titles. They seem more real and they add a boost to the power words.

Draw Inspiration from Other Writers

Even with a few tricks up your sleeve, you may still find yourself getting stuck from time to time. I know I do. If you find yourself having trouble with a winning title, just Google your main keyword.

Once you punch your keyword into Google, you are going to see a list of headlines that other writers used for the same topic. Not just any writers, mind you. These are the writers who were able to rank on the first page of Google’s search results.

What kinds of titles did these writers use? What keywords do they seem to be targeting? You see, there are other keywords that are relevant to your topic. Some good ones are likely to show up in the titles of these other writers. What kind of spin are they putting on the topic?

Do you see any of the techniques you just read about? Are they power words in their titles? Do the top-ranking headlines use specifics? On a side note, if these titles don’t include elements such as power words and specifics, this could indicate a good opportunity for ranking your own article on the first page. All the more reason to write an eye catcher for a title, right?

Hopefully, it goes without saying, but don’t copy someone else’s title. For starters, it’s kind of unethical. It’s not quite the same as plagiarizing someone’s content, but it’s not a good practice. Be the kind of person you would want to do business with.

Aside from being a little shady, copying someone else’s title will hurt your search engine rankings. Search engines do not like duplicate content and that includes titles. All that said, there’s nothing at all wrong with using other people’s titles as inspiration.

Variety is the Spice of Life

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Change your tactics around to create some variety in your content. Power words are a good tool, but you don’t need them in every single headline. Not every title needs to include a number, either. Switch it up.

Once you get a reader to click through to your website, you want them to enjoy the experience and to come back. If everything looks similar, that can be a turn off. It can make you look predictable and unoriginal. A little variety goes a long way in spicing up your content.

Crafting effective titles is a proven way to increase your click-through rates. Focus on mastering this task and you should see a measurable increase in traffic to your website.

So, to recap:

  • Start with a great topic.
  • Include one, or two, power words.
  • Use specifics, if it makes sense for your article.
  • If you get stuck, find some inspiration.
  • Remember to always vary things up.

Do you have any do’s or don’ts to add to the list? Drop us a comment below.

Now that you’re on your way to writing great titles, check out some tips for improving your articles:

Tips for Writing Blog Posts

14 thoughts on “Write Compelling Headlines With These 5 Tips”

  1. This post is such an eye-opener and a game-changer. The link you made between a newspaper headline and a blog title is so true yet a lot of us forget about that and write about what we are passionate about. You gave some very important tips too like searching for the keyword you’re aiming to write about in google so see the power words others have used.

    I will definitely be using your tips more now and hopefully I will see better results.

    Reply
    • Thanks for dropping by and reading my article. I’m glad it was useful for you. Of course, it’s good to write about something you are passionate about. If you don’t, there’s always a risk that your content will be less compelling and there is an increased chance that you will lose your motivation altogether. Still, it’s important to execute your strategies in a way that is beneficial to your business. You can have the best content in the world, but if no one ever reads it, it becomes a bit self-defeating.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for sharing this very interesting article as i know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me.During this period of elf isolation a lot people would be using the internet and therefore we content providers would need to up our game and make the best out of this period and one important skill we need is, A very compelling headline or title.

    Reply
    • Juliet, you are so right about the current opportunity for content providers. Not to take anything away from the tragic circumstances of those affected by the pandemic, both health-wise and economically, but it is also driving a high volume of online activity. Speaking for myself, I have ordered more items and spent more money online in the past week than I normally ever do in a single week. Things I would normally buy at the store, I am now ordering online. Aside from that, though, I have made more than one impulse purchase, as well. If it has changed my behavior as a consumer, it also highlights that I should be changing my behavior as an online business operator to meet people’s changing needs.

      Reply
  3. thank you for such a great article on been able to write compelling headlines. i know that this article will be of great help to so many people just as it has been of great help to me. when drawing inspirations from other writers, what do we search for? do we just look for most sorted articles or books?

    Reply
    • Benny, thanks for the feedback. I’m glad the article was helpful to you. As far as what to look for when drawing inspiration from other writers, as I said in the article, the idea isn’t so much to copy what they do. Instead, you just want to get a feel for what is already working for others and let that guide you. For example, I just searched “how to write good headlines” on Google. The top results have titles like this: “5 Easy Tricks to Write Headlines”, “55 Easy Ways to Write Headlines That Will Reach Your Readers”, “The Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Powerful Headlines”. As you can see, each title is unique, but they all utilize one, or more, of the techniques I discussed in my article. 

      Reply
  4. The first i want to do is try to share this great article with some of my friends. The website is really nice. and i have learnt something tangible from this well detailed article on tips that will ensure writing of compelling headlines. with great headlines, we can get more traffic to our website and enjoy making more money online.

    Reply
    • As I say, if it’s cost money, instead of makes money, that’s a hobby – not a business. I’m glad you found this article useful and wish you success with your own content. My hope is to always provide actionable information, not only broad concepts.

      Reply
  5. First of all, thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful and informative article.

    Wow This is a great article. I have a great interest in how to write compelling headlines. After reading this article I got to know a lot. Many thanks to the author of the article for his article I have benefited greatly by reading this. I will definitely share with you the experience of how much I benefited reading your article

    Once again, Thanks again for sharing this informative post. I will share the post with others. 😊

    Reply
  6. Hi Randy. Interesting post. I think many are concentrating on getting to the top of Google (who would blame them?) but what is the point if nobody is going to click on their post. So you are totally right, a compelling headline is needed to attract the reader into clicking the post and engaging them from the very start. In terms of great topics, do you have any ideas on how to find these? What I might think is a great topic may not be of interest to the public at large. 

    Reply
    • The more familiar you become with your niche, the more you will understand the interests and concerns of your potential audience. That will, naturally, lead to topic ideas. Keyword research tools are also a valuable resource for choosing topics. Part of the keyword search is determining what keywords are actually being entered online, which in turn means it is a topic people are interested in. Google Trends can also be handy. Just last night, I came up with two article topics based on what was trending at that moment. 

      Reply
  7. Hi Randy,

    I like your tips on how to write compelling headlines.  It will help a lot of people needing your tips.  Hope they read your blog. I, for one.   I will make sure to keep them in mind as I write new blogs. I started using the strategy not too long ago.  I seemed to be in alignment as far as what you need to do to catch readers’ attention so they click on your page and get engaged.  I am in the process of re-visiting my old blogs and get them updated.  I am kind of slow because of other things I always have to do . . .  but will get done.  Many of the newbies will be helped by your tips and get some traffic.  Thank you for sharing your information.  

    Evelyn   

    Reply
    • Evelyn, thanks for the positive feedback. I’m glad the article resonated with you. And you are right, there are always so many things that need to be done. There is more to life than business.

      Reply

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