How much do you know about writing good, effective headlines that accurately convey what your content is offering while being SEO friendly and grabbing a reader’s attention? The odds are, you probably haven’t put a lot of thought into it. Most people don’t. The general sentiment among a number of webmasters is that the title is less important than the first paragraph, but ask yourself this question – if the title doesn’t catch your eye in the SERP listings, are you going to bother clicking through to look at the first paragraph at all?
Writing solid headlines is not a dead art. Writing good headlines isn’t just for newspapers. Writing effective headlines is extremely important to your online content. You have to have a good headline for your articles in order to grab readers – just as you would offline. With the need for SEO, your title may need to be keyword optimized, so you may not have the freedom to be too creative. That doesn’t mean you have to be dry, however.
Even if you can’t be as creative with your headlines as you would like to be, you do have some options to still work that creative spark of genius into your content. Your subtitle can be used to draw attention and be about as creative as you want to get. This post, for example, is about how to write a good headline. I could have used a subtitle to jazz it up. But what should I have used? What kind of examples can you think of that would be more creative and still stay true to the content?
There are a few things we know about how people react to certain stimuli that we can use when creating headlines and subtitles. One of the most obvious is that people like to be shocked and stunned. They also like to read about things that are sexy, exciting or new. Knowing this is all good, but knowing how to effectively implement this information is the real key. Good headline writers know these things. They also know that humor is appreciated, as are references to common culture.
Lets see what kind of subtitles could have been selected for this post based on what we have discussed above:
New Research Shows Why People Click On Links (Consider adding in some studies about this to keep things relevant).
Sexy Headlines Get More Readers (sex sells!)
Exciting Headlines Keep Readers Coming Back (oooh, excitement)
Headlines – Dumb And Dumber (everyone knows that movie)
How Headlines Affect Your Bottom Line (haha!)
Make your Marquee Sparkle and Shine (headliner – get it?)
News at Eleven Words (eleven is about all you can get away with)
Do you see where this is going? You have a lot of options to work with that don’t require you giving up all creativity. You are probably writing about something more intriguing than how to write a headline, so put on your thinking cap and be creative. The key is having some fun, but still being wholly accurate.
Get more people to choose to read your article that the next one, and see your links and conversions rise as well. These are proved techniques that have worked over and over again for those who are willing to put in some time and do something unique. You can do the same and make your content stand out as well. All you need to do is take the first step toward it and practice, practice, practice.