Headlines That Make People Click
Have you created some killer content that you know deserves to go viral? If you have, you may be aware that, unfortunately, you have only won half of the battle. The problem with great content is that no one is going to consume it unless you have an eye-catching headline.
Good article titles can make a huge difference when it comes to your content. Given that there are some 500 million blogs on the internet, without using the very best article titles, the reality is that you’re not going to be seeing many clicks. As advertising legend, David Ogilvy points out, you’re headline is worth 80% given how many will read this compared to what lies behind it.
If you want to know what goes into creating attention-grabbing headlines, and you want to see some headline examples, then read on.
Top titles or cracking content – which comes first?
You already know what you need to do in terms of SEO to get your content ranking, but is that what you need to concentrate on first? Is it the content, or the hunt for the best article titles that matter most? The truth is that, despite how common this question is, there isn’t really an answer here. What matters most is that you are focused on what you are trying to achieve and what you produce will be useful to your readers.
Assuming that you have an idea for your article, you can start to draft this. At the same time, you can start to brainstorm attention-grabbing headlines and see how they fit with what you are producing. It may be that nothing really jumps out at you at this point. That is more than okay as you can still go back and play around with your headline before you’re done.
Learn from eye-catching headlines of old
We have already alluded to David Ogilvy. For those who know nothing about this man, he is widely regarded as being the grandfather of advertising. He has often spoken of his success and he has always put this down to putting the work in and getting down into the detail of consumer habits. He taught us that a headline is read by five times more people than those who read the content that follows. This just goes to prove that you need more than just good article titles – you need great ones.
Ogilvy operated back in the 1960s. This was a time when headlines were seen less than they are now. Today, consumers see headlines coming at them from left, right, and centre. If you want yours to be noticed, and clicked on, you need it to stand out.
Why one eye-catching headline isn’t enough
If you think that you have nailed your content, and you’ve had a great working title, now is the time to settle down and start perfecting your headline. Attention-grabbing headlines won’t just come out of nowhere: they require work and dedication. It is unlikely that the first headline that you come up with will be the best one possible.
To really get your creative juices flowing, it is great to use a brainstorming exercise. Here you can quickly run off 20 or so titles. It could then be the case that you have so many good article titles that you don’t know which one to use. If this is the case then you can easily run some split testing and see which bring you the best results.
If you think about where your content may appear, and if you are planning on repurposing any of it, you can see why having more than one headline is important. What comes across amazingly well as part of a Google paid ad, may not translate quite so well when it is used on social media.
You may have to experiment a little more looking at which types of headlines appear more clickable to social media users rather than those who are browsing the web. Attention-grabbing headlines will work regardless of the platform. They just need some fine-tuning at times.
Aren’t we just talking about clickbait?
In a sense, attention-grabbing headlines are a little like clickbait. Clickbait has a bad name, and probably for good reason. It is often viewed as spammy and, more often than not, it is misleading. You will often see these types of headlines being over the top and using sensationalism. The thing is, these types of headlines work!
While you don’t want to be misleading you’re readers, you can still learn a lot from those who use clickbait. They provide some great attention-grabbing headline examples that you can use to structure your own. Clickbait headlines do not have to be about spam. If you master the art of using them appropriately then you will have some of the best article titles around.
Clickable headline examples
It is all well and good reading about what the best article titles are all about, but the only way to really understand this is by looking at some headline examples. Rather than look at specific headlines that have been used by other companies, we’re going to look at generic ways that you can re-craft your headlines and increase your number of clicks:
The ‘X reasons why’ headline
As headline examples go, you have no doubt seen the type before. Research has shown that this is one of the best types of headline to use on social media platforms as it drives both clicks and engagement too. Some examples could be:
- 10 reasons why the England football team won’t win the World Cup
- 5 reasons why you need to invest in crypto now
- The top 3 reasons why you need to learn about NFTs
These are a form of clickbait in that they create a curiosity. People know what the subject is going to focus on, but they are left wondering what these reasons could be. The only way to find out is to click.
‘X things you’ headline examples
This is one of the best attention-grabbing headline examples as it provides a numbered list for readers to work through, but it is also personal to each and every one of them. By using the word ‘you’, the result is that people believe that they have a chance to learn something about themselves and so they are more likely to click.
Some headline examples that you may have seen include:
- 10 things you need to know before you go self-employed
- 6 reasons why you need to drink more water
If you try and incorporate this method you will find that you start producing some really good article titles. The type that drives traffic to your content.
Learning how to piggyback
There are content producers who use newsjacking to create a buzz around issues that are current and going viral. This is piggybacking of something that is already out there to drive more traffic to your site. There are other ways of piggybacking that can lead to some of the best article titles. This sees you referencing a well-known brand as part of your headline so that you can demonstrate your authority.
Headline examples that use piggybacking could look like:
- The Dragons share their top investing strategies
- Harry Kane reveals how he stays match fit
How to use ‘This is the….’
Headline examples that used ‘This is the…’ appeared in a study carried out by BuzzSumo. It is a headline that is great at driving social media engagement and appears to be more effective on these platforms rather than in organic Google search results/paid ads.
You may have seen headlines examples similar to:
- This is the only method you will only need to make money from home
- This is the surprising method used to make your shower sparkle like new
The ‘This is the…’ makes it sound as though what sits behind the headline is the only content the reader will ever need. This is why this method is great at generating clicks.
‘This is how…’ works great as an eye-catching headline
By using ‘This is how…’ you are giving readers an insight into what your content may be about. However, there isn’t quite enough information for them to know exactly what is in store behind the headline. The ‘This’ element of the headline is almost a type of secret and if the reader wants to be let in on this then he/she needs to click.
You may have seen attention-grabbing headline examples similar to:
- This is how parents can get their children to eat almost anything
- This is how top sportspeople stay in the very best shape
- This is how you can explode your marketing agency this year
‘The last …. you’ll ever need’ attention-grabbing headlines
This is one of the best article titles that you can use when you are selling a product that consumers need to replace on a regular basis. The idea that this is the last one that they’ll need to buy can bring relief as well as almost a sense of excitement. It could be that your reader had spent years trying to find the perfect ‘x’ and now your headline tells them that they have just found it. This will certainly drive clicks.
Some examples that you may have seen include:
- The last phone charger you’ll ever need
- The last guide to Facebook marketing you’ll ever need
‘You can now…’
As eye-catching headlines go, incorporating the phrase ‘You can now…’ will bring some real positive benefits. Why does this work as an attention-grabbing headline? Well, it suggests to the reader that when they have clicked and seen your content, they will suddenly be able to do something that they were unable to do before.
You may have seen headlines similar to:
- You can grow your client base by x
- You can now grow your wealth with this….
- You can now own your home without the need to….
The way that the headlines are worded suggest that you are sharing information that is available for the very first time. This creates a desire in people to click so that they can be in the know.
‘Why you should…’
This headline example needs to be used with caution. You need to make sure that what follows is really worthwhile otherwise you risk being seen as unnecessarily bossy. With this type of headline, you need to be seen as an authority on your subject so that people know that the click will lead them to something worthwhile. You could see headlines that look like:
- Why you should stop doing ….. now
- Why you should stop wasting your money on……
- Why you need to buy …..now
Using the word ‘see’ in your headlines
There are plenty of people who will tell you that seeing is believing. It is not always enough to tell them about something. Instead, they need to see it for themselves to prove that it is real. When you use the word ‘see’ you are confirming that what you are offering is real and that, by clicking, readers will get the proof that they need. Examples could include:
- See what we achieved with this simple change to our marketing plan
- See how these strategies blew up our ROI
Before you publish
You may think that you have the best article title ready to go, but before you hit publish just take a second to pause for thought. Have you created attention-grabbing headlines? Have you used subheadings that, after someone has clicked, entice someone to keep reading? Your main headline is just part of the overall appeal that you need to create.
Those who consume content on the internet have a surprisingly low attention span. It is your job to create an eye-catching headline that compels them to read. You then need to ensure that the content doesn’t disappoint and you also need to make sure that subheadings recapture a reader’s attention if they start to drift. Every word read is a battle won – you just need to keep winning.