When creating content for your business’s website, you want to make it pop. Your readers encounter abundant information whenever they’re online, so you need the right strategy to get their attention. How do you keep them engaged and get them to read your article?
As you plan your content, choosing the right headline is vital for attracting readers. If you can build an intriguing headline that stands out and makes readers want to know more, you can grow a bigger audience for your content.
To help you get started, we’ll cover some best practices for writing headlines and take a look at some highly effective headline formats that help drive results. Subscribe to Revenue Weekly for more tips and tricks to market your business.
Why strong headlines matter
Studies show that eight out of 10 people will read only the headline but not the rest of the copy. A headline is your online or printed content’s leading title and first focal point. Because it’s typically at the top of the page in a larger font than the rest of the copy, it’s the first thing that will draw readers’ eyes.
In many cases, your audience will glance at the headline and decide whether they want to keep reading or not. The headline may also be the only section they read completely — they might simply skim the rest of the article.
Because readers are far more likely to see the article title than the body copy, you want to maximize the power of your headline to engage readers and keep them on the page.
10 headline examples to use for your copy
When crafting headlines, you can follow some best practices to make your titles stand out and generate interest.
Here are our top headline examples and best practices for writing engaging headlines:
- Keep your headline at a readable length: “Life Cycle of a Jacket” (REI)
- Share benefits: “10 Amazing Benefits of Running You Might Not Have Known” (Outside Online)
- Be clear about your topic: “20-Minute Meals You Can Whip Up When You Don’t Really Feel Like Cooking” (BuzzFeed)
- Integrate SEO keywords: “The Best Running Shoes of 2022 | Buyer’s Guide” (Fleet Feet)
- Use reader-friendly language: “27 Mortgage Terms + What 40% of Americans Don’t Know” (Rocket Mortgage)
- Follow through with your headline promises: “How to Sleep Better: 15 Science-Backed Tips” (Headspace)
- Ask questions: “What Is Fast Fashion, Anyway” (The Good Trade)
- Offer resources: “The Ultimate Guide to Clean Beauty” (Harper’s Bazaar)
- Use numbered lists: “10 Amazing Places to View Fall Foliage in PA” (VisitPA)
- Inspire emotion: “10 Climate Change Facts That Prove We’re in a Climate Emergency” (Wired U.K.)
Let’s break down the headline examples below.
1. Keep your headline at a readable length
If using your headlines for SEO title tags, you’ll want to aim for 50 to 60 characters.
This will ensure your titles or headlines will display correctly in Google search results, without getting cut off. Keeping your headlines clear and concise boosts readability, and it gives readers a clear picture of what they’ll find on your pages.
Headline example: “Life Cycle of a Jacket” (REI)
2. Share benefits
This type of headline attracts readers by telling them how the article will help them. Highlighting what your audience can gain from your article shows them the value and encourages them to keep reading.
Headline example: “10 Amazing Benefits of Running You Might Not Have Known” (Outside Online)
3. Be clear about your topic
Tell your audience directly why they should read your article. Readers want upfront information on the value of your content, and the headline should tell them the topic you discuss.
Headline example: “20-Minute Meals You Can Whip Up When You Don’t Really Feel Like Cooking” (BuzzFeed)
4. Integrate SEO keywords
To help optimize your content for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, place a primary keyword in your headline. This practice will help your article rank better in search engine results, and it will also help readers easily identify your article’s main point.
Headline example: “The Best Running Shoes of 2022 | Buyer’s Guide” (Fleet Feet)
5. Use reader-friendly language
Make your headlines readable with straightforward word structure and accessible language. Like all your content, you want to tailor your titles to a target audience and express ideas in familiar ways.
If you’re reaching out to a general audience, steer clear of technical jargon or confusing terms they might not understand. However, if your target audience is a specific industry, you might use an industry buzzword that could immediately give you credibility as a source.
Headline example: “27 Mortgage Terms + What 40% of Americans Don’t Know” (Rocket Mortgage)
6. Follow through with your headline promises
Include the information that you promise to readers in the headline. You want to accurately represent your article’s topic and answer any questions you might have raised in the headline. After you’ve finished the body copy, double-check that your headline fits the final content of the article.
Headline example: “How to Sleep Better: 15 Science-Backed Tips” (Headspace)
7. Ask questions
Pique your audience’s curiosity by asking a question they might have. This is a great way to spark interest in your content and encourage readers to click and read.
Headline example: “What Is Fast Fashion, Anyway” (The Good Trade)
8. Offer resources
When people are searching for comprehensive, accurate information, you can offer resources to help them learn more about the subject. Use terms like “guide” or “how to” in your headlines to tell readers your article will explain the topic and help them apply it.
Headline example: “The Ultimate Guide to Clean Beauty” (Harper’s Bazaar)
9. Use numbered lists
Numbers make your content more readable and engaging, so including one in your headline tells readers they’re looking at a skimmable, easy-to-follow article with numbered points.
Headline example: “10 Amazing Places to View Fall Foliage in PA” (VisitPA)
10. Inspire emotion
Evoking emotion from your readers — curiosity, surprise, or excitement — is an excellent way to make them want to continue reading. Make them ask questions and connect with your article to keep them on the page.
Headline example: “10 Climate Change Facts That Prove We’re in a Climate Emergency” (Wired U.K.)
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