David Ogilvy, widely considered the father of modern advertising, said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.” Today, search engines only crawl and display the first seventy characters of your title and a small amount of the body of your article. And that’s why your title is the most important element of anything you write or produce for any kind of medium. Writing quality headlines that are unique, specific, and action-oriented is sure to get your audience reading more. Even very good advertising or other copy will be ineffective without an attention-grabbing headline.
We are swimming in a sea of headlines. News headlines, social media posts, emails, and so many other kinds of media clamor for your attention with their headlines and taglines. It’s a daunting task, writing quality headlines that are unique and interesting, but research and a little creative thinking will pay off with increased click-through rates and shares.
With plenty of lists and formulas on the internet for writing a good title, making a unique one is going to take more effort than just filling in the blanks. By doing a quick search for your article topic on a search engine, you can see what other headlines have been tried, and use those ideas to create your own unique spin.
In an endless field of bland titles, making your headline burst with unique personality will draw in the readers looking for something they haven’t seen a hundred times.
Search engines have become remarkably effective at showing readers search results that match their queries. As a writer, consider the exact terms you’d like someone to use when searching for your content and include those terms in your headlines.
When composing your headline, don’t just give people the basic information on a topic dig deeper into a topic and give either a more comprehensive or unique take on your subject. Using numbers is especially effective, since readers are more likely to click on a link with a headline that uses numbers.
A precise headline with numbers will draw the attention of every reader looking for exactly what you are selling.
Add in some Action
Good content includes a call to action, a phrase or theme that makes a reader want to get up and do something about what they just read. Your title’s main goal is to get the reader to read the first sentence. While it may seem obvious what action you’d like from your reader, a clear call to action gets your reader on the same page. Your title can grab their attention with a unique phrase or a specific topic or statistic, but if they only ever read the title, then your title has failed.
Don’t Give Up
Writing quality headlines is difficult work. If you spend just as much time optimizing the title as you do writing the body text, you aren’t wasting your time, you’re making your writing as marketable as possible. It’s a balancing act, and it may only involve a handful of words where every word counts, but don’t give up, because it’s worth it.
Titles are what makes your writing stand out amongst a sea of content. A search engine can bring us thousands of links, but the one that gets clicked is the one that can catch the eye with only a few words in just the right place. We live in a fast-paced society with short attention spans, and nobody takes the time to read something unless they are sure it’s going to matter to them; make your headings unique, make them exact, and make them exciting enough to get your readers to get up and do something and they will. Your writing is valuable only when it’s read, and it gets read when you have an amazing headline. So write a super headline and make your writing valuable.