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How to Write Powerful Headlines That Attract Readers

If you want to make your blog successful you need readers. A lot of readers. Great content is just one piece of the puzzle. The other being strong, catchy, unique headlines.

The majority of the time your blog will be discovered using search engines like Google with a whooping global marketshare of 79.74% on desktop and 96.02% on mobile. There are millions of other bloggers competing in the same niche.

Your only viable option is to stand out from the crowd. Stand out where it counts the most – search results. To accomplish that your number one priority should be learning to write powerful headlines which pull readers in like a magnet.

So what makes a great headline?

1. Interesting adjectives

Interesting adjectives make your headline stand out. They can turn a boring headline into an exciting one. Hence, this small change increases the chance of a visitor landing on your page. Tell me, which headline is the best?

a) How to change oil in your car.

b) How to change oil in your car without the mess.

c) Effortless way to change oil in your car without the mess.

The first variant is the most boring one, which does only one thing – it targets car owners. The second variant is better, because it targets car owners and promises they won’t make a mess. The third variant is the best, because it targets car owners, promises they won’t get dirty, and the process will be easy to do.

Here’s a list of exciting adjectives you can use right away, depending on the type of content you’re producing.

  • absolute
  • beautiful
  • best
  • brilliant
  • effortless
  • epic
  • essential
  • excellent
  • fails
  • fantastic
  • free
  • fun
  • gorgeous
  • great
  • horrific
  • horrifying
  • important
  • incredible
  • inspire
  • kickass
  • killer
  • lousy
  • mindblowing
  • most
  • painstaking
  • persuasive
  • simple
  • strange
  • success
  • ultimate
  • useful
  • valuable

2. Addressing target audience

A strong headline will always address people the article is intended for. When you start brainstorming a headline think about who you are talking to. Is it for single mothers? Is it for men who are into technology? Is it for people who have money worries?

Make sure you are as specific as possible, because these people are your bread and butter. Talking to your exact audience will create the most engagement, whether it’s sharing the article on social media, or making a purchase.

3. Promise of a benefit

What does my reader get out of reading this article? A very simple question you should ask yourself every time you start writing. Someone spends their personal time to do read your content. Make it worth their while.

A strong headline will always promise a benefit to its’ target audience. I gave you a promise earlier that by reading this article you will learn how to write incredible headlines that will bring more visitors to your newly established blog.

Hopefully, I’m delivering on this promise. Otherwise, you can leave a hateful comment below. 🙂

4. Numbers

If you haven’t noticed yet people go crazy over numbers. In fact, a study by Conductor have found that 36% of people prefer headlines starting with a number. Followed by “reader addressing” headlines. This is the main reason why the majority of online content starts with a number. People simply love lists.

Overall headline preferences, Conductor

What’s even more interesting is the fact that “number’ headline resonate more amongst women. This is the only statistically significant difference across gender groups. The next time you’re writing a headline which targets women, start with a number.

Headline preferences by gender, Conductor

Exact numbers work well in headlines because people prefer certainty. By clicking on a “number” headline they know exactly what they’re getting into. A study on psychology of waiting in lines revealed that people become anxious when they are uncertain of how long they have to wait.

I highly recommend you read the full article on Moz.

5. Uniqueness

A powerful headline is unique. Just imagine if all search results looked identical. How would a visitor know which article, video, or a product solves his problem? If all of them offer a solution, which one is better?

That’s why you need to make your headline unique before hitting that “Publish” button.

There’s an easy way to do that using advanced search queries in Google. Go to Google and copy/paste your headline in quotation marks. Quotation marks mean you’re searching for this specific phrase and its’ close variations.

This is called phrase match. Mostly, it’s used to specify what type of keywords to target in Adwords and other pay-per-click solutions. But you can also use phrase match to see how many websites target a specific keyword in their title.

Unique headline example

6. Length

Great headlines are short. Most search engines show only 60 characters of the title tag. Although, in some cases Google will show more than that. Generally, you should aim for 60-70 characters. Limitation in characters breeds creativity in word usage.

Most SEO plugins for WordPress have a helpful snippet preview of how your article will appear in search results. Keep it mind that this rule is not mandatory. You can have longer headlines, it’s just some words will not be visible in search results.

If you want to grab peoples’ attention, do it before you run out of space in the title tag.

AIOS preview snippet

 

Conclusion

Learning to write powerful headlines should be your number one priority if you want your blog to succeed. Your headlines don’t have to be perfect.

Copywriting is an art itself and you can’t expect to be better than people who get paid thousands of dollars to come up with brilliant headlines. Keep working at it and you’ll eventually become better than 80% of today’s bloggers.

Do you have any other tips on how to write good headlines? Leave them in the comments below!

David Pixel

Entrepreneur, blogger, amateur designer and founder of PixelProfits. Loves mountain biking, enjoys white wine and music. Hates Estonian weather.

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