How You Can Write Headlines that People Actually Want to Read

Your blog headlines and subheadings are the first thing readers will see, whether they’ve found your article in an online search, on social media, or if they have just clicked your link by chance. Understand what it takes to write the most irresistible headlines making viewers want to read more.

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Do You Know How Long Your Headline Should Be?

When posting an article or blog post, you probably want to know how many words are best for Google searches. When sharing across social media platforms, you’re going to want to adapt your headlines for the best visibility on that particular platform. The ideal email marketing headline length is argued amongst professionals, and may vary based on different topics. Here is an overview of the optimal length of a headline on the most popular visibility platforms, sourced from CoSchedule.

  1. SERPs
    • Google – Up to 70 Characters
    • Yahoo – No Limits
    • Bing – Up to 71 Characters
  2. Facebook – 40 Characters
  3. LinkedIn – 80-120 Characters
  4. Twitter – 70-100 Characters
  5. Google+ – 60 Characters
  6. Email – 50 Characters (Debatable, so test for yourself)

If you can’t or don’t want to create your headline within these limits, which is ultimately your choice, Julie Neidlinger recommends “frontloading“. With this method, you stuff your most important words into the beginning of your headline to make sure you send the right message in case a platform cuts off the last few words.

This is Why You Should be Using Odd Numbers

Grouping information into segments with three or five parts can help people more effectively absorb information. That’s only a part of why it’s a good idea to use odd numbers in your headlines. It is believed, in marketing communication, that odd numbers are viewed as more authentic. This sends the message that the larger unit of information has been sourced from several smaller sources, and is perceived to be trustworthy. Additionally, breaking larger chunks of information into odd-numbered batches helps our brains break down data, making it more digestible.

Here’s a formula for utilizing this information, sourced from Steve Davis, Baker Marketing:

(odd number) (adjective) (mistakes/tips/insights/shortcuts) for (achieving/avoiding) (desired outcome/disaster)

Example

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How to Avoid Readers’ Internal Spam-Alert

Web users know that spam and phishing scams lurk around every corner. This is why Ad-Blockers and Firewall software are so common. There are words that you can use in your headlines that will alert people that violation of privacy or solicitation of hard-earned money is around the corner. Know what they are so you can avoid them at all costs.

9 Top Spam Trigger Words:

  1. $$$
  2. 100% free
  3. Act Now
  4. Ad
  5. Affordable
  6. Amazing stuff
  7. Apply now
  8. Auto email removal
  9. Billion

Amanda MacArthur compiled an all-inclusive list of hundreds of spam-filter trigger words. Here she also said that writer should avoid using ALL CAPS, making spelling mistakes, pleading to “open” or “click here,” giving false information, divulging too much information, and using punctuation in headline construction. Make a conscious attempt to avoid sounding spammy or talking about yourself or your product.

If You Want Your Headlines to Go Viral, Do This:

If you’re looking for a list of words to use in your headlines, aside from your targeted search terms, you might be surprised that articles, prepositions, and pronouns seem to play as big a role in making posts viral as the nouns, verbs and adjectives. Words like the, a, and this seem to make an impact in readers’ minds.

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“This,” for example, seems to solidify the subject at hand: “This guy…” or “This Woman…” are now something that are urgent, and attainable where headlines are concerned.

You’re going to want to find the right combination of common and uncommon words to ensure that your headlines make sense. Try this Headline Analyzer to get a better understanding of how this concept works. Once you have a complete understanding, the art of crafting headlines will become second nature.

When All Else Fails, Should You Cheat?

Some people have a rough time coming up with headlines for their subjects, and that’s perfectly alright. For those, there are headline generators. These take your keywords and create, sometimes outrageous, headlines for you. So, if you find yourself stuck check out Portent’s Content Idea Generator or another similar headline tool to give you ideas. Yes, it’s cheating, kind of, but who will know the difference?

portent idea generator tools

In Conclusion

By knowing what it takes to write clickable headlines, you will generate more views to your posts. By using your knowledge to focus on subheadings to break up your content, you can entice viewers to keep reading. In the end, all it takes is a little know-how to get more views and create inviting content through headline crafting. Take what you’ve learned here and start applying it to your posts today.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.

Author: Eva Creerson

Eva Creerson, a content marketing manager at Master Papers writing company, loves creating engaging and compelling content.

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