And today I want to celebrate it in the best way, with a new article! Specifically, with a topic that I have been keeping in draft for a long time but that I consider key for those of us who enjoy writing: choosing how to write the perfect headline for an article. Go for it.
What is a headline?
The headline is the hook that will make your potential readers decide to click or not when they see it on social media or Google.
A good headline has to suggest, not reveal; he has to generate a desire for more.
A bad headline can make a great article go unnoticed. In the same way that one that generates expectations can turn against you if the content does not meet the expectations created. The latter, unfortunately, is quite common. This is what is known as clickbait.
A bad headline can make a great article go unnoticed.
With the title of a post of any type of blog, we must manage to attract the interest of readers, who are curious to know what is hidden behind it. We could compare it with the “Subject” in email marketing.
Next, I am going to explain a series of tips so that our headline arouses interest and does not get lost in the ocean of social networks.
How should a good headline be?
A headline must be unequivocal, concrete, understandable for all audiences, and away from sensationalism or create false expectations.
Like the first paragraph of an article, the headline should arouse the curiosity of the readers, who with this information will get an idea of what they will find in the article.
It is convenient that it does not exceed 6 words and contains the most important or most relevant part of the article, although other related topics are discussed later in it. And you don’t have to need punctuation marks like commas or semicolons.
How should the perfect headline be?
- Be brief. As I pointed out in the previous section, do not add more than 6 words. What you want to tell you will already develop it in the article.
- A single idea. Usually, and more if we are looking for very complete articles, several ideas are exposed in the same post. For the headline, we must choose a single idea, the most powerful. The clearer it is, the better!
- The perfect headline has to describe information, although the tone can vary, that is, it can be ironic, interrogative, affirmative, persuasive…
- Hook word or expression. Use expressions or terms such as “How…”, “The 10…”, etc. We will discuss this in more detail in the next section.
- superlative adjectives. If you can, include some superlative adjectives: best, perfect, most complete, excellent, incredible…
- keyword. If the article is part of a content marketing strategy to enhance the SEO positioning of the blog or web page, it is convenient that the keyword to be positioned is included in it.
- Does the headline offer the reader a reward or benefit for reading? If so, great! It clearly highlights what that benefit is.
10 catchy words or expressions for a perfect headline.
The words “hook” are those “ingredients” that should always be added to a headline so that a good one becomes a perfect one. These are some:
. We are all curious. And if an article reveals something to us that nobody knew until now, then we will click to read it. But always remember not to create false expectations! An example would be: “Five tricks that nobody had told you about…” or “The 3 best tricks for…”.
- The free always sells, although it is paradoxical. If you offer some free content in the article (a guide, an e-book, a template…) it will surely work.
Absolute / Definitive.
Personally, I find it very pretentious to define an article as such when it really isn’t. But there are many authors who title their publications like this: «The definitive guide..». It may capture a lot of readers’ attention, but it must be exceptional content so as not to disappoint.
Although we may think otherwise, negative headlines are attractive, although they should not be abused either. “The best digital marketing blog that you probably do not know” would be an example.
- Phrases like “The most common mistakes…” are often attention-getting headlines. For example, “The most common mistakes we make on social media.”
The formula of creating an enumerated listing always works. «The 10 best…», «5 books that…». It is important to take into account the number of the listing: 3, 5, 10, 25, 50… “round” numbers. Don’t stay at 23 or 37.
- Both the adjective and the adverb “easily” would be valid. Or in its absence, expressions that denote simplicity. “Beginner’s Guide…” or “…for dummies.” Especially advisable when we address a public with little understanding of the matter.
- Always include active verbs that denote action: get, learn, seek, improve…
- How + infinitive or also known as “How to…”. Headlines that start with “How + infinitive verb” work very well because they offer a promise and the solution is explained in the article. In addition, it is usually a very recurring expression in organic Google searches.
- «…before…». This expression generates the need to do something as soon as possible. «The 5 places you have to visit before the end of the year, «10 books you have to read before turning 30, etc.».
All these formulas can be combined with each other. In other words, the same headline can be an enumerated list and be accompanied by the adverb «easily».
A good headline can also serve as a “subject” in an e-mail marketing campaign.
Think SEO when writing a headline
If your blog is part of an SEO positioning strategy, each article must be planned and written in terms of SEO. In this blog, you will find an article with more information about it that will be very useful.
Before the headline, analyze which keyword has the most search volume of all the ones that you are going to work on in the article. For example, if you are thinking of writing an article on how to get followers on Instagram, first analyze which term or expression is most searched for: gain followers, get followers, or get followers.
Text A/B. Test which headline works best.
As in any digital marketing activity, it is best to measure, analyze and optimize. And in the case of headlines, too. We must never stay with the first headline.
The perfect headline is the one that manages to attract the attention of the largest number of readers, and we will verify this by analyzing its CTR.
The perfect headline is the one that manages to attract the attention of the largest number of readers.
For this, I use the BlogsterAPP content dissemination tool. This tool allows me to automatically spread all my blog entries or those that interest me, on my social networks and assign each of them up to 5 different headlines.
In this way, after a while – 1 month for example – I will be able to know which of the five headlines gets the most clicks. And if you are not the owner of the article, I will make the decision to modify it or not. What is interesting?
For example, for this article I can choose between two options:
- How to write the perfect headline
- “Copywriter: The keys to writing the perfect headline”.
Which will work better? We do not know. Let’s test and make decisions.
You can also do a test through an e-mail marketing campaign. Prepare to send your next newsletter by running an A/B testing campaign, only changing the subject line. The shipment that achieves a better open rate will be the one that we finally stay with.
What do you think? Do you usually give the matter the importance it deserves? I read you!