You’ve most likely heard this lots of times: “having a great headline is key to grabbing attention. ”
Studies show that 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will go on to read the content. Having a great headline or in place, will increase the number of people that go on to read your full content.
Crafting great headlines that convert is an art and this art has survived the internet revolution because it works. It will always work, because there is science to it.
There are formulas to writing copy. These headline formulas tap into psychological triggers that are hard wired into the human mind. Since we all respond to triggers, learning how to write better headlines is a good investment of your time
Understanding why each headline works will give you the ability to select the right headline for your content. It will also give you the ability to start mixing and matching the elements in the formulas below.
5 Quick tips for writing great headlines
Before I share the headline formulas, here are a few things to keep in mind on what makes a magnetic headline and how to craft one.
1. Keep it short & Sweet
Try to keep your headline 65 characters or less. Anything more than 65 characters means you run the risk of not having it show in full in the search results.
The perfect length of a headline tends to be 6 words. People scan headlines and tend to take in only the FIRST and LAST 3 WORDS.
Shorter headline lengths also mean there is less to read. There’s a higher chance of retaining your reader’s attention with less words to read.
2. YOU and YOUR
Headlines that reference the audience (i.e: using “you” and “your”) tend to grab attention. They are effective because they speak to the reader in a direct fashion – like a personal conversation.
3. Use Catchy Adjectives
“Fun, Essential, Effortless, Ultimate, Absolute….”
People are more likely to take action the more catchy and thought-provoking your adjectives are.
4. Use Negative Wording
Negative words likes : “STOP, DON’T, NEVER, WITHOUT” tap into you reader’s insecurities. They also lead to more interaction with your content because of these insecurities
5. Numbers Work
Numbers draw people’s attention.
People want to increase efficiency and having a numbered list helps them achieve this. The bigger the number in a post, the better.
Studies have also shown that digits work better than words so “10” works better than “ten”
BLOG POST TITLE / HEADLINE FORMULAS
Here are 18 examples of proven headline formulas.
Fill in the blanks with your own product or service, and re-work them to have a winner that will grab attention.
1. Get __________ (desired result) in ___________(period)
Get 10 new clients in 30 days
Lose 10 lbs in 14 days
Become Debt Free in 90 Days or Less
WHY IT WOKS: As all good headlines do, this headline makes a promise.
It promises that the reader will receive a quantifiable benefit / end result in a desirable period.
2. The Ultimate Guide to _________________________
the ultimate guide to SEO for beginners
the ultimate guide to skillet cake baking
WHY IT WORKS: This headline converts well every time because of the amount of knowledge that it promises.
The downside to this is that you can’t make such a huge promise without being sure that you can deliver.
If you’re going to write the ultimate guide to something, you’d better do your research. Pull out all the stops to provide as much in-depth content as you can.
When done right, posts like this can pull in crazy traffic to your website.
3. X Lessons I Learned From ______________________
10 lessons I learned from investing in real estate
WHY IT WORKS: We all want to limit our exposure to stuff we’re not sure of, until we’re certain that it can be of benefit to us.
One way of being certain is to find out from someone who has already done what we’re considering.
If you can show what you learned as a result of following someone or doing something, it gives your readers a virtual roadmap to follow. It also makes them more at ease and receptive to your suggestions.
4. X Lies About _____________________ (something common)
5 lies about low fat diets : Believe them at your own risk
WHY IT WORKS: This headline is all about risk prevention.
It implies that something or someone we trust is not quite what we think it is.
This headline gets us to take action because we feel as though we may be putting ourselves or those we love at risk.
5. Social Proof + Compelling Question
Flexible Dieting: Is this the better way to lose weight fast?
Vegetarian Nation: Will these women change the way you eat?
WHY IT WORKS: This headline works because it shows social proof and then asks a question.
Social proof provides the reassurance that others are already doing what you are considering.
Asking a question in the headline makes your reader more engaged in the headline.
We feel compelled to answer questions we read and to answer the question, we must read the content.
6. How to Survive Your First _________________________
How to survive your first 30 days of being a new mum
How to survive your first 60 days out of rehab
WHY IT WORKS: As with the lessons headline, no one wants to be the first.
We want others to do the work and give us a roadmap that avoids all the drama and pitfalls
This type of headline helps readers understand what to expect when they follow your advice.
7. What ________(group / celebrity) can teach you about _______(industry)
what Julia Roberts can teach you about marketing
WHY IT WORKS: The curiosity of matching two unusual markets is what will boost clicks with this headline.
Your readers want to read and find out how these two subjects connect
8. Make Your First ________ in Just ______ (period). Read Below to see How
Make your first $1,000 blogging, in just 60 days. Read / Watch Below to see how.
Get your first 1000 subscribers in just 30 days. Watch below to see how
WHY IT WORKS: Any headline to do with making money / selling more / creating more / having more, always works.
No matter how spammy we think it is, It just grabs attention and makes people want to find out more.
Telling them to read the content for a demonstration of exactly HOW to do it, makes it even more compelling.
9. Behind the Scenes of __________________________
Behind the scenes of running a $50,000 / month fashion blog
WHY IT WORKS: The headline implies that your reader will get a unique view of something that interests them.
The promise is that your content will be something they haven’t seen or heard before.
People always want to know what goes on behind the scenes in some of their favorite niches, hobbies and websites
If you can show what “a day in the life” is like, it may inspire them to take action after reading.
10. People pay me X for this information – but you can have it for FREE
WHY IT WORKS: Everyone loves free stuff, especially when others have had to pay for it.
It imparts the feeling that they’re getting a particularly good deal.
This headline works best if you have insider information are people willing to pay you for.
Conference and webinar speakers use this headline for list building purposes. They do this, by repackaging their information and using it as a giveaway.
11. Are you wasting ________ on _____________ (without anything to show for it)?
are you wasting time on low fat diets (without anything to show for it?)
are you wasting money on online business programs (without anything to show for it?)
WHY IT WORKS: This headline focuses on fear and loss. What is your reader currently losing?
This headline can fit a variety of industries. It works well if you want to show your audience how to overcome a common problem such as losing weight, car repairs, health and beauty etc.
12. How to make $X with your ______________. Step by step
How to make your a Full time income with your computer
How to make a $1000 on the side without quitting your job.
WHY IT WORKS: This headline is still popular because it makes a simple promise.
The promise is to handhold the reader to achieve that desirable result .
The promise is almost the same as the “Ultimate Guide” headline or the “make your first______” headline above. It implies a thorough step-by-step guide to getting the end result.
13. How You ___________ is ripping you Off – And what to do about it right now.
how your bank is ripping you off – and what to do about it right now.
how your energy supplier is ripping you off – and what to do about it now
WHY IT WORKS: This is all about preventing mistakes and making savings.
This headline works on exposing a service provider or industry. It also aims to let others know how to prevent the industry or provider from doing the same to you, the reader.
14. How to stop ____________ for good, Even if you’ve tried everything else
How to lose the weight for good and keep it off, even if you’ve tried everything else.
WHY IT WORKS: This headline speaks to those that struggle with the solutions they have already tried.
It promises something new that the reader can discover in the body of the content
This headline works for any industry from computer crashes to productivity issues to health.
Everyone wants a lasting fix to a common problem, and if you can deliver it, you’re onto a winner.
15. X Little know Factors that could affect your __________________
5 little known factors that could affect your weight loss efforts
3 little known factors that could affect your SEO Traffic
WHY IT WORKS: For this headline to be effective, you must ensure that the factors you’re referring to, are different.
You’ll have to dig deeper and do more research, but you will get much better conversions once you do.
16. Undesired Result + Mysterious Solution
Beat the Rush Hour Traffic Blues : Surprising ways to put the fun back into your commute
Avoid the Freshman Fifteen : Clever ways to keep the pounds off
17 Little known Email Hacks that keep you out of productivity hell
WHY IT WORKS: This headline uses the power of a strong adjective – surprising / clever / Little Known – to grab attention.
The adjective in this headline is critical. It communicates that the suggestions in the content aren’t ordinary.
No one likes to work harder than they need to and having “clever” ways of achieving the result suggests less work involved…
Be sure to deliver.
If your suggestions aren’t clever or surprising, use another adjective that can do the job better.
17. 9 out of 10 __________ (group members) Don’t ___________. Are you one of them?
9 out of 10 lifestyle coaches don’t make a dime. Are you one of them?
WHY IT WORKS: As noted in my quick tips above, numbers are attention-getters. To be effective, you must write them as numerals instead of words. (“5″ instead of “five”)
This headline also works because it speaks to people who have a particular concern. It follows up with realistic steps they can follow to be more than just a statistic.
THE PERFECT FORMULA
Still hungry for more headlines?
Here’s a classic formula Neil Patel at quick sprout has shared for drafting your perfect headline from scratch.
NUMBER / TRIGGER WORD + ADJECTIVE + KEYWORD + PROMISE
Old headline: How to lose weight fast
New headline: How you can lose 10 – 15lbs in 30 days without starving yourself.
Old headline: How to get more clients
New Headline: 10 Unique ways of attracting and converting more customers to your online store
To take your headline and copy creation one step further, here are 3 useful tools
Word Generator: This will help you broaden your vocabulary
You’ll be better at re-working the formulas above with more words in your arsenal.
Hubspot Blog Topic Generator: If you are ever short of blog ideas, this tool will give you clever blog topics and titles.
Just put in at least three terms, and the tool will suggest the best titles possible using those nouns.
PUT THE HEADLINES TO THE TEST
The difference between a magnetic headline and a not so great one is enormous. If you want to get more eyeballs reading your blog posts, spend a lot more time crafting your headlines.
These headline formulas have already done some of the work for you. Pick one and re-work them to see for yourself how one little tweak on your website can bring in dramatic results