As a small business owner, your success depends on your ability to attract customers and stand out from the competition. One of the most effective ways to do this is by creating compelling headlines that grab the reader’s attention and entice them to explore your content further. However, as you’ve likely figured out by now, this is easier said than done. Writing effective headlines can be a challenge, especially when it comes to standing out in today’s crowded online marketplace. In this blog, we will share some effective tips on how to write better headlines that will capture your audience’s attention and help you grow your business. These headlines work for blog headings and Instagram posts!
Table of Contents
1. Understand the Psychology of Headlines
Before you start writing headlines, it’s important to understand what resonates with your target audience. Different types of headlines evoke different emotions, and it’s essential to choose the right ones to engage your readers. For example, headlines that offer solutions or make promises tend to perform well. But it’s easy to go overboard. Aren’t we all sick of hearing we can make 6 figures in 6 months?
Conversely, headlines that create a sense of urgency or controversy can also be effective. Personalize your headlines based on your target audience’s likes and dislikes, as well as their age range, gender, location, and other demographics. It’s also OKAY if your headlines aren’t fancy. The headline for this blog post isn’t – because my audience is made up of busy business owners who prefer I get to the point.
2. Use Numbers and Statistics
Numbers and statistics are powerful tools to demonstrate your authority on a subject and make your content stand out. Readers are naturally drawn to headlines that provide them with real value in the form of useful information or insights. Studies show that headlines with a number attract 36% more clicks than headlines without a number.
3. Being Willing to Brainstorm to Write Better Headlines
Your first or second headline likely isn’t the one.
Brainstorming is an essential step in creating headlines that will capture your audience’s attention. Develop a list of potential headlines that reflect the tone of your article and evoke emotions. Consistently brainstorming and optimizing your headlines helps you create a catchy header that keeps your content fresh, exciting, and informative.
I once heard one publication say they require their writers to come up with 50 headlines before choosing the winner (I forget which publication, but it was a big one like Huffington Post or Buzzfeed – hopefully I remember so I can grab the exact stat for you one day!).
4. Be Specific & Unique
When it comes to writing headlines that stand out, it’s important to use actionable language that grabs the reader’s attention and encourages them to click through to read your content. Active verbs, strong adjectives, and enticing promises can help your headline stand out from the rest and entice readers to learn more.
In addition to using actionable language, you should also make sure your headline accurately reflects the content of your blog post. Misleading or clickbait headlines can lead to high bounce rates and damage your reputation with readers. So, use your headline to set expectations for your readers and keep them engaged throughout your blog post.
5. Optimize for Search Engines
The headline for this blog post is “7 Tips for How to Write Better Headlines in 2023” and while I am following most of the rules on this list, I am keeping SEO at the top of my priorities.
Optimizing your headlines will improve your SEO rankings and help bring in traffic to your website. Add keywords and phrases to your headlines that individuals are looking for when looking for information on your topic. Doing this will help your page rank higher in search engine results and generate more leads to your website.
Trust me on this – I know how to blog for SEO.
6. Keep it Short
When it comes to headline writing, brevity is key. Headlines that are too long can be overwhelming and may not attract the reader’s attention.
In general, it’s a good best practice to aim for headlines that are eight words or less to ensure maximum impact. However, remember that context matters. Depending on the topic and the platform, longer headlines may be more effective.
That being said, it’s still crucial to keep your headline as concise and clear as possible to draw readers in and generate clicks. By finding the right balance between impact and clarity, you can create headlines that engage your audience and drive traffic to your content.
7. Use Creative Writing Tactics
Before I tell you to use alliteration, I feel like I have to tell you to stop using alliteration. It’s often overused and I am so sick of seeing the same phrases in everyone’s copy. ONLY use alliteration if it will help you stand out.
Here are some creative writing tactics that will help you write better headlines:
- Start with a question: Posing a question in your headline piques readers’ curiosity and encourages them to read on for the answer.
- Use active verbs: Using strong action words in your headlines creates a sense of urgency and encourages readers to take action.
- Use alliteration: Using multiple words with the same starting sound in your headline can make it more memorable and catchy.
- Use humor or puns: Including a joke or witty comment in your headline can help your content stand out and can improve engagement.
- Use emotional language: Incorporating emotional words such as “surprising” or “heartwarming” can help grab the reader’s attention and create a connection.
- Make a bold statement: Making a bold or controversial statement in your headline can spark curiosity and encourage readers to click through to read more.
- Break the rules: Sometimes, breaking the rules and bending the typical format of a headline can create a unique and attention-grabbing effect.
Wondering how your headline performs? While I don’t encourage people to obsess over this, Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer is a great tool!
Ready to Write Better Headlines?
Now that we have discussed great tips to improve your headline writing, help your brand stand out, and capture readers’ attention, it is all about practicing these tactics to write better headlines consistently as a small business owner. Writing an effective headline is a crucial component of your content marketing strategy; don’t be afraid to express yourself creatively, and keep your target audience in mind. With these tips, you’re on your way to crafting magnetic headlines that will give your content the attention it needs to expand your business. You’ve got this!