11 headline writing tips to drive traffic and clicks


Wondering how to write a headline that gets traffic and clicks?

The best titles are:

  • Extremely relevant to the content
  • Contain a keyword
  • Generate interest

There is plenty of room to be creative and demonstrate value, right from the start.

While there is no exact science to writing a headline, there are some helpful headline writing tips that will help you create brilliant headlines.

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Discover 11 ways to write great headlines.

1. Let the keywords lead you

If you write persistent content, always do keyword research to find out what people are actually looking for.

A slight difference in wording can have a huge impact on traffic.

Take this content, for example.

As with all content, I did some keyword research beforehand to identify what people are actually looking for.

I’ve narrowed it down to these keyword phrases, based on their monthly search volume:

  • Tips for writing the title: 360
  • How to write a title: 360
  • Good titles: 390
  • How to write a good headline: 170

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By choosing a relevant keyword phrase with the highest search volume, I can increase the ROI of the content.

As a result, I chose “Headline Writing Tips” as my main keyword (and, of course, I can use the others as the supporting keywords).

As you can see, the title of this content is “11 Headline Writing Tips To Drive Traffic & Clicks.”

It’s keyword rich, relevant, and (hopefully) demonstrates value.

2. Submit several titles

If you find yourself having a writer’s crisis and can’t seem to come up with a title you really like, try writing a bunch!

Thinking about multiple titles will really get your creativity flowing and you will end up landing on something awesome.

3. Know that sometimes short and sweet is A-OK

Sometimes you have to get straight to the point.

Not all titles need to be long. Sometimes being punchy and direct is a better approach, so don’t automatically rule out a potential headline just because it’s short.

4. Get a quote from the article

Another option for coming up with a good headline is to get a quote from the content.

A quote, especially from a celebrity or influencer, can be great fodder for a headline.

The quote, of course, must relate to the article as a whole.

Here’s a technical issue to keep in mind: Unlike body text, citations in headlines should always appear in single quotes, according to Associated Press Style.

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5. Take advantage of a compelling statistic

Consider having a powerful statistic appear directly in the title.

This is what Matt Southern did in this article for SEJ: “91% of brands are moving towards internal digital marketing. “

6. Look at the titles of the competitors

If you’re stuck and can’t find a good headline, look for inspiration in your competitor’s content.

You can never copy them, of course.

But you can look at what your successful competitors are doing to get ideas, and then you can create your own variations on that theme.

7. Put a word in uppercase

Very occasionally, you may want to capitalize a word.

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This will immediately give your title a sense of immediacy and urgency.

I like to use it every now and then to make a headline.

Use it sparingly, however – it’s not for every item, every time.

8. Use a question

What questions does your article answer?

The question itself can sometimes make a good headline.

If you’re writing a guide to the Facebook algorithm, a headline like “What is the Facebook algorithm?” 10 things you should know ”would be perfect.

Potential readers will know, up front, what question your content is going to answer, which is valuable.

9. Don’t forget a call to action

Whenever you can, add a call to action in the title.

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Use terms like discover, learn, discover, understand, etc. to give your reader the impression that they are making an authorized choice when they click on your content.

10. Use a number

Studies have shown that including a number in your headline generates clicks.

Note: The Associated Press states that titles beginning with a number must spell the number.

You are also expected to spell the numbers one through nine, including nine.

Online, however, where attention spans are short and space is at a premium, numbers rather than spelled out numbers tend to perform better.

It is always good to know the rule, even if you are going to break it.

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11. Test the title – would you click on it?

Not sure if the title is good or not?

Use this simple test: would you click on it?

Put yourself in the readers’ shoes and ask yourself whether or not you would be intrigued by your headline.

If you are, great, you’ve found a winner.

If not, keep thinking – come back to this list of headline writing tips and check it out whenever you feel stuck!


Image credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita


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