There’s no better place to start than at the beginning, right? And you clicked here, so chances are we got this headline thing down already. The headline is the first thing your viewers will see. It gives them a chance to see not only what the article is about, but also judge your tone and personality. So how do you stand out in a web filled with billions of articles and blog posts? Have no fear; we have some top tips for writing headlines that make people want to click.

Question everything

Really? You mean, everything? Are you sure? Okay, maybe don’t try and make your reader feel put on the spot, but asking a question in your headline could be the key to success. Us humans are a nosy bunch of characters. It’s just built into us that we need to know the answer. However, this is where you want to be careful. If the reader can easily say “No” to the headline, then chances are they might look elsewhere for some info. If they need your post and your post alone to get to the bottom of the dilemma, then pat yourself on the back.

Specific and useful

Ah, these are two qualities we like from just about anything in the world, especially those click-winning headlines. Usefulness in a headline goes without saying, right? The reader needs to know what sort of article they are in for if they click on your post. Being too ambiguous could put people off and we don’t want that now do we? This is the same for keeping it specific. Sure, people enjoy *thinking* they like to be kept on their toes, but really we just want to know what is what. The headline is not the time to beat around the bush!

Keep it minimal

Let’s be real for a moment, we don’t want to read lines and lines of text, do we? Headlines are best kept short. End of. Research has shown that 8 in every 10 people will take the time to read the headline, but only 2 in every 10 will carry on to read the entire article itself. This study went one step further. They were also able to determine readers tend to read the first and last three words of the headline. Having all the important stuff in these places means you’re far more likely to make people want to click on your article.

Crunch some numbers

Believe it or not, but people love to read digits. We’re not talking about written out numbers either. Using low numbers in your headlines gives people the impression your article will be quicker to get through on their lunch break, while they scoff their cheese and ham sandwich. On the other hand, a larger number in the headline tells the reader there is likely to be a variety of information in your writing. Perfect for long toilet breaks (cough). Want to really draw people in? Try using the number 7! It’s said this number is the most popular of them all for getting people to click on your work.

Ramp up the negativity

We are surrounded by negativity. The news. Social media. That one colleague that won’t stop moaning… Sometimes it can seem as though no matter where we turn we are surrounded by people trying to bring us down. Have you ever thought about why? Negativity sells! Using words like “Worst” and “Stop” are shown to get 63% more interaction than posts that seem to positive. Don’t worry; we’re not raging lunatics – it’s been demonstrated that negative headlines are likely to be more genuine than positive news. It might suck, but it’s true. Perhaps it’s time to stop trying to turn that frown upside down. We’re allll about the positive though, so make sure your content is more upbeat once someone actually clicks if you have to use this method.

The headline might be the thing that can make or break someone clicking on your article, but writing headlines that make people want to click doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems at first. In fact, with these tips, you could soon be the next best headliner writer on the web! Is that a thing? It is now! You’ll notice we haven’t followed any of our own advice with this blog post, but do as we say not as we do. Right? Happy headline writing…


Author Emily

More posts by Emily

Leave a Reply

All rights reserved Salient.