There’s a lot of content out there on the Internet – every day, two million blog posts are written. If you’ve committed to a content strategy, you need to figure out how you’re going to break through and get people to actually read the brilliance coming out of your keyboard. There are a lot of factors that draw readers to your content, but a key one that many content creators don’t pay enough attention to is the headline.
Your headlines need to draw in the audience. They need to appeal to search engines, and they also need to raise the curiosity of human beings in order to entire them to click and/or continue reading. Whether you’re writing blog posts, whitepapers or news releases, you need to create great headlines in order to have success.
Fortunately, we have some data that we can use to help construct winning headlines. A study done by SEO tech firm Conductor examined what types of headlines work. Here are some of their findings:
Number headlines work best.
Why do you think I put a number in the headline of this post? Why do you think BuzzFeed does so well? People may roll their eyes at so-called listicles, but the simple truth is that they work because 36 percent of readers like these headlines best.
Headlines addressing the reader work second best.
These are headlines that say “you” in the headline, as in “things you need to know about X.” Twenty-one percent of content consumers prefer these types of headlines.
“How-to” headlines work well, too.
Seventeen percent of readers like how-to headlines best.
Superlatives are good.
Using the word “best” in a headline makes it stand out. “Best ever” is even better. “Best ever way to make a perfect something-or-other” is a grand slam home run. Of course, if you put “best” in every headline readers will get hip to your shenanigans and shut you down. So, you need to realize that not every post you write is the best ever.
Title Case is the Best Headline Format.
Readers click most on headlines that capitalize the key words in the headline.
ALL CAPS ACTUALLY WORKS OKAY TOO.
Even though most people on the Internet (except maybe your mother) consider all caps to be the equivalent of YELLING, 20 percent of people prefer their headlines to be all caps. So, if your audience is that 20 percent, GO FOR IT DUDE.
Make your headline clear.
Don’t try to be too cute or too punny. Give the people what you’re telling them they’re going to get. They’ll appreciate it. And maybe click again next time they visit your site.