Write Headlines that People Will Actually Click on

It is no great surprise that writing a captivating headline is crucial to driving the engagement of your content. Whether it’s a headline for a news release, blog article, email newsletter or social post, this is the first opportunity you have to catch the attention of your audience and entice them to read on and click for the full article or link.

Outbrain and Hubspot stress that headlines are so important because your reader has complete control – they either choose to click and engage with your content or they don’t. If the headline doesn’t demonstrate value or answer their question, they will move on to the next article, without ever opening yours.

Here are just a few insights from data analysis collected by Outbrain and Hubspot, which illustrates which words in a headline, can cause an increase (or decrease) in your Click-Through-Rates (CTR). 

So why are these words causing our headlines to perform so badly? The study suggests that it’s partly because these words trigger our human “spam filter” to kick in and ignore the article. Readers have become savvier at gauging the quality of content they are receiving.

PR daily suggests three types of headlines to avoid at all costs:

1. The “why should I give a darn” headline

Your headline needs to show how clicking on this article will actually benefit your reader. A generic headline will appear meaningless.

2. The “loooooong, drawn out” headline

In today’s social media driven world, you need to ensure your headline is tweetable, social-ready and optimized for search engines. Keeping your headline under 60 characters can help you achieve this.

3. The “vague” headline

Does your headline detail what the article is about? It should. Be specific with your information for a higher engagement level; people want to know what they are reading.

So if you are truly terrible at creating engaging, catchy, must-click-on headlines, using an automated tool may be the answer. There are a number of online tools out there and Entrepreneur has tried many of them. Here are our five favourites that can help you write the best headline for your content.

1. Taboola

Taboola is best known for its native advertising network, but it also has a great tool to help you optimize your content for engagement and it allows you to test your content and headlines.

2. Kingsumo

Headline, an app from Kingsumo, offers Wordpress users the ability to write as many headlines as they like for a possible post and the app will use each of them and monitor how well each perfume. 

3. CrazyEgg

This tools enables you to gain insight into how your audience is responding to your headlines by highlighting which of your headlines are performing and which are not. 

4. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

This tool gives your headline a strength score between one and 100, according to the success of past headlines on the web. It will indicate whether your headline is too long or short and allows you to make edits so you can achieve the highest score possible.

5. Optimizely

This tool allows you to perform A/B testing for a combination of various headlines and images. It’s also used by big brand names such as Microsoft and NBE Universal. 

Each of these tools can offer you some unique features that can help you write headlines that will actually increase your CTR, driving engaging and your content marketing plan overall.

How do you write your headlines? Do you use these tools? Comment below or tweet us @CNWGroup.

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