Congratulations! You’ve made it past the blog headlines.
Why is that such an accomplishment? Well, only 20% of people that read a headline click on it and read the article. The percentage might shock you. You’ve put in so much time to research a topic, write and edit the article. And 80% of people don’t even read it?
That’s because there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the internet. And there are 70 million new posts each month on WordPress powered websites.
So how do you stand out?
You do that by crafting a headline that ranks on the first page of Google. And you attract readers to click on it and read the article. You’re about to discover 10 types of blog headlines that work and why they work.
"How to" blog headlines are very popular among copywriters. Here’s why: It simply works.
By nature, humans want to improve themselves. Think about it. Why do you go to Google in the first place? Because you’re looking for information. You want to learn something.
The "how to" title attracts your readers. They want to find out how to do what you promised them in the headline.
Here are more "how to" examples. Can you see how they’re magnetic?
How do you know lists work?
The fact that you’re reading this article proves it works. The title of this post is "10 Types of Blog Headlines". And the title of this section is "Three Reasons".
Buzzsumo analyzed 100 million articles in 2017. They wanted to see which articles got the most engagement on Facebook. They are article titles starting with “X reasons why” and “X things you”.
Here’s why lists are amazing:
Lists make information easy to digest. You can just scan through them.
Lists are actionable. For example, you can give information to your readers as Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3.
Numbers stand out from all the text.
Take a look at these other examples. Notice how the numbers pop out.
When writing a headline, start by looking through the article you have written. And then ask yourself, “What is the one idea that I want the reader to take away from it?” Then start brainstorming ideas based on that one idea.
Now let’s go back to discuss the various types of blog headlines.
If you notice, the title of this section asks a question. When you ask a question, you get the brain involved. Your readers are going to be curious. They want to know the answer. So they’re going to click and read the article to get the answer.
There are many other ways to use questions in the headlines. Have a look at these:
A great headline will work for both SEO and social media. But there’s a small difference.
You see for SEO, your headline appears on the Google search results page. You’ve done all the hard work to get the article published and ranked. Now your headline needs to stand out from the other search results. And you need to attract people to click on your headline and read the article. That’s how they become leads and eventually turn into a sale.
Google wants to provide users with relevant information. If they click on your link, it tells Google your article is relevant to the search. And Google is going to reward you with higher rankings.
For social media, we still want people to click and read the article. The difference is people on social media love to share helpful articles with others. A study shows 59% of people share an article after only reading the headline. They don't even click it! So even if they didn’t read it, you still get the benefit of getting more exposure.
Let’s go back to discuss the ‘Vs’ headline type.
People like to see comparisons. Maybe they’re looking to buy a product. Maybe they’re choosing a service provider. Comparisons help you to make better decisions.
You can also use it to discuss topics that are similar but have noticeable differences. Comparisons provide clarity for your readers.
Here are a few examples:
The job of the headline is to get readers to read the first paragraph. It doesn’t matter if you write an awesome article if people don’t click the headline to read it.
The "why" blog headline is a great way to get readers curious. They want to understand how something works. Or more likely, they’re looking for reasons why something they’ve tried in the past didn’t work. They want an explanation.
Look at some of these examples. See how they make you curious?
David Ogilvy, often called “The Father of Advertising”, writes 20 headlines before choosing one.
If he can’t nail the headline the first time, it’s unlikely we can. Instead, what you want to do is brainstorm lots of ideas. Come up with a lot of different options. Then it’s more likely that you’ll create a great headline. That’s the secret.
Here are examples of "secret" headlines in use:
Do you see how the "secret" headline is brilliant?
You’re looking to learn something unknown. If you don’t find out what it is, you fear missing out on a missing piece.
Not including your keywords. If you want to rank for a certain keyword, add it in the title. It tells the search engine algorithm that’s what the article is about.
If the headline is too long, it’s going to get cut off on the search results. And people aren’t going to click it. Google changes policies quickly, so the exact number of characters frequently changes. According to Moz, 50–60 characters will show up correctly 90% of the time.
Misleading headline. Your headline and article have to match. If blog visitors read your article and find out it’s not what they were there for, you’re going to lose their trust.
Why do "mistakes" headlines work?
Humans learn from mistakes. And at times, mistakes do hurt. These headlines promise things you need to pay attention to, in order to prevent mistakes. And avoid the pain.
Let’s take a look at these headlines:
This blog headline type is straight to the point. It tells your reader the benefit of reading your article. You can be flexible with the first word, for example:
Increase … With …
Improve … With …
Sell more … With …
Take a look at these examples. Do they promise a clear benefit?
Today, we live in a microwave society.
People want things faster. They want things done yesterday.
Having "quick" or "fast" in the headline implies that attitude.
What's the quickest way to make your headline exciting? Get your readers emotionally involved. Use adjectives like:
Here are some "quick" examples:
This is similar to the previous headline type. People like easy and simple.
Doesn’t this subtitle attract your attention? It promises ideas, ways, or strategies. You don’t want something complicated, hard to understand, or hard to do.
Have a look at these examples. Can you see how they’re eye-catching?
When writing a headline, the last thing you want is to be staring at a blank piece of paper while you try to be creative.
Instead, the simple strategy to craft eye-catching headlines is to model after proven headlines. You have learned 10 types of blog headlines in this article that work time and time again. Now it’s time to write your headline.
To recap, the 10 types of blog headlines are:
Ask a question
... ‘Vs’ ...
Boost … With …
Blog headlines and posts are essential for generating a predictable stream of inbound leads. If you need any assistance, we are happy to help. Feel free to reach out by filling out this form.
Vincent Tandiono writes for businesses who want to scale their revenue. He has trained as a copywriter with Dan Lok Education. He uses psychologically-geared copy to inspire your customers to take action. He especially enjoys working with breakthrough products that impact the lives of your ideal customers.Hire Vincent