How to Write Good Article Headlines to Attract More Visitors

How important do you think well written article headlines are when it comes to blogging?

Surely an article’s content is the part that counts most and headlines are just something you simply add as an afterthought when you have finished writing your article, right?

In reality, if you want your blog to stand out from the thousands of competing bloggers, then writing good article headlines is one of the most important things you can do to entice people to visit your site.

Good headlines are so important that they are your 1 to 2 second window of opportunity to sell the premise that your article is worth reading or that your website is worth visiting. 1 to 2 seconds is the average amount of time that a reader scans an individual search item with their eyes before deciding whether to click on it or move on to the next one.

Effective headlines are one of the main weapons of choice for marketing teams because they work so well. The handful of carefully chosen words which make up a typical headline, if written well, can have the power to unlock people’s attention. This is how most news agencies sell their newspapers and even though some of the tabloid papers might have headlines which are a bit on the cheesy side, they still sell based mostly on their headlines.

So now we know how important headlines are, let’s talk a bit about how you can write better headlines. Below I’ve listed some tips you can use when writing your next article headline.

1. Make your headline as targeted as possible for your intended audience

Make sure that the headline you write accurately reflects the specific topic you are writing about or the solution you are providing. Your aim as a blogger is to get the attention of specific people who are searching the topic you are writing about and who will be interested in the content.

As soon as a web-surfer becomes a visitor of your blog, the baton is handed over to the content of the article whose task is to deliver to the reader the answer or solution they were looking for.

Therefore if your headline is misleading or your content doesn’t quite match the promise of the headline, then you are probably targeting the wrong people and your visitor will quickly become one of the bounce statistics in your google analytics report.

2. Use words which convey the promise of a solution or beneficial information

For instance take the following examples:

"xyz plugin will help triple your conversions"

versus,

"Why the xyz plugin will help triple your conversions"

Although the difference is subtle between the two headlines above, the headline beginning with the word “why” makes it far more effective than the first headline because it contains within it an implicit suggestion that the article will provide information about why the plugin works and the benefits of using it to get higher conversions.

Other effective techniques are to use numbers in your headline to convey a list of ideas or suggestions. For instance:

"7 ways to maximize your chances of making 50 bucks a day from your blog"

You may have seen many examples of headlines in the blogosphere using the above technique, and the reason is that this style of headline is very effective because humans love to quantize data into manageable chunks because it is easier for the mind to digest. Therefore when you begin with such words as “7 ways to…”, a large proportion of people will feel drawn to read such articles because of the promise of a quantized solution or list of concise suggestions or answers.

Other words such as “how to”, “what” and “when” are also very effective words to begin your headlines with. Don’t be afraid to be creative.

3. Include keywords in your headlines if possible

This is sort of related to point 1 but it warrants a separate mention. Keywords in your headlines are important because they are what your target audience are using to search for the answers to their questions.

Therefore having the keywords in your headline is like promising your prospective visitors a key to a door which may unlock some of the answers they are looking for.

In summing, your article headlines play a major role in the success of your blog in that they will usually determine whether somebody decides to click on your article link. Good headlines can mean more visitors, but whether they stay or not is then up to the quality of your content.

Also, read the Tips on Writing Headlines for Your Articles and Landing Pages article for more tips on writing great headlines.

About the Author: This post was written by Peter Petreski who is an author for Tips and Tricks HQ.

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Comments (17 responses)

  1. George says:

    Hi I have just got to say this, your site is excellent! I love the layout and the very informative way that you explain the tactics of blogging especially to the newbie, this is a gold mine of information. I have even been taught a few things I didn’t get the grasp of, when I first started it would have been great to have read your posts. I would have been more successful a lot quicker. you have gained a follower.

  2. Nandan Kumar says:

    Thank you very much….
    For the first time I’ve found a place where all the necessary topics have been dealt with!

  3. Wordpress tips says:

    Over all points are great! but i am just not sure that will using questioner words like “Why” “How” going to help us in Google searches? as what i know is Google omits these words. But yes i am totally agree that questioner words attract users a lot.

  4. Your article headlines play a major role in the success of your blog in that they will usually determine whether somebody decides to click on your article link.

    Good headlines can mean more visitors, but whether they stay or not is then up to the quality of your content.

  5. Gagan says:

    its very good article. thanks for sharing your knowledge… usefull tips for me, thanks again

  6. SEO Mumbai says:

    Article content play a important role for Appropriate Title otherwise visitors will find some irrelevant information then he is looking for. Visitor may close your sites or blogs.

  7. Honest Jay says:

    These are all great tips. About the “keywords in the title” tip – sometimes it can be tough getting your keywords in the title and still have an interesting enough headline that attracts visitors.

    So here’s my tip.

    If you’re using WordPress, use an SEO plugin and write your headline in the article or sales message tailored to the audience. This way you won’t lose them trying to SEO for your keywords. You should still try to get the keywords in there if you can but it doesn’t have to follow the SEO rules ie. putting your main keyword at the beginning.

    Then in your SEO plugin, put the SEO’d title that will show up in the search engines. This ensures that you maximize your chances of ranking for that keyword. So you’re pleasing both the search engines and the visitor at once.

  8. James Curtley says:

    Personally, there are two important things for me. First, the blog design. It gives the visitor that good impression if the blog appeared to be very pleasing to the visitor’s eyes. Second, the content of the blog. It is important to have quality content in order to get a recurring visitor to the site. The more valuable the site is, the more visitors are willing to go to the site on a regular basis. Great post 🙂

  9. William says:

    Great! I totally agree with you. Something that you might add is the importance of the amount of competitors for your targeted headline. Try to find a headline that is close to unique, but still as targeted as possible, you can do that by changing tho order of your keywords.

  10. Casters Review says:

    Thank for this article..very helpful for me

  11. Rob says:

    Thank peter for this nice article! Keep up the good work.

  12. Matias says:

    Very nice tips… I will keep these headline writing tips in mind for the next time I write my blog article headline.

  13. Thanh Tung | TechGru says:

    I think the 3rd point is the most important. If we can think the keywords that vistors want to search for, it’s easy for our articles appear on Google Search results with high positions.

  14. Jillian says:

    I agree with Sydney using lists is really good. I find that I get far more readers on my list posts than on other types of articles. Thank you for these great tips Peter as always you guys teach me something new in every post. =) Can’t wait for the next article.

  15. Sydney says:

    Thanks for sharing these great tips on how to write good article headlines. As a blogger I found that using a “list of …” works great too. For example:

    The Top 5 Tips ……

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