I could list a number of reasons why sites like BuzzFeed, ViralNova, and Upworthy are getting insane amounts of traffic – but the #1 reason is (without doubt) their creative headline formulas that make people want to click and see what’s inside.
Writing great headlines for your blog or website can have a huge impact on the amount of traffic that you’re getting. I mean, if you see 10 Google results on a page – would you click on the appealing headline or the non-appealing one? Exactly.
Assuming you already know how important it is to write good headlines I’d like to share 11 foolproof formulates that I find really helpful in writing appealing headlines.
Why Do You Need […] to […]? Or Why is […] Important/Relevant/Crucial?
Headlines that are in a question form will do a good job in driving people into a post, especially if the scene is set in a strong opinion or controversy. However, make sure that the content of your article answers and reflects what was asked in your headline. So for example, if your headline is “Why Reading Is Important?”, the article should contain a full and satisfactory explanation about the topic throughout.
The “Call to Action”
Get Your […]! Switch to […] Now
Call-to-action headlines can actually pique most readers’ interest. People need to be told to click or buy or do whatever you want them to do because, oftentimes, they will. Therefore, tell them straightaway from the beginning and be firm about it!
The “Keyword Use”
What Makes [Keyword] So Important in [Keyword]
Not only does keyword use matter for search engines, but for people as well. If you use keywords from the start of an article, in this case, the headline, readers will understand the language you speak, what the article is all about, and what they should expect from it. Hence, you will attract more of them, get more tweets or social bookmarks, and, eventually, more traffic to your site. When searched for, keywords highlight and turn bold on search engines. This gives validity to the listing and slaps a user in the face saying ‘I have what you just searched for!”.
The “Big Claim”
[Lose/Gain Weight] in [xx] Days with […]!
If you get stuck in creating compelling titles, try big claims! But be careful in using this formula, since this can also pose as a red flag for readers—well, that’s if you can’t actually back you claims. You don’t want negative feedback and comments from them, do you? Nevertheless, this is an effective way of drawing people to visit your site.
The “Funny Text”
Burglar Rejects Victim’s Old Computer Monitor
Funny news headlines are widely used these days, but writing them can make or break you. “Make” because they are humorous and engaging, and they can actually draw the attention of readers. “Break” because they can make you look stupid—especially when the article is posted in more serious blog sites and professional niches. The solution? Ensure that your funny headlines suit your target audience.
Common Mistakes in […] Your […]
If your article talks about everything that a person does wrong when doing something, then this headline formula is just perfect. So, what else could go wrong? Oh yeah, maybe when you talk about what that same person has done right, instead.
The “Number List”
[xx] Ways to [Stay Out of Boredom] or [xx] Things to Do when [Traveling]
This is probably the most common formula nowadays, and you might have read articles that contain such particular headlines. However, the Number List never fails to catch the attention of readers. Use it next time, and see how many visitors you get!
Your Friendly Guide to [Achieving Corporate Success] or Steps to […]
For a step-by-step article, you might find this headline formula ideal for you. You can also combine this with the Number List in coming up with a more striking title. Some good examples include “4 Steps to [Getting that Diploma]” or the more popular title “The Ultimate Guide to [Marketing Your Products Online]”. The latter is perfect when creating a guide that covers everything from A-Z within a certain niche or market or when presenting a really extensive and well-detailed guide.
The “Quick Solution”
[Check/Watch/Note/Remember] this Quick Solution in […]
Nothing beats telling the people how they can solve their own problems quickly, whether it is all about computer repair or getting their keywords analyzed. When you use this formula, not only will you get their attention, but gain traffic to your site as well. Why? Back this headline up with a good content, and your readers will definitely come back for more.
The “Power Words”
Amazing/Awesome/Brilliant [Strategies/Ways/Things] to […]
Power words never fail to put most bloggers at the top, and when you want to incorporate them in your articles, make sure to use them correctly. The rule of thumb here is to find words that best suit the theme of the article. You may have seen and read articles with headlines that contain the words stunning, brilliant, awesome, amazing, and gorgeous, but these are not the only ones out there. Take note that there are other power words that can make you become a better writer.
[4 Tactics] in [SEO] You Should Do and [4 Things] You Shouldn’t
Some writers come up with articles that contain two different topics. So how do they let readers know about it? You guessed it right! By coming up with a headline that talks about both. Again, you can combine this with the Number List or the use of Power Words, as long as all the words blend well.
If you find yourself sweating boulders when crafting headlines that don’t even work most of the time, I think it’s time to leave the old practice and switch to these formulas instead. I guarantee you – you will get results! Please don’t hesitate to share below what you think.