The first place a reader’s eyes goes to is the headline of an article or an ad. This is because a headline has bigger font than the article content and the reader wants to know what the article or an ad is about. A good headline will not only capture their attention, but convert them too. A terrible headline will push away a reader from the article and she won’t reader further on. So, what do readers look for in a headline? What headline is best for you?
Here are a few tips to write awesome headlines that get readers interested in your article.
Readers have short patience, are weary of spam and don’t hesitate to stop reading if the article is not giving them what they want. A reader is hunting for a bit of information and doesn’t want to waste any time.
If your headline is not telling a reader about the information the article is giving, they will going to leave it. A good headline will tell a reader whether your article interests her or not. Don’t beat around the bush.
A headline should communicate that it is helpful to a reader. This can be in the form of ’10 ways’, ‘5 tips’ or ‘How to’. A useful headline conveys some benefit in reading the article. These are usually tips and hacks at the workplace, life, kitchen or any other situation. It depends on your article content.
Sense of Urgency
A headline that communicates a sense of urgency gives the feel that the article must be read now. It’s a great way to compel a reader to read so they don’t miss out on the information.
A good example is ‘You are losing sales because of too many customer choices!’ A professional would immediately want to find out why giving a customer too many choices is bad. Using punctuation at the end of your headline is a good way to communicate that.
Question Your Reader
Turn your headline into a question for your reader. This is a fantastic way to gear up their curiosity. It’s important that the question connects with your target reader. It needs to be relevant to them, if it’s not relevant, then you’re not going to be able to interest them.
Example, ‘Do you want earn a quick buck?’ Who doesn’t want to earn a quick buck? A question to a reader gives the feel that you’re directly asking them a question.
Throw around Adjectives
Readers take notice of adjectives which convey descriptions on what your article contains. Example – free, easy, essential, unbelievable, etc.
Write the Headline Last
Only when you’ve completed writing the article should you put in the title. This is better because now you are aware of the article style and content. A headline will prepare a reader for the article.
Keep it Honest
Don’t present headlines with false promises or even stretches of the truth. A reader won’t waste time with such articles. Keep it real and truthful. At the most, a slight exaggeration is fine.
Experiment around with these tips and see what works for your articles and audience.