If you’re fishing for readers, a great headline is the best tool at your disposal. Headlines (along with preview images) are the first indicator of your content that readers see online. And if your headline doesn’t pique curiosity, your blog or article will simply get lost amongst the millions of others like it on the internet.
To protect your content from such an unfortunate fate, here’s our guide to truly killer headlines – why they’re important, and how you can craft them for your content.
The Attention Span Problem
According to a 2015 study by Microsoft Corp., readers online lose interest after eight seconds – an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish! That’s an insanely small amount of time for your article to attract the audience’s attention. However, if your headline conveys the meaning of your content perfectly, it can sidestep this problem and make viewers click on your link.
And Now, for our Hot Headline Tips!
Here are some guidelines that will make your headline a beacon for clicks (and shares!)
Clarity: Don’t complicate your headline for the sake of cleverness. Make sure that it communicates your content’s meaning and purpose in a clear, simple line.
Example: PM visits Chandigarh for Make in India Seminar
Engagement: Readers don’t like dry, matter-of-fact language – rather, they prefer content that’s engaging and stimulating. Your headline should invite them to read your content and also chip in with their own opinions. Headlines written in first person typically do this best.
Example: 5 Ways to Build your Business with your Smartphone Camera
Crisp language: Remember that attention span problem we talked about? You can’t afford to use extra words that will go over your reader’s head. Frame your headline using as few words as possible.
Example: 7 Social Media Tips for your Business
Accurate facts: Unfortunately, these are harder to come by in today’s age of clickbait. However, a factually correct headline is still very effective, and leaves no room for ambiguity. Frame your headlines using the right information, and your audience will appreciate you for it.
Example: AAP Leader Demands Info on Pak Surgical Strikes
Some Savvy Stats That Say it All
If you want to know just how much difference crisp headlines can make, here are some handy statistics:
<represent the stats below as an infographic>
- 8 out 10 readers don’t make it past the headline – Copyblogger.com
- 36% of total viewership connects with ‘Number headlines’ (eg.: ‘30 salads you should try now’) the most – Moz.com
- There can be 500% difference in reach between good and bad headlines – Upworthy Co-founder Peter Koechley
The first impression is the last impression – this holds true especially for your headlines. Don’t let it be an afterthought – frame, sharpen and hone your headline to give your article the best shot at popularity!
Or better yet, partner with a creative communications agency that will optimize your content, headlines and all!