If you want your articles, press releases and blogs to get read then get a decent headline. As many as five times the amount of people will read a headline than read the main body copy, so to capture interest in what you have to say it really pays to get it right. So, what’s going to get your headline noticed?
Benefits: Favourite by far are the headlines offering the reader a benefit to them: a warmer home; whiter teeth; greater savings; slimmer figure; faster car.
Free information: Like our headline, ‘how to’ headlines that offer help, support and information are also read and remembered more often – who can afford to pass up some good free advice?
News: High achievers are also the headlines that include news – information that could be useful, interesting, different. The product may not be new but there may be a new way to use it, or a variety of ways that the reader may not have thought about.
Keep it local: If you are looking for local clients and readers put the name of your town/area in the title – people are far more interested in learning about the place they live than somewhere that is not likely to have an impact on their lives.
Long or short? That depends on what you’re talking about and who you want to attract. Bearing in mind our points above there’s no hard and fast rule on this one. If it needs to be long, so be it; if it can be short ditto.
Don’t try to be too clever: Puns and double meanings can be fun but competing for attention of a busy person scanning a paper, newsletter or website, you’ll be losing far more readers than you’ll gain.
Flying blind: Similarly, try and avoid the temptation to write a headline that gives no clue to what you are selling. These ‘blind’ headlines don’t perform well, again, who has the time?
Worst case scenario? No headline at all…