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Headlines. Who knew that a few words can have such a large impact on the amount of traffic a webpage receives. Today, people aren’t interested in sitting down and casually reading everything out there. We are a society of scrollers and only the articles with the most attention-grabbing headlines get read.

You may have worked really hard on developing fantastic content and have gone above and beyond your site optimization. All this has paid off and you have made it to the top of the SERPs. But at the end of the day, you are still competing with others for the coveted link click.  If you aren’t able to produce an attention-grabbing headline, site visitors will still pass you over for a link with a better headline.

So in today’s post, we will provide you with tips on how to create attention-grabbing headlines to help you improve your chances of getting clicked.

1. Build Attention-Grabbing Headlines Around Keywords

If you want to rank well for SEO, one of the most important steps is to include keywords in the headline.

To go one step further, it’s important that the keyword you are optimizing for is in demand. Margot Whitney explains this rationale as it not only drives traffic to your site through paid and organic searches, but it also proves that you are providing information people are actually looking for.

2. Include Common Phrases in the Headline

While it is good to stand out from the crowd, it doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. What this means is that it’s good to have creative titles. However, there have been so many headlines written that people have learned over the years which phrases get clicks and which ones don’t. So instead of trying to come up with your own data on what works and what doesn’t, why not use some proven formulas.

Buzzsumo conducted a headline study and found that certain phrases garnered more engagement than others. The three top phrases were:

  • “will make you”
  • “this is why”
  •  “can we guess”

If you are able to work these phrases into your headline, it is likely to receive higher levels of engagement.

3. Use Tried and True Headline Formats

If you want more freedom in selecting your title verbiage, but still want to use some tried and true techniques , there are some headline formats you can use. Here are a few formats for you to try.

  • Number Headlines – include numbers in the title to catch more attention. Use the numerical format rather than writing the word out for better engagement.
  • “How To” Headlines – a common search category is for detailed information about a subject. These are often structured in a how-to format.
  • Offering lots of information – if someone is looking for very detailed information on a subject, seeing phrases such as “Ultimate Guide” or “All You Need to Know” signals to readers that they can find all their information in one place rather than going to multiple sites.

4. Write Multiple Headlines

It’s not always easy to write attention-grabbing headlines right off the bat. And sometimes you can be too close to the topic and need a fresh perspective on what is interesting and what’s not. To solve these problems, write multiple headlines for each article you write.

Once you have your selections, ask for some outside opinions. See what headlines resonate with people and which ones do not. Once you have a clear favorite, you can use that one for publishing.

It’s not always easy to write attention-grabbing headlines right off the bat. Click To Tweet

5. Test, Test, and then Test Some More

Headline testing is the final step in creating attention-grabbing headlines. We all know one person who thinks they are hilarious, but in reality their jokes always fall flat. The same concept applies to headlines. We may think we have hit gold with a headline, but if it isn’t getting high click-through rates it’s not doing its job.

To combat this problem, headline testing puts alternate titles head-to-head to find out which headlines resonate more with readers. If one greatly outperforms the other, you know that you are better reaching your readers needs with that one and you should abandon the under-performing title.

Final Thoughts

Headlines can be considered the gateways to your content. While you don’t want to create click bait, you do want to create a headline that catches the reader’s attention. Piquing their interest is the best way to get them to click on your link. You want them to take that first step, so the rest of your hard work (aka your content creation) can take over and do its job.

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