What is the first thing that readers see when looking at an article? If your answer is the headline of the article, you are absolutely correct. Headlines are incredibly important for articles, as they catch the attention of readers. If the headline of an article is bland or uninspiring, readers will simply glance over it and move on to the next article. Here are 5 tips and examples to avoid this and help you craft the perfect headline.
1. Be Specific
Readers should be able to have a clear idea of what the article/blog post will be about just based on the headline. Any vagueness should be clarified in order to avoid any confusion. If readers are not able to identify what the article is going to be about, there will be no way for them to see if the article is of any interest to them.
*Examples: “5 Best Media Platforms For Small Businesses” vs. “Helpful Things for Small Businesses”
2. Avoid Jargon
Jargon are specific words that are used and understood by a particular group or professions, often difficult for others to understand. Puting any jargon in headlines could potentially throw people off from reading the article. It is best to write headlines, assuming that readers will not have any pre-existing knowledge on the topic at hand.
*Examples: “Top 3 Most Important Rulings of SCOTUS” vs. “Top 3 Most Important Rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States”
*Note how readers could have no idea what SCOTUS stands for.
3. Use Powerful Adjectives
Your headlines can reach the next level with the correct use of adjectives. These descriptive words can highlight the main focus of the article by making it appear to be super-attractive. Some common adjectives that are used include: Fun, Effortless, Free, Incredible, etc.
*Examples: “10 Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas” vs “10 Free, Effortless Halloween Costume Ideas”
*There is a notable difference in the impact of these headlines with the simple addition of powerful adjectives.
4. Use Numbers
Humans are geared to be attracted to numbers and lists, as numbers are easy for the brain to process. We all hate uncertainty, yet numbers provide us with a sense of certainty. Multiple studies have indicated that headlines that included numbers have performed better than headlines without.
*Examples: “Ways to Make Eating Ice Cream Healthier” vs. “5 Ways to Make Eating Ice Cream Healthier”
5. Create a Sense of Urgency
Headlines with urgency will often include the words “now” or “today”. By doing this, writers are able to create a sense of urgency within their readers. Readers will feel the need to read whatever article they stumbled upon in that specific moment.
*Examples: “5 Ways to Improve Studying Habits” vs “5 Ways to Improve Studying Habits Today”
Headlines can make or break articles. It is important to put the necessary effort in developing your very own headlines. Follow these 5 tips, and you will be on your way with the perfect, eye-catching headline for your next article.