Today I’d like to share with you some of my top tips for writing better headline titles for your articles, blog posts and email marketing newsletters.
Keep it simple - Firstly, everyone has their own unique ideas and methods on how to create good headline titles. However one of the most important rules to keep in mind always is to keep your headline titles as simple as possible, but at the same time as compelling as possible. Not everyone likes reading complicated mumbo-jumbo titles that make little sense, that’s tip number one right there.
Make it catchy - So the objective of creating good headline titles is to be able to grab the attention of your audience. I wouldn’t worry yourself too much about SEO for the time being, you really want to be able to entice your readers and get them to click on your article’s headline and start reading your killer opening paragraph. You want to create curiosity and so the best way to do this is to grab their attention with a catchy title, something that compels them to want to click and start reading, that’s tip number two.
Get inspired - One of the best places to find good examples of eye catching headline titles is by checking out the tabloids (your local or national newspaper). Press releases often use headlines that create a huge urge for curiosity, simply by using provocative questioning type titles and making deliberate and sometimes harsh statements.
However, not all your headline titles are going to be news-orientated attention grabbing types. If you’re providing resource and useful information on your blog, then you’d probably want to use a title that suggests your content contains information or a solution to a problem.
Good examples of these would normally be found on ‘How to’ posts. Let’s take a quick look at a few other examples.
- How to save battery life on your iPhone… (Solution type)
- Do you want to get more fans to your Facebook page fast? (Questionable type)
- Mark Zuckerberg not concerned with Google+ threat! (Headline type)
Are there any other types that you can think of, if so do mention them in the comment section below?
Should I keep it short?
The length of your headline is entirely up to you as I don’t believe for one bit that keeping it short is essentially a must. I’ve read many compelling headline titles that are in fact quite long.
However, shorter titles are great for getting the point of your article across quickly, and for your audience, they’re a lot easier to read than longer titles are.
In an ideal scenario most webmasters will probably agree that using around six or seven words is ample enough, though if you are going to use longer headline titles, then ensure you make use of sub-headers where possible.
What about Capitalization?
Many article writers, bloggers capitalize pretty much every word in their titles.
There isn’t anything wrong with doing this but as a guide, try and just capitalize the first word or any keywords you want to highlight, as this simplifies the readability of your headline titles for both humans and of course the search engines.
Here are some examples of common capitalization usage.
- How to build your own iPhone apps… (Capitalizing first word only)
- How To Promote Your Website Offline… (Capitalizing every word)
- 16 Ways to get more Twitter Followers using Email Marketing… (Capitalizing essential keywords only)
Should I Use Keywords?
I mentioned earlier forget about SEO when creating good headline / post titles, but you can also opt-in to add your focus keyword(s) in your headers. Although ‘keyword in titles’ are no longer a major strength factor for ranking for target keywords, I believe it’s still useful to add a keyword or two, for the convenience of your audience more than SEO.
Your thoughts please…
Well I hope that you’ve found these quick tips useful, but as always I’d love to hear your own thoughts and ideas about writing good headline titles. Please feel free to leave me a comment below.
Image courtesy of Flickr user: Shermeee