We know that content is king, so with that in mind, the headline must be queen. A strong headline can make or break your content. You’ll want your headline to elicit a specific response, portray a clear value, and stand out among the many.
This all sounds hard, but it’s actually fairly simple– as long as you have the right tips!
Enter in Stephanie Thomson, a writer for The Content Strategist, who has six amazing tricks when it comes to crafting “a catchy headline that does justice to the article.” Let’s jump right in!
- “Read a ton of headlines” When in doubt, research it out. A great way to get inspiration is to immerse yourself in as many headlines as possible. What stood out to you as a reader? What trends did you find? And how can you adopt those trends to fit your own needs? It would even be a good idea to set up Google alerts for relevant content. You can then see what other brands are doing and what resonates better. There are even tools out there like BuzzSumo where you can see the most popular headlines on a specific topic.
- “Don’t get too clever or cryptic” If your headline isn’t clear, the reader is unlikely to engage. The whole point of the headline is to quickly and concisely convey a specified message. It’s important to be clear and not cryptic here. The reader should know exactly what to expect with the article upon reading the headline. Of course, you don’t want it to be boring either. Walk the fine line between enticing and value-driven.
- “Seek out inspiration online” Like we mentioned above, seeking inspiration can be extremely helpful. If you’re ever stuck in a rut, remember that the internet has most of the answers. The world’s information is available at your fingertips.
- “Don’t over-promise and under-deliver” Your headlines should be true and value-driven, but don’t over sell the piece. The worst thing you could do is over promise what you’re going to talk about and then fall short. There is so much fake news and clickbait out there, it is essential people can trust what they click.
- “Match the tone of the piece” In the spirit of not over selling, it is good advice for your headlines to match the tone of the content piece. If your article is serious in nature, a funny headline will seem out of place. Vice versa if your headline is clever and funny, but the article is dry and boring, readers will be frustrated. Consistency is key here, folks!
- “Remember to think about SEO” You have to think about SEO when crafting a headline. What you write needs to include keywords people are actually searching for or you won’t rank. It’s that simple. You could have the best article in the world, but if you don’t rank on the first page the likelihood of anyone reading it will be slim.
So, that’s it! Just remember that the queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard and the headline matters just as much as the content itself.