A strong headline is a vital part of doing this, making your content stand out among the many other pieces competing for a reader’s attention. But what exactly does a powerful headline involve?
Here are four rules you can’t ignore.
#1 Be Truthful
Way ahead of any other consideration, your headline must be relevant and accurate. Sure, it needs to be clickable, but it shouldn’t cross the line into clickbait if you want your content to be taken seriously. A good headline sets up a promise for the content to deliver on, and if those expectations aren’t met, the reader will feel cheated. This is rarely a result you want to achieve if you value your brand.
#2 Keep it Simple
An effective headline needs to be short and scannable. The reader should be able to understand it at a glance, even among the noise of a social media timeline or a crowded search result. This means delivering the concept clearly, ideally in as few words as possible. Avoid being too elaborate or clever – save this for the tagline or introductory paragraph.
#3 Convey a Benefit
Why should the reader spend time reading your content? What’s in it for them? The headline should send a clear signal about how your content will solve a reader’s problem, improve their lives, or be an entertaining diversion.
#4 Provoke a Response
Lastly, although simplicity is always a great feature of a headline, this shouldn’t mean it becomes bland and boring. Try to spark some curiosity, inject a little humor, or provoke an emotional response. It needs to grab attention in some way while still staying true to the content which follows.
Writing great headlines is an art. That’s why major publications employ copy editors to create them for content written by others. You may not have that luxury, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make headlines a prime focus during content development. Your readers and engagement metrics will both thank you for it. Need help in content and headline creation? Reach out to Easthall Design today.
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