CAREER ADVANCEMENT / AUG. 19, 2014
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How to Write Headlines That Convert Browsers to Readers

When it comes to web copy, the headline is the most crucial element. The purpose of your headline should be to grab the attention of site visitors and draw them into the body content. However, if your headline is not compelling enough, visitors are likely to click away without reading the rest of the content.

Here are some great ideas for writing effective headlines:

1. Mention the benefit

Think of the major benefit you are offering and craft a headline out of it. This is one of the best ways of capturing the attention of your audience. Even if they don’t read the rest of your content, at least they will have an idea what you are offering. Here are a few examples:

  • Achieve a Flawless Complexion with Camay Body Lotion
  • Eliminate Migraine Instantly with This Vegetable Diet

2. Ask a stimulating question

This can be a very effective way of engaging your readers. It should nudge the reader to say ‘Yes’ or ‘Please tell me more’. Here are some of the questions you could ask:

  • Is Weight Loss Your Main Concern? Read This.
  • Are You Guilty of These Eight Investing Mistakes?
  • How Do I Know The Best Time to Change Careers?

3. Issue a command

This is where you directly tell the reader what to do. This kind of headline should contain a benefit which the reader will derive from the post. Here are some examples:

  • Learn a Foreign Language in 30 Days
  • Create Your Own Website in Minutes Using Moto Templates

4. How-to

Most people have an innate desire to improve themselves of their lives. A how-to headline shows people how they can actualize that desire. However, you need to ensure that your headline focuses on the ultimate result and not the process. The words ‘How’ or ‘How to’ should be followed immediately by the benefit. For instance:

  • How to Make Money Writing For Blogs
  • How to Lose Weight without Dieting

5. Announce exciting news

Human beings are naturally curious and therefore always looking for information from newspapers and magazines. Writing your headline in news-style can be a very powerful way of drawing the attention of your audience. Here are some great examples:

  • Introducing the Latest Technology for Weight Loss: Slimbot
  • Breaking News: The iPhone 5 is Here!
  • Shocking New Findings about The Human Body

6. Share a secret

Write a headline which gives your readers the impression that they are getting exclusive information from an authority. Here are some examples:

  • 6 Secrets to a Long, Healthy Life
  • The Secret to Financial Freedom
  • The Secret to Raising Responsible Children

7. Use powerful words

The words you use in your headline matter a lot. There are some English words that have been proven to grab attention and stir emotions. These powerful words include:

  • Maximize
  • Innovative
  • Awesome
  • Killer
  • Achieve
  • Boost
  • Uncover
  • Disrupt
  • Surprising
  • Hacks
  • Science
  • Smart
  • Critical

Conclusion

Whatever strategy you choose to create a headline, take your time before making a final decision. Don’t just settle on the first idea that comes to your mind. Instead, brainstorm and come up with several ideas. This way, you are more likely to come up with the best, most effective headline.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, shironosov

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