An epic headline is often described as the “gateway to your content.” This gate is freely open to your readers, but the quality of the title dictates whether they decide to step through or not. This is a huge opportunity that many people don’t give enough consideration to when constructing a post.
It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest post ever written. No one will read it if they aren’t sucked in by the headline. That’s why today we’re going to look at the characteristics of a great headline, so you can use them to capture attention from your visitors.
The Anatomy of a Perfect Headline
Your epic headline will make up 50% of your post’s total effectiveness. That’s right, over half of the power your post has lies in those first few words at the top. While there’s no single formula for the perfect headline, there are plenty of characteristics that appear in the best ones.
What is a blog, you ask? It’s a collection of headlines with posts attached to them, so you have to understand how to write these kinds of headlines. There are a common characteristics so you can begin building the idea of a perfect headline:
Include Numbers and Real Data
Headlines that have numbers or data within them are vastly more effective. In fact, studies have shown they generate 73% more shares and engagement. The reason behind this lies in the way our brains are hardwired. According to Debra Jason: “Our brains are attracted to numbers because they automatically organize information into a logical order. In marketing and advertising, your headline is an advertisement for your content. A single, small odd-numbered digit like 7 for example, is like candy for your organizational mind.”
Specifically, odd numbers tend to perform better than their even counterparts. In fact, headlines that were altered to include an odd number received a 20% increase in click-through rate.
Provide a Reason to Read
Your epic headline should give your readers a reason to click it. Why should they read your content? What are you offering them? A promise like this must be made in your headline if you want them to click.
This is extremely important, considering that 89% of blog posts don’t get more than 100 shares on social media. If you want them to spread your content, you need to give them a strong reason. To do this, try including these words into your headlines:
- Tips (as in 7 Tips For Starting Your Blog)
- Reasons (The 9 Reasons You’re Not Successful Yet)
- Lessons (3 Lessons I Learned in High School That Made me a Successful Blogger)
- Facts (The 5 Facts I Wished I Knew When I Starting Blogging)
- Strategies (The 3 Backlink Strategies All The Experts Are Using)
Make Them Stop and Read
Grabbing attention is far easier said than done. If you want people to read your post, then you have to make them read the epic headline first.
This isn’t easy, given that the average attention span is 8.25 seconds.
Your headline should contain something called “The Four U’s” which was popularized by Michael Masterson.
Here they are:
- A Unique Headline
- Ultra-specific wording
- A sense of urgency
- It has to convey a useful idea
If we break these down, you’ll find that it paints a picture we can use for our headlines. To accomplish the first “U”, trying searching for your headline on Google. Make sure you use quotation marks for an exact search.
If it doesn’t come up, then you’ve got a unique headline. To make your headlines specific, make sure you’re addressing or answering a question that your audience has and needs an answer for. To make it urgent, use words that convey a sense of time. Tell them they to know these things “now” or “today.”
Finally, the useful idea you’re conveying should be something of value to your readers, like how to use apps to grow your business. By using some of the tips above, you can create useful headlines by including motivation and data.
Choose an Epic Headline Formula
Knowing these things, the final step is to create a formula that you use for your post headline. While there are plenty of ways that other bloggers craft their headlines, ultimately yours should be unique to you and what works for your audience.
To help you construct your own headline formula, here are some examples of how others are doing it:
- Bronn at Kissmetrics uses “S.H.I.N.E” (Specificity, Helpfulness, Immediacy, Newsworthiness, Entertainment Value.
- Another headline formula is one fitness experts use which Identifies the problem, offers a solution, and makes a promise to apply the solution and bring about benefits.
- The Little Known Ways formula uses emotional words and the phrase “little-known ways” to compose a headline that sticks in people’s minds.
The headline is one of the most important elements of any blog post. Spend the proper amount of time and energy on crafting it, and you’ll reap the rewards. How do you construct your headlines? Let us know which formula works for you in the comments!