Sep 22, 2022

How to Write a Compelling Headline


What is a headline, and just what is it that makes a headline good? Learn the breakdown here and find out how to write a compelling headline every time.

How to Write a Compelling Headline

Are your articles or posts not getting enough views or love from your audience? An excellent way of getting more clicks for any written content you make is to write a great headline.

Before we can get to the heart of how to write a compelling headline, we’ll answer the question, “what is a headline?” Below, we’ll also cover the types of headlines to use for your online content, like the Facebook Ads headline. Finally, we’ll move on to the method of writing a headline that will draw people (and views) in.

Read on, and we’ll show you how to master the art of crafting irresistible headlines.

What Is a Headline?

Some decades ago, you’d find these headlines on the front page of newspapers, magazines, and on TV news. At the turn of the digital era, most of the headlines we see today are on the screens of computers or mobile devices. You can find them as a blog article headline, a Google Ads headline, or news article headlines.

In its barest form, the headline is the title of an article, story, news, or other written material. It aims to gain the reader’s interest, hook them, and get them to read the rest of your article or story. In marketing, writing an exciting headline is the best way to present your content.

Importance of Headline in Advertising

Your headline offers a glimpse of the content you’re offering. It has the power to entice or turn away audiences. Without a good headline, your ads or content won’t get much engagement with your target audience.

Remember that an average of 80% of people read your headline copy. Often, the same people also prefer to skim or scan your content when they can. Only 20% of people will read the rest of your copy.

Types of Headlines in Copywriting

Now, you know the answer to the question of “what is a headline?” Now, let’s discuss the different types of headlines. You need to be familiar with the types of headlines, so you can also add variety to the headlines you write. They’ll also make fantastic introductions to the various types of content you put out.

Direct Headlines

Direct headlines are about as straight as headlines go. Marketers and sales clerks use them on ads to inform consumers of retail promotions. Such headlines include phrases like “50% Off When You Sign Up!”

Indirect Headlines

Indirect headlines are subtle and aim to arouse the reader’s curiosity. They create questions in the reader’s mind, which will drive them to click on the headline. You can play with words and use double meanings when you use this type of headline.

How-To Headlines

The how-to headline type is one of the most popular and successful types of all time. This kind of headline promises to teach the reader a method, tips, or a process to do something. An example of this is “How to Escape and Survive a Robbery Attempt.”

Question Headlines

As the name goes, headlines that contain a question are question headlines. However, you need to ask questions that your readers can sympathize with. An example is “Are You Tired of Insomnia? Here Are 10 Ways to Sleep Better.”

Command Headlines

Command headlines take an authoritative tone and tell readers what to do. For example, “Cool Down in the Summer with These Smoothie Recipes.” When you write a command headline, start it with a strong verb or action word.

Reasons Why Headlines

“X Reasons Why” headlines may or may not start with a set of numbers/reasons. This is another type of headline that is popular in digital marketing today. One reason is that 36% of readers like list-based headlines better. A great example is “8 Reasons Why Your Computer Is Heating Up.”

Testimonial Headlines

Take a customer’s testimonial and turn it into a headline. Don’t forget to shorten it so that it isn’t too long. This works best for marketing a product or service.

How To Write a Compelling Headline

Now, you know the different headline types or formulas. Yet, it takes more than knowing how to assemble your headline to make it compelling. Here are the steps in writing a captivating headline.

Understand Your Audience

Before you write a single word, you should know who you’re writing for. Ask questions like, “which demographic are you writing for” and “what do they want to see?” If you know who your audience is, you know how to pick the best emotional words for headlines.

Write an Outline of the Ad or Content

Your headlines need to echo the main point of your ad or content. Become familiar with the content by summarizing it in an outline. Once you know what you’re making the headline for, it’ll be easier to write a headline for it.

Use Keywords or Power Words for Headlines

Try to optimize your headline the moment you create it. Take one of the major keywords in your ad or content and include it in the headline. Remember that your headline won’t optimize itself.

Create Different Headlines and Test Them Many Times

Don’t be afraid to keep shooting out headline after headline for one article or ad. Use the formulas we mentioned above to create a variety of headlines. Read them out loud and pick the one which sounds the most compelling.

On the other headlines, you can add big numbers or key statistics. You can also frame your headline, so it’s saying that you’re “sharing” secrets, reasons, facts, and ideas. Don’t forget to deliver on it when you frame your headlines in that way.

Out of the many headlines you write, pick two or three of the most effective ones. Use split or A/B tests to find out which of your headlines will do better. Testing your headlines helps you find the type that works best with your target audience.

Pick an Important Product Benefit or Problem

Does the headline look like it’s missing something? If your content includes product benefits, pick one and place it on your headline. When you pick a product benefit, pick the one that your target audience is looking for.

You can also address a problem in your headlines. This is a great route if the ad or content provides solutions for the problem. An excellent example is “How to Improve the Speed of Your Laptop and Fix Other Performance Issues.”

Write Effective Headlines for Your Content Today

Now, you know the answer to the question, “what is a headline?” You also now know how to write a compelling ad, article, or Linkedin headline.

If you need help with writing high-converting headlines for your online content, get in touch with us today.

Article Last Updated:
October 19, 2022

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