12 tips for crafting attention-grabbing and clickable headlines

Crafting a captivating and clickable headline is one of the most important elements of a blog article. It’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of a ‘scroll-past-it’ headline. Think about it, how many articles did you scroll past this morning? My guess: too many to remember (including the COVID-19 article your mum sent you). With social media bustling with content from every corner, it’s hard to stand out. However, there are a few tricks that can make your article headline go from snooze-fest to ‘instantly clicks and reads on commute’.

This is obvious but, why is a headline important?

There’s no point writing a great article if no one clicks to read it. So really, your headline is *the* most important thing–don’t come at us content writers, we’re on your side.

Think about it, which would you read?

How to write a great headline vs 12 tips for crafting attention-grabbing and clickable headlines

Well, we know the answer–because you’re reading this article right now!


12 tips for a killer headline

#1 Numbers and lists

Did you notice that our headline has a number and indicates that it is in list form? It’s because readers are captivated by lists! The list indicates that they don’t have to run through word-heavy content to get to the point, they can simply scan the list. In fact, don’t be surprised if many readers skip your introduction and head straight for the list (it’s ok if you did it to us *not affected*). The addition of a number makes your headline stand out more. Also, the higher the number, the better.

#2 Make your value stand out

Readers only pay attention to articles that promise to give them something. A vague title is not going to score you clicks. Think about it, why did you click on our article? Don’t say it’s because it was on your LinkedIn feed. It’s because we told you what we were giving you. Yup, spoilers are actually good here. ‘Attention-grabbing and clickable headlines’ is what you’re getting and that’s what readers want. So stay away from ‘How to make lemonade’ and run to ‘3 simple steps to thirst-quenching lemonade’.

#3 Get your reader psyched!

There is no point in writing a headline that attracts no one. People will not read a boring title unless it’s on their school reading list. Pump your readers up by using creative words and snappy headlines. Walk the line of unique and informative. 

#4 Keep your audience in mind

Know your audience and think about what matters to them. Whenever you are crafting a headline, always point it in their direction. What would they want to know? What interests them? What do they fear? E.g. 7 cooking tips to make your meals restaurant-worthy. This headline clearly targets home-cooks and foodies because it capitalises on their ‘want’ to consistently improve their food.

#5 Always use 2nd person

It may be a little weird to use ‘you’ when in reality, you’re speaking to no one however, it’s highly effective. It draws readers in, calls them out and makes them feel addressed. While it may not work in every headline, you should certainly use it where you can.

#6 Ask questions

Ok, we didn’t do it in our headline, but it’s very helpful for drawing readers in. In addition to the punctuation being an eye-catcher for readers, it also makes them think.

#7 Use keywords

This is more of a ‘Google’ thing than a content thing but, you must use your keywords in your headline. It’ll help your post to rank better in Google–one of the only ways to get seen–and will inform your reader about the overall topic.

#8 Keep it under 70 characters

Again, this is a Google thing. A headline with 70 characters looks best in a Google search because it ensures that the headline that you put a lot of hard work into creating is not cut off. Don’t bother checking our headline, it’s a perfect 63 characters.

#9 Stay on topic!

You’d be surprised how many people do not do this. Stay on topic in your headline. Ensure that your headline reflects your content and is clear. Confusing headlines that seem to have no direction will not make a reader click on it.

#10 Educate

Titles that indicate that the content will educate them are generally attractive to readers. Words like ‘guide’, ‘tips’, or ‘strategies’ point to understanding how to do something or how to do it better. It’s easy to miss out on using these powerful words and lose the effectiveness of educating the reader so, always double-check your headline

#11 Create urgency, seize your freedom

Don’t be afraid to make readers feel like they *must* read your article. Words like ‘must-have’, ‘only’, ‘secret’ and ‘now’ develop urgency in the reader, making them feel like they will be missing out if they don’t read your article. 

#12 Use the 5Ws

We’re going back to school here for a bit but, do you remember the 5Ws?

  • Who 
  • What 
  • When
  • Where
  • Why

These words indicate that your article contains specific information. Occasionally, how is used, but it’s vague so, we’ll stick with the 5Ws.

There are many more tips for content writing that we can include. As readers get pickier and the internet is flooded with content, we evolve and develop new strategies for creating eye-catching headlines. Want to learn more about content writing? Keep your eye on this area, or better yet, subscribe to our newsletter.

Related Articles
Content Marketing
Social Media Marketing: Is it worth it?
Digital Marketing
The big question: Does my business need SEO?