How To Write Catchy Titles And Headlines For Pages And Posts

how to write catchy titles and headlines

In this post I am going to show you a bunch of proven secrets to writing catchy titles and eye catching headlines…

…all with a laser-beam focus on winning the click.

I have been spending a ton of time just recently, learning the time-tested, successful formulas of the world’s best paid advertising copy writers and bloggers.

Catchy titles and eye catching headlines grab people's attention.

Catchy titles and eye catching headlines win the click.

But there is a fine line between a title that is is super-clickable, and a title that is clickbait.

Clickbait may well win the click, but it will very often see that visitor bounce straight back to wherever they came from.

A high quality clickable title will be both eye catching, and completely relevant to the article it's linking to.

It is clickable and it is sticky.

If you're ready to jack up your click-through-rate, let's kick things off…

Titles And Headlines – Where They Are, What Do they Do

Before we go any further, let's just make absolutely certain we totally get the differences between titles and headlines according to where they are found.

WHERE IS YOUR HEADLINEPOTENTIAL RESULTQUICK TIPS
H1 Article/Page/Post Header (on your page, not in search)Increased time spent on pageUse the extra space to an H1 offers to communicate benefits
Title Tag (shows up in search, not on page)Improved search engine rankingsPlace targeted keywords near the front and use less than 60 characters
Social Media PostBetter click through rates and increased sharingTrigger emotion and pique curiosity. Use characters such as hashtags etc.
Video TitleIncreased click through rates and viewsAdd your headline into the thumbnail. Use both your keyword and unexpected word in the headline
Email Subject LineIncreased open rates and readsUse appropriate power words in the first 5 words

Why Create Great Headlines And Catchy Titles

No blog, e-commerce site, authority site, big or small, is going to win without great titles and headlines.

If you're running a relatively small site, pretty much on your own, this should be music to your ears.

Why?

Because you can choose to spend that extra time needed to come up with killer titles, that somebody writing for a much larger site may not be given.

As a niche site owner, solo-blogger, whichever type of smaller player you may be, you can win the click over the big players through mastering the art of writing attention grabbing, curiosity piquing headlines.

It is totally possible, and totally repeatable, time-and-again.

Hacking The Title And Headline Writing Process

Do you find yourself falling into this trap?

  • You come up with a great idea for a new post;
  • You do a ton of high quality keyword research – it takes an hour or two;
  • You research and write a top article – most likely four or five hours;
  • You spend time finding images to fit the piece well – another hour or two;
  • Finally, you write your title/headline – about five, or maybe ten, minutes.

If this isn't true for you, and you're prioritising writing your titles, good for you, you are probably already beating your competitors to the click more often than not.

But for most of us, we tend to leave writing the title to the very end, by which time we are itching to hit the publish button.

And it is this shortcoming that leads us into the first hack for crafting top quality headlines and catchy titles…

…And it's all about the process…

  • Write your draft headline/title before you write your copy;
  • Write 10 headlines/titles for every article before making your choice;
  • Use different headlines for different elements (H1 tags, title tags, social media posts etc.) to maximise performance in each location;
  • Check the copy being used in recurring PPC ads – if they keep paying, it is probably working;
  • Allocate at least one hour to researching and writing your headlines and titles.

Try and get used to applying this process, it will pay off.

And whatever you do…

…Do not hit the publish button until you have come up with a clickable, catchy title.

Okay, so that's the process, but how do you actually write a catchy headline?..

How To Write Catchy Titles And Headlines

Precisely what works does of course vary across industry, niche and interest.

And that stands to reason right?

You wouldn't use the same types of words when trying to sell a car as you would promoting a dentist surgery.

But, despite the fact that the actual, specific words you will use will vary depending on industry and niche, the formula stays just the same.

And here it is…

An easy to follow and implement, five-step formula for writing high quality, super-catchy titles and headlines:

#1. Use Engaging Words that Communicate the Purpose of Your Article

lego people holding straw as proxy for engaging words in catchy titles

These are words that communicate the key purpose of your article to your readers.

These are words that emphasise the big wins, as they communicate that your readers are going to be shown secrets, tricks, hacks, ideas, tips etc.

Examples of Engaging Words Being Used in Titles & Headlines:

  • Secrets to Creating Award-Winning Portrait Photography
  • 5 Ways to Finding the Best Flight Prices
  • 4 Top Tricks for a Safe Summer Tan
  • How to Create Great Blog Post Title Ideas
  • 10 Tips for Destroying Acne

It stands to reason that these types of titles are best suited to list and listicle type posts.

#2. Use Action-Prompting Trigger Words

graffiti example of action prompting words

Okay so there are many different types of trigger words, and if you read enough about copywriting you can drive yourself half mad trying to put them all into neat little categories of exactly which ones fit where.

But for the here and now, we're talking about tigger words that prompt your readers to do something, or not do something, specific.

And for this, it’s been proven many times over, that using the simple words of ‘why' and ‘how' will deliver you the best results when trying to push your readers into taking definitive action.

Examples of Trigger Words Being Used in Titles & Headlines:

  • How to Get Red Wine Off a White Shirt
  • Why Investing in Crypto-Currency is Crazy
  • How to Triple Your Income without Leaving the House
  • Why You Need to Invest in Books
  • How to Find a Great Builder

#3. Use Numbers for Easy Reading and Clarity

numbered wooden cubes loosely stacked

Numbers make titles and headlines clear and easy to read.

They catch the eye and give the reader a great indication of what to expect from the article.

Don't stuff numbers in to your titles if there is no real reason for them to be there, but if there is, make sure you use them.

Examples of Numbers Being Used in Titles & Headlines:

  • The 3 Daily Habits of the World's Happiest People
  • Start a Website in 5 Simple Steps
  • 6 Quick Tips for Better SmartPhone Photos
  • 6 Simple Formulas for Writing Great Ad-Copy
  • How to Lose 7 Kilos in 10 Days

#4. Evoke Emotion in Your Reader

neon smiley face as proxy for catchy headlines evoking emotion

We are emotional Beings. Well, psychopaths aren't, but the rest of us, we are emotional Beings.

If you can use adjectives that resonate with the emotions of your readers, the result will be higher engagement.

If your readers feel that you understand their problems, that you empathise with them, they are many times more likely to click through to your post.

It is well worth spending a little time learning about how to use adjectives that convey feeling and emotion when writing titles and headlines.

Examples of Adjectives Being Used in Titles & Headlines:

  • Amazing Ways to Say I Love You
  • 5 Super-Fun Ways to Teach Maths
  • Mind-Blowing Free Graphic Design Samples
  • Essential Skin Care Products You Can’t Live Without
  • Best Laptop Brands of the Year

#5. Make a Promise…(that your article delivers on)

People the world over love to read, and will always love to read, articles that promise a certain outcome.

What's in it for them?..

…What will they get better at, what bad habit will they kick, what great new habit will they gain?

Tell your readers exactly what is in it for them, if they click through and read your article.

And then deliver on that promise.

#6. Ask a Question

Headlines containing questions have a couple of great benefits.

Number one is that they play to the psychology of the reader.

You know this yourself.

You read a question and immediately start to wonder about the answer.

This is rock-solid human psychology…a question lacks completeness, and the human mind wants it completed.

Number two is ‘Search'.

More and more people are searching the internet using voice queries, and voice queries tend to be spoken as complete questions.

It therefore stands to reason that titles constructed as questions help search engines connect readers to your content.

Examples of Questions Being Used in Titles & Headlines:

  • How Does Social Media Affect Real Social Interaction?
  • How Optimistic Are You? Take This Short Quiz and Find Out….
  • Why Some Dogs Bark at Night? 3 Dog Trainers Offer Their Tips

The Art Of Writing Catchy Titles And Headlines

Okay, so far it's all been about the formula, the science, of constructing a great title for your articles.

But writing, whatever kind of writing, is as much about the art of writing as it is the science…well, if you want people to connect to what you write it is.

Aim to intrigue people, pique their curiosity, wherever possible.

My big tip here would be to only ever write your sample titles and headlines when you are in the correct frame of mind for it.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, or dour, give it a miss. Your gloomy mood will come across in your writing.

Write your titles when feeling energised and motivated, as these feeling too will be conveyed in your writing.

5 Big Reasons To Spend More Time On Your Titles And Headlines

Let's just quickly remind ourselves as to why we're bothering adding more time to the article writing process.

Well crafted, cleverly written titles and headlines will, more often than not, deliver the following:

  1. Higher click-through rates
  2. Higher rate of engagement
  3. More readers and followers
  4. Enable blog posts to become incredibly interesting
  5. Better sales and more profits

Each and every one a great reason to spend more time on your title and headline writing.

Learn The Formula And Learn The Art

You can learn the formula, and you can learn the art, of great headline writing.

Start paying real attention to the headlines you see in recurring ads.

Start noticing how headlines and titles tend to fall into one of a handful of categories, such as:

  • The ‘Easy Fix' headline
  • The ‘Drama-Enhancing' headline
  • The ‘Learn From the Expert' headline
  • The ‘Awe-Inspiring' headline
  • The ‘Proof-Driven' headline
  • The ‘No-Nonsense, Smart' headline

Catchy Titles And Headlines – Wrapping It Up

Once you have decided on the subject of your article and sorted your targeted keywords and phrases out…

…do this bit next.

Write your title/headline before starting your article.

Create potential titles for each place they may go, taking advantage of extra space wherever it is available.

On websites, it amazes me how many people use exactly the same wording for both their H1's and their Title Tags…even though they have over twice the characters available for their H1's.

When it comes to an articles success, tiny tweaks to a title can have a huge impact.

I promise you, time spent on your titles and headlines will pay back in spades.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and good luck.

Last Updated on November 19, 2021 by andrewtk

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