What Makes a Good Headline in 2018?

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR 

Headlines are one of the most important pieces of any marketing content. Without the right headline, it’s impossible for any company to attract the attention of their target audience. After all, audiences use headlines to decide whether they’re going to bother clicking on a link or search engine result in the first place. 

The question is, how can businesses create headlines that engage and delight the right people. The nature of what makes a good headline has been changing consistently over the years, as consumer trends evolve. Now that we’re well into 2018 it’s time to rethink how headlines can boost the impact of an online campaign.

1.     Use the Right Keywords

Keywords have always been an important part of good headlines. After all, without keywords, it would be difficult for Google to determine where a piece should appear in the search engine rankings. The best way to boost the impact of a headline in 2018 is to choose a keyword with a good search volume. Checking out keyword competition with a digital marketing tool is a good way to begin.

2.     Keep it Short and Simple

While there are times when a longer headline might be necessary to explain the nature of a post – short and sweet is often best. People today are browsing through search engine results on their smartphones. They don’t have time to try and figure out what a long headline means when it’s cut off by Google. Get straight to the point and make the benefits of your article as clear as possible. Try to put your keyword in the first couple of words if possible too.

3.     Use Questions in the Headline

Questions spark curiosity. For companies wondering how to get their customers to click through onto their website, a question can be a great way to inspire action. The key to writing a good headline with questions is to ask something that audiences want to know the answer too. The question also needs to be tied into the main benefit of the content.

4.     Add Numbers

In a page full of boring headlines, a great way for businesses to make sure that their content stands out is to do something different. Adding numbers and symbols can help to draw attention. For instance, if an article includes an infographic or slides, adding [Infographic] at the end can be a great way to inform audiences. Additionally, numbers can make an article seem more professional and scientific.

5.     Use Powerful Words

Some words have more of an impact than others in a headline scenario. For instance, the word “You” instantly appeals to an audience member because it tells them that the business is speaking directly to them. Additionally, people like words like “Knowledge,” “Remarkable,” or “Free.” Testing the words that have the biggest impact on a customer can help businesses to create a dictionary of go-to power terms.

6.     Make It Useful

Finally, when customers consider checking out an article, they want evidence that they’re going to get something in return for their time. A headline needs to prove to a target audience that there’s value behind their click. This means that companies need to be ready to share some unique knowledge or offer helpful insights that they know their audience is looking for. 

What Makes a Good Headline in 2018?About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of NYC based PR firm 5WPR.