Headlines are often the last thing a content producer writes, and they sometimes don’t get the creative treatment they deserve. However, mistakes made when crafting headlines are often fatal. Even the best-executed marketing campaign will be wasted by a bad headline. The best social media strategies, SEO tactics, content marketing platforms, and pay-per-click advertising can promise only one thing: They will put your headline in front of potential readers. After that, people will click or not based solely on the headline itself.
Many of the most talented writers will spend as much time crafting a headline as they will producing the content itself. After all, how important is your content if no one actually clicks through and reads it? Or if it's not found within organic search results? Creating compelling headlines is both an art and a science. We've written before about the elements that make readers click-through on headlines more often by adding
We've written previously about the elements that make readers click-through on headlines more often by adding emotion and garnering curiosity. Of course, we're not talking about inaccurate or dishonest clickbait titles – we want compelling titles that get readers to the content that they will value. Tricking people into clicking will destroy the credibility and trust that your digital marketing efforts are ultimately trying to overcome. More importantly, a title can influence the reader's consumption of an article as well:
A headline changes the way people read an article and the way they remember it. The headline frames the rest of the experience. A headline can tell you what kind of article you’re about to read—news, opinion, research, LOLcats—and it sets the tone for what follows. Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker
This infographic from CopyPress will help you avoid some of the titling errors content marketers make most often. You’ll learn several simple methods to spruce up your headlines and keep you from making common mistakes. Using the “5 Ws and an H” technique stops you from writing vague, meaningless headlines, for instance, while the “Four U's” method prevents your headlines from being mundane.
Titles that are nearly carbon copies of your competitors’ work are a common blunder. Accordingly, this infographic suggests that you use a little hyperbole or conduct some market research to help make sure that your headline isn’t lost in a sea of similar titles. Use the following infographic as a checklist to make sure that you’re crafting the best headlines possible for your content, then read the accompanying white paper on creating effective titles from CopyPress for a more in-depth treatment of the subject.