15 Headline Writing Tips to Drive Traffic & Clicks

Masum Billah Bhuiyan
UX/UI Designer at - Adobe

Masum Billah Bhuiyan is an industry-leading digital marketing expert. He’s working for more than 14 years in the industry who’s nationally recognized as a successful...Read more

Most likely, we notice the headline as a combination of a few words. In that sense, we perceived that it’s an easy task to create a headline. But in reality, the implication can really be a big challenge. If you make any errors, your headline can be ignored and overlooked.

In contrast, a great headline works as a blessing for you. It attracts more readers, increases CTR, and also creates value for the search engines. This improves your page’s position on the result page as well.

So, if you’re wondering how to write a headline for your page follow this guide. Here I’ll share the processes or steps to write more effective headlines that will drive more traffic and clicks for your web pages.Headline Writing Tips to Drive Traffic and Clicks

Why Should You Optimize Headlines?

A headline implies the title of the page. A perfect headline should-

  • Be extremely relevant to your content and should be able to accurately describe the content.
  • Catch the reader’s attention and generate interest. 
  • Convince the readers to click through your page.

From the above three points, it is clear that, if you can create a headline that can ensure all these, you can easily lead more people to your article. In fact, in some cases, by seeing the headline users decide whether your content is worth reading or not. 

Besides, depending on the power of your headline the number of traffic will vary. That means if you fail to create an impactful and clickable headline wring great content will be a total waste of time.

According to Neil Patel, Traffic could vary up to 500% because of your headline. In fact, out of 10 readers, 8 people read a headline, 2 people click through it. 

Apart from all these, based on a different platform headlines competes differently. For example-

  • On average office workers receives 121 emails per day. Suppose among all these emails 10% are newsletters that are links to blog posts, most people won’t even read 12 posts a day. Here, the office workers read the compelling ones seeing the headlines. 
  • On social media, your headline needs to compete and win against some powerful competitors as there are infinite scrolls of alarming news,  posts, and ads. 
  • As per Ahrefs, an average site gets almost 2 to 3 of traffic from Google. Here, you can increase the click-through rate using a good and optimized headline. 

15 Headline Writing Tips to Drive Traffic & Clicks

Well, writing a headline isn’t that tough, you just need to focus on some basics and it will be done. As you work through it, just keep the following things in mind. 

1. Make a Keyword Research

For creating the evergreen content, you should do keywords research to find out which keywords get the highest search on the web. With a little change of keywords wording in your headline, you can get more traffic. Let me clear it through this example.

For instance, you are determined to write an article about On-Page SEO. So let’s talk about how keywords research helps you to choose the best headline.

Make a Keyword Research - Write best-suitable Heading & content and reach more traffic

Through the keyword research tools, if you perform a search for the term On-Page SEO, you will find hundreds of suggestions along with the metrics like search volume, difficulty score, and others.

Think for a while that the keyword research tool shows keyword suggestions like On-Page SEO factors, Factors of On-Page SEO, On-Page SEO guidelines, On-Page SEO techniques, etc. And among all these, the phrase On-Page SEO factors have maximum search volume.

In that case, you should select this particular keyword, and along with this, use more supporting words and make the headline like Essential On-Page SEO Factors You Need to Know in 2021.

So through this keyword-rich, relevant, and more appealing headline, you can create the best-suited content and reach more traffic. 

2. Properly Optimized the Keywords

If you get your target keywords, it needs to be optimized appropriately in your headline. Keywords optimization makes a positive impression on the users and also creates an appealing look to the search engines.

Optimize keyword properly

It’s best practice to use the targeted keywords near the beginning.

For example, your target keywords are On-Page SEO factors. Here are some examples of headlines –

  • Essential Factors You Need to Know About On-Page SEO
  • Essential On-Page SEO Factors You Need to Know

Now, tell me, which one creates more impressions? I think you go with the second one.

So, at the time of writing headlines, keep in mind that the target keywords came near the beginning.

3. Highlight the Value of the Content

On the web, there is plenty of content about a specific topic. So among these, why will people read yours?

The answer is simple. If you add or highlight the value of your content people will get attracted, click the link, and read your content. Here the headline works as an excellent way to show what benefits the article or the post offers.

The readers can immediately get an idea of what benefits they will get by reading your article.

Highlight the Value of the Content

You should promise to give useful information, solve their problems, or teach them some interesting things through the headline. When the headlines make any commitment to the readers, they feel more interested in consuming the content and perceive it as valuable.

For example, you make a headline like “11 Professional CV Writing Tips for The Fresh Graduate”. By screening the headlines, the readers will be interested in reading the article because the headlines highlight the article’s value and promise them to give professional CV writing tips.

But you must ensure that the article can provide the promised information.

4. Should Be Relevant to the Content

The headlines help the readers to make decisions whether they read the article or not. By screening the headline, if they perceive that the content will provide value to them, they will be interested in reading it.

Heading should be Relevant to the Content

But if it fails to give the relevant information based on the headline, the readers will bounce back to the search page and try another.

For example, your article’s headline is “5 Ways to Make Money from Online”. The readers expect that it will provide proven ways to make money online. But if it fails, they will abandon your page without even reading half of the article.

You may get a few clicks through an attractive headline, but if you are unable to provide relevant information, they won’t convert into your customers. It’s a bad practice to ignore the content at the time of writing headlines. So, you must try to give the exact information about what the article or content contains.

If the page’s content matches the searcher’s expectations, which grew from screening your headlines, they will stay for long on your page. It leads to a better user experience,  which drives a lower bounce rate and ranks your page higher.

Besides, it will create a positive image for the readers of your site. For this reason, when they will search for any queries and if your web page’s link appears on the result page, they will click it without thinking twice.

5. Keep it Within a Standard Length

The headline’s length depends on what you want to tell the users about your article through it. Your primary purpose is to attract users and also create value for search engines.

The headlines, which are less than 60 characters adequately displayed on the result page; otherwise, the additional words will be cut off.

Standard heading Length

That means, the shorter headlines give you the benefit that they probably won’t be cut off by the search engines. But keep in mind that, too short may fail to grab much attention from the users.

Adequate headlines can give you many more benefits than too shorter headlines. When you use more words in your headlines, it has more possibilities to be unique and grow much interest.

For example, if your article’s headline is “15 Common Local SEO Mistakes & How to Avoid Them,” it will grow much attention among the users. Because by screening the headline, they can perceive that they would be able to learn about local SEO mistakes and how to turn away from them.

Besides, if you target long-tail keywords, you may have no option without writing the longer headlines.

Here, the tips for you don’t make the headlines too long. Write it with 50-60 characters to keep it safe from being cut off. You can check k the length by using the Title Tag Preview Tool from MOZ. 

6. Add Numbers

LinkedIn found that the headlines with numbers get 36% more clicks than those who have not.

So using numbers in the headlines is an effective way to grab attention from the users. It’s a proven tactic that if you use the number at the beginning of your headlines, it has a chance to perform better than others.

For example, when you write your article’s headlines like “Top 15 Secrets Why Your Small Business Needs SEO Strategy” instead of “Needs of SEO Strategy for Small Business,” it will grab more attention from the readers.Create Engaging Headlines using numbers for better performance

Through the numbers, the readers get the signal that you are going to demonstrate the information by an organized list. The users like the list because it is easy to read.

But don’t use too low numbers because the users perceive that it will give them a little information; that’s why they won’t be interested in visiting your page.

7. Use Adjectives in Your Headline

The use of adjectives within the headline will trigger the emotion of the readers. That’s why they feel more interested in reading your article.

Use Adjectives in Your Headline

Here I mentioned some words which played a vital role in grabbing more attention from the readers.

  • Awesome
  • Beautiful
  • Brilliant
  • Essential
  • Excellent
  • Fantastic
  • Great
  • Important
  • Powerful
  • Proven
  • Unique
  • Valuable

These words can turn searchers into readers.

For example, you search for On-Page-SEO factors to get more information about them. The search engines will show many results.

Now tell me which article’s headline grabs your attention, the On-Page-SEO checklist, or 10 essential On-Page-SEO factors you need to know?

Most likely, the next one.

Ok, let me explain with another example.

If you write a headline like “Top 15 Secrets Why Your Small Business Needs SEO Strategy”, won’t it be more attention-grabbing than Headline Writing Tips to Drive Traffic & Click?

So don’t ignore the power of adjectives. Use the appropriate adjectives in your headline and place it in the right position.

8. Add Emotional Words

All words do not work equally. some words can make people cry and some can evoke joy. And, when it comes to creating headlines, emotional words can prompt users to click through your guide more. Usually, emotional words are also referred to as power words which leads your readers to take action immediately. 

Here are some examples of emotional words-Add Emotional Words

9. Use Punctuation

Adding a hyphen or colon to a headline can increase the click-through rate by 9%. In fact, a study by Outbrain and Hubspot found that headlines with brackets performed 38% better than headlines without them.

So, you can place your main keyword before the colon or hyphen and add the rest part. Additionally, you can use brackets to separate clauses in a headline. For example, 

  1. Social Media Marketing: 7 Proven Ways to Get More Social Shares for Your Content 
  2. 7 Ways to Write Click-Worthy Headlines (That Increased My Sales by $12,000)

10. Ask a Question

Question-based headlines are more attention-grabbing. When we find any question, our brains give their contention to answer the question. So the questions grab our attention easily.

So the use of the question in your headline gives you much benefit, but you should first have a clear idea about your content. Take into consideration a few things like, “is the content able to answer the question?” if it can do this, “which question is best suited for your headline?”

You always search for meaningful and actionable questions and place them at the beginning of your headline.

Through the example, you will get a more precise idea about it. Suppose that you are writing an article to provide information about CV writing. For this, you can write a headline like “How to write a perfect CV? 7 things you must know”.

When you produce these types’ headlines, the audience feels more interested in reading the content to get the questions’ answers.

11. Write Many but Choose the Most Appropriate One

Professionals follow the rule, write many headlines, and choose the most appropriate one among these. So you should write a dozen or more headlines with the same keywords and choose one which is most suitable to the article, its users, and your business.

heading - Write Many but Choose the Most Appropriate One

For example, your target keywords are “Headline Writing.” Then you should write some headline like-

  • Headline writing tips for articles.
  • How to write more effective headlines?
  • Don’t miss the Headline writing tips.
  • Do you know? What types of headlines grab more attention from the users?
  • Headline writing tips to get more traffic.
  • Top 11 Headline Writing Tips to Drive Traffic & Clicks.
  • 9 Headline writing tips that are needed to know.
  • Essential headline writing tips you need to know.
  • 9 secrets about headline writing.

Once the headline list is done, use a headline analyzer like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer or Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer to test their score.

Then choose the most relevant one to your article that will perform better.

12. Scan Your Competitor’s Headline

If you cannot produce the idea and are stuck for a long time to create an attractive headline for your article, you can take pictures by scanning the competitors’ headlines.

Visit the top competitors’ websites and scan out the things they followed, like keywords and phrases they used, and how they made the wording in their headlines to get more traffic to their content.

Through these, you will get more ideas about headline writing. You can’t copy the competitors’ headlines, but you will hopefully be able to make your headlines from the concept.

13. Incorporate Call-To-Action Words

Use CTA words to make the headline more actionable when giving direction to the users on what to do; they perceive it to be more expert knowledge.

Incorporate Call-To-Action Words - Use CTA words to make the headline more actionable

Most people search on the web to get information and the solution to their problem. So if you are an information provider,  use the call-to-action words like learn, guide, use, find out, understand,  and make a perception in the readers’ minds that it would be a perfect decision to read your article.

And after completing the reading, they would be well informed about the topic and capable of solving their problems.

Through the example, you will get an idea of how the call-to-action words create appeal to the readers.

For example, you make your article headline like” Full SEO Guides for pages’ Ranking.” But if you enhance the headline by using call-to-action words like “Learn the Full SEO Guides to Boost Up Your Pages’ Ranking,” it will create more appeal. The readers perceived that it would be the right choice to read out the content because it will enhance their SEO knowledge.

14. Create a Unique Headline

When I say Unique, what I mean is “One of a kind.” Simply put, it should be different from others. You can create a unique headline simply by picking up a compelling headline and making some tweaks. But how do you know that your headline is absolutely unique?

Well, once done with the tweaking, simply put the headline into Googles’ search bar enclosing in double quotation marks. to understand it more clearly, see the following image-Create a Unique Headline

If you see no results found once searching like the above image that means your headline is unique. 

Note that, thousands of people will target the same keyword and there is no issue; you should focus on creating a headline that no one else has using the same keyword. 

15. Use Headline Formulas

One of the best ways to create a good headline is to follow the formula or headline structure. So, here are the most common formulas that can help you create an awesome and catchy headline.

  • The “Little Known Ways” Formula

This formula includes all emotionally driven words which pop into people’s minds just after they see the headline. Let me clear this formula with some examples-

  1. 5 Little-Known Steps to Monetize a Brand New Blog Successfully
  2. How These 5 Little Known Secrets Increased My Search Traffic by 54%
  3. 17 Little-Known Ways to Increase Conversion Rate

As users appreciate when little things build up to something significant digital marketers use headlines like above to make the most use of this formula. 

  • The “Get Rid of Once and For All” Formula

The get rid of formula works perfectly for those readers who want a permanent solution for something and get rid of annoying issues. Headlines with this formula are able to captivate the readers from start to finish of the content as they want to know the secrets. 

Here are some examples- 

  1. How to Get Rid of Content Marketing Failure and Drive Search Traffic
  2. Stop Wasting Time: Get Rid of Flashy Social Media Tools and Get More Done
  3. 7 Smart Ways to Get Rid of Affiliate Marketing Struggle and Make More Money
  • The “Who Else Wants” Formula

These types of headlines are more like conversational where users feel like discussing something or having a conversation. The “who else wants” formula helps you to bring your targeted audience as the right question usually generates the right answer. For example, 

  • Who Else Wants to Learn About Conversion Rate Optimization [Step-by-Step]?
  • Who Else Wants the 6 Steps to Master A/B Split Testing?
  • Who Else Want to Raise Capital for a New Startup?


The competition for grabbing attention from the users is intense today. Surviving in this battle needs the best effort. If you make any error, you will be kicked out.

But don’t panic.

Winning this battle mostly depends on the headline. A great headline can make the difference between you and your competitors. It keeps you far ahead of your competitors.

Hopefully, through this in-depth guide, you are well informed now on how to write a great headline. So, apply this knowledge to make your headline and get more traffic and clicks.

Masum Billah BhuiyanUX/UI Designer at - Adobe

Masum Billah Bhuiyan is an industry-leading digital marketing expert. He’s working for more than 14 years in the industry who’s nationally recognized as a successful internet marketer.

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