How Can I Make The Best Headline For A Blog Post To Grab A Reader’s Attention?

What is the best way to attract a reader to content? The headline. This has been true as long as print articles have been vying for people’s attention. Careers have been made as headline writers and those people are still are some of the most important people around as the news world fights for reader’s eyeballs. The digital age has changed the medium from print to the virtual world but the competition for eyeballs remains the same, though the competition has grown even fiercer. So, what can you do to make the best headline for your blog posts to grab that reader’s attention?

Like with many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques this one is not cut and dry as well. The wording that goes into the headline is a great place to start. Numerous studies have been conducted to try to determine what makes an article’s headline work. Many of the studies do not even agree with each other so what works for your blog may be a matter of trial and error or practice makes perfect. That being said there are some things to keep in mind.

How to Phrase the Headline

There are some styles of headlines or keywords for headlines that do work well. Starting it with a number can attract readers as list posts tend to be the most popular type of blog content, like 5 things that will make you want to buy a product. By starting a headline with a number it implies that there are a finite number of solutions that the reader will be presented and it will be wrapped up with a nice bow at the end. If that does not work a how-to or why headline works as well. This clearly tells the reader that they are going to be told how to do something or why something works.

If that doesn’t work there are other methods as well. Using a famous person’s name in the headline can work well, as long as the content is relevant. Or something that teases something, like letting someone in on a secret and if that won’t work making a big promise, like providing the ultimate guide to something.

Keywords in the Headline did a study to figure out what words and phrases in headlines performed the best on Facebook. Considering much of your viewership will come from that platform that is a good place to start. 100 million headlines were analyzed for engagements (likes, shares, comments) in 2017. They concluded that there are certain phrases in headlines that will get more views than others.

Do you have a product that will make people money? Tell them that. The phrase “will make you” was the top headline phrase that drew engagement and it wasn’t even close. It can do many things. It can make you feel better about yourself, make you tear up, make you a better person, make you feel smart and so on. Readers want to do that. Other popular phrases include “this is why”, “can we guess”, “only X in” and “the reason is”. For the whole list click here to check out the study.

How Long Should the Headline Be?

So, how long should your headline be? The answer can vary. The social media blog Hubspot has determined that headlines that are 8-12 words long get the most engagement on Twitter. On Facebook headlines that are 12-14 words long get the most likes. The SEO Training website Backlinko found in a study that headlines that are 14-17 words long and 80-100 characters were more likely to be shared on social media over short headlines by 76%. As you can see there is no consensus.

This almost seems counterintuitive but it can be explained with two possibilities as Backlinko put it. Longer headlines contain more information which pushes people to open the content or longer headlines allow for more opportunities to insert keywords which boost SEO rankings and make it easier to find and thus more likely to be read and shared.

Pay Attention When You Surf the Web

One of the easiest ways to see what can grab a reader’s attention is to use yourself as a guinea pig. What headlines grab your attention? After a bit of surfing and reading can you see a pattern emerge? Why didn’t the other headlines stick out to you? If you can figure out what works for you it gives you a baseline for the headlines that you will share on your blog. It may not be much but it is a start.


Practice makes perfect is what we are told as kids so to find the best headline requires practice. The more you do it the better you will be. You may not have a lot of time on your hands to do something like this and that is understandable but you can do it even for a few minutes a day. Even a small commitment can make a big difference. You can also experiment by writing multiple titles for each blog post and do testing with family or friends.

Stay Within Your Keywords

Your headlines are a big part of SEO so make sure that the keywords that you want to emphasize are included in your headline. The headline should appeal to your industry or your customers since they are looking for information or news with you or your industry. The best headlines will include keywords naturally, it should not seem to be forced in.

Avoid Clickbait

We have all been fooled by clickbait articles that promise something but don’t deliver. These writers used an effective headline that promised something that people were looking for to get viewers. The readers though found that they did not deliver but they were exposed to the advertising on the site.

Being known for generating clickbait articles is not a good reputation to have. Do not oversell with your headline. Your headline needs to match the content of the post. If you do make a big sell or promise a complete user guide you had better deliver.

Keep People’s Emotions in Mind

Your headline can be written in a way that it can generate emotion. Emotion can be a very powerful tool. People will do things that they may not normally do when their emotions change and that could be something as mundane as reading your content and sharing it. The marketing website CoSchedule analyzed the number of shares of posts based on the amount of emotion in the title and found that the more emotion in the headline the more shares a piece got.

Content writing is not easy but it is one of the best ways to not only grow your site but also to increase your SEO rankings. By generating fresh and informative content you will keep your readers coming back and sharing your content while moving up in the search engine results to gain more readers. If you would like to do this or need help Nicely Done Sites can help you produce fresh content and get the most out of your SEO rankings.

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