January 26, 2015

How to improve your headlines: 5 tips for brilliant titles

The perfect title, especially one that encourages clicks on social media, is often one of the most difficult parts of …

The perfect title, especially one that encourages clicks on social media, is often one of the most difficult parts of writing a blog or article. That challenge can be amplified when also attempting to stay true to your corporate voice. There’s a whole science behind what people click on and why, so we’ve compiled a few tips on how to craft an engaging title that won’t sacrifice your company’s verbal style.

1. Use numbers

Numbers work great in headlines, especially digits. For example “5 ways to…” This helps put topics in concrete terms and appeals to the reader’s desire to expand their knowledge on a topic. Even the most formal communication styles can utilise this tip to increase click rates.

2. Balance ambiguity and specifics

The best titles are the ones that spark curiosity. If the title is too vague, it won’t catch the reader’s attention; and if it is too specific, it gives away the whole story. From a psychology perspective, these titles entice the reader to learn more. Keep in mind however that a title like “5 kick-ass ways to write headlines” works for sites like Upworthy or Buzzfeed, but probably don’t fit well with some corporate communication styles.

3. Short and snappy

Try and limit titles to 65 characters. This means the entire title will be visible in search engine results and social media posts.

4. Test it

There are several tools available that help rate your headlines. One that we find particularly useful is Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule. It compares the words in your title against what is most likely to be shared, as well as the overall structure, grammar and readability of your headline.

5. More the merrier

Many experts recommend writing around 25 different headlines – varying the structure, verb usage and adjectives with every title. This forces your brain into creative overdrive and allows you to have a range of inventive titles to choose from.

If you have any questions about how to improve your content, feel free to contact Leah Schothorst at leah.schothorst@comprend.com.

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