Headlines are the #1 tool in copywriting to grab the reader’s attention. If the headline is catchy, a great deal of your work is already done.

Headlines are the first impression you make on your readers. If it’s good they’ll click and read further, if not, they’ll leave.

In a world where we are constantly asked for our attention, being able to stand out from the noise is the ultimate achievement.

Let’s see how to write headlines in an effective, catchy, and converting way.

1. What makes a catchy headline?

The most effective headlines have a few things in common:

  • They speak to the reader’s pain point or interest
  • They present a possible solution
  • They are specific
  • Create urgency

1.1 Talk about the pain point or problem

One of the main reasons why readers click on a headline is because they see something that speaks directly to what they’re looking for.

Having a problem with XYZ? Make sure your headline mentions that in some way.

It’ll make your reader perceive your option as the one who “understands” them. So instead of talking about features, highlight the problem you solve.

No customer likes the feeling of being sold – what they want is the answer to their problems.

Give them that.

1.2 Talk about the solution

Your customers look for solutions to their problems online, that’s why it’s equally important to mention how your option presents them with one.

Headlines that mention how you solve a problem are more effective and compelling that the ones that don’t.

Reading “Learn how to change a bulb” is not as convincing as “How to change a bulb in 2 easy steps”

1.3 Be specific

Confusing doesn’t sell well. Buyers want to have all the details to make an informed decision.

Add numbers, data, results, or social proof to your headlines to make them sound more trustworthy.

Numbers are food for our brains, they add more credibility and order to any statement.

“Double your income with XYZ” is not as effective as “Multiply x2 your income with XYZ”

Social proof is also a great way to add more value to your headlines. Readers see that others like them have benefited from your offer, which makes them feel more inclined to choose you.

specific headlines
Adding numbers and data adds value to the headlines

1.4 Create urgency

The best-selling techniques work with a very basic human trait: a fear of missing out (aka FOMO).

It’s true. No one wants to let that amazing opportunity pass by.

That’s why FOMO or creating some kind of urgency work so well when writing headlines. When you make your readers feel like they either click or miss out, clicks start to happen.

Make your headline sound limited, add an element of scarcity if you’re selling products and you’ll see how effective it can be.

Scarcity is another way of creating urgency

2. How long should a headline be

The perfect headline should be between 60 and 100 characters.

However, even the most straightforward and shortest headlines can have a meaningful impact.

In fact, this established length of characters has more to do with how they appear on Google’s search results page.

With a headline no longer than 100 characters you make sure the entire phrase is read and not cut off when it appears listed.

how to write headlines
In this example, the headline is cut because it’s too long

Considering a lot of the traffic that takes place online comes from search engines like Google, it’s important to stick to this character limit and make sure your headline is read from beginning to end.

3. How to start writing a headline

Knowing where to start doesn’t have to be hard. There are a few steps and tricks you can use to create attention-grabbing headlines that will bring clicks your way.

3.1 Know your target keywords

Find out what your ideal customer is looking for and what terms they are using whenever they search for answers online.

Once you discover what those keywords are, it’s time to write your headline with them in mind.

3.2 Look at the search results page

Take a look at how the headlines of the best-ranked results are written.

  • What’s working for the top 3?
  • Are they using numbers?
  • Are they mostly how-to guides?
  • What’s the user intent?

Find out what’s performing best for your selected keywords and write headlines that match your findings.

look at the serps for ideas
The top-ranking headlines here are mostly “best” lists and free options

4. The short of it

Attention-grabbing headlines usually mention the reader’s problems, fears, and pain points.

The way to make someone finally click on yours is by giving them a few elements that create a desire to do so.

Stick to some of the steps we saw on this post and watch how your headline writing starts driving more traffic.

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