5 Traits of a Great Headline

by Mandy Boyle October 5th, 2010 

headline Headlines are so important in SEO copywriting. Blog posts, content pages, and even section pages need a great headline to keep people reading. After all, isn't that the headline's job?

If you want to create headlines that will keep your readers diving deeper into your blog post, article, or site, be sure that your headline has these five traits:

1.) Active Voice

Hey, do you kinda sorta maybe want to keep reading? Yeah. Right. Being shy about your headline won't help you up your page views. Active voice will motivate your readers to keep going so do your best to be strong, clear, and straightforward. Don't dance around the subject.

2.) Short Sweetness

Headlines shouldn't give the whole story away. Keep yours trim to avoid being cut off or misread. Remember, internet readers skim. Get your point across in as few words as possible. Think of your headline like a little cookie crumb. Give your readers a nibble and let them click through for a bigger bite.

3.) Proper Spelling and Grammar

Dun-dun-dun. The dreaded misspelling is one of the biggest no-nos in writing headlines. One misspelled word and your article or blog post is as good as gone. Besides, who would want to read something that no one took the time to check over?

Just like a misspelling, poor grammar can be an instant turnoff to a reader. Double, triple, and quadruple check that your headline is well-written. Proofread your headline to make sure that it's correct from start to finish.

4.) Keywords

You're competing for eyeballs, right? The more SEO-friendly your headline, the better. Optimize your headline for an extra SEO boost that also improves the user experience. In most cases, your keywords will occur pretty naturally, so don't stress over choosing the right phrase. Use whatever is relevant to the subject you're writing about. Need help? Try keeping a keyword list or keyword research tool nearby as you craft your title.

5.)Attention-Grabbing Goodness

Your headline has to move. It has to motivate. It has to get the reader's attention without 10 exclamation points. Make your headline attention grabbing by phrasing it in a unique way or by using an unexpected detail. Here are some resources for making your headline attention-grabbing:

These are just a few suggestions on where to get headline help, so don't worry if you've never actually researched different methods. Remember, one of the most effective ways to craft a headline is to take into consideration the headlines you read yourself. Think about what makes you click on a post or an article and go from there.

Mandy Boyle

Mandy Boyle gets her daily fix of copywriting as the SEO Team Leader at Solid Cactus. She is also a published freelance writer , co-founder of NEPA BlogCon and was probably a baker in another life. Cupcakes, anyone?

Mandy Boyle

You May Also Like

One Response to “5 Traits of a Great Headline”

  1. Nick Stewart says:

    Thanks for the tips Mandy. I'm in the process of writing a lengthy blog post on how to craft effective headlines and I will be bookmarking this for future reference.


    Nick, The traffic Guy
    .-= Nick Stewart recently posted: Get More Traffic With These WordPress Plugins =-.