The Art of Creating Attention-Grabbing Titles
Our brains are hardwired to make snap decisions. This skill was first put to use as a primordial protective measure that kicked in when faced with the snarling teeth of predators. Today we have less fear of feral animals turning us into breakfast and more concern for how many Twitter followers we can win over. Still, our decision-making systems are always subconsciously primed, influencing everything from the clothing we wear to the type of content we consume.
Sure, our parents instilled in us the errors of judging a book by its cover (or an article by its title), but the truth is that we will never stop. First impressions matter greatly, and if an article title falls flat then the likelihood that someone will read the article drops significantly. When writing online content, keep in mind that your readers will determine whether your articles have the potential to be engaging within the space of just a few seconds. Oh, the pressure! That’s why creating attention-grabbing titles is even more important than ever.
How to Create Attention-Grabbing Article Titles
So, now that we’ve established that creating attention-grabbing titles is important, how do you go about doing it? Read on to find 6 great tips how to create good article titles.
Keep Your Promises
A good title tells the reader what the article will discuss and delivers on that promise. Never try and trap consumers with an enticing headline that has nothing to do with the content presented. The only thing that will do is push away potential customers (or blog subscribers) and drive credibility way down.
Another term for a title that doesn’t deliver on its promises is clickbait. Don’t create clickbait. However, there are some important lessons you can learn from clickbait about using attention-grabbing words to draw the reader in.
Get to the Point
If you want to reel in readers, don’t overwhelm them with lengthy titles. Remember that your ultimate goal is to create interest in the time that it takes to scan a headline, and that’s not going to happen if you bore them to death from the get-go. A manageable title is generally around 5-10 words long. If yours is much longer than that, see if you can cut the fluff while still maintaining your original focus.
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Match Your Client’s Style
As an SEO content creator, it is important to ensure that the work you produce for your client positively reflects their company culture. This concept is important to consider when writing both the title and body of the article. For example, if your client has a laid back, witty approach, then creating content that is too sterile won’t fall in line with what they need. One easy way to make sure that you understand what direction to take is to read the client’s About Us page of their website or peruse a few of their more recent blog headlines and then match their tone and requirements.
Regardless of style, it is always important to create an article title that is interesting and will grab the reader’s attention.
Don’t Be Mysterious
While you might think that you can draw in readers with ambiguous or mysterious titles, this tactic rarely works. Think about how unproductive it is when your friends post vague social media status updates like, “Stop eating my chips!” This approach accomplishes very little. The problem with generalized headlines is that they are not usually interesting enough to attract a lot of readers. You may get a curious browser or two, but gambling on results isn’t constructive.
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Take Your Time
Much like with the conclusion, many writers make the mistake of spending as little time as possible creating a title. This is a big mistake! Consider coming up with a headline first to help drive the focus of your article. When you have finished writing your content, rework the title if necessary and ensure that it appropriately fits your article.
Also, work to add any attention-grabbing words that can enhance the title and make it more appealing to a reader. You might also consider inserting SEO keywords to help maximize the online reach of the article through proper SEO optimization techniques. Take the time to craft your title well and it can make a great piece of content go even further.
Engage Your Audience
Most people have a fundamental desire to constantly be engaged in something they deem is worthwhile. When you craft interesting, succinct titles, you encourage a reader to take a moment of their time to see what you have to offer.
Sometimes the angle you’ve taken with the article title is enough to put the reader into the right mindset to consume the article in a new light. For instance, instead of talking about how to remove a stain from clothes, maybe talk about 10 things that definitely WILL stain your clothes. It’s a similar topic that will cover lots of the same things, but the reader is going into the article with a new perspective based on the creative article title.
Other Tips for How to Create a Title?
What do you think? What drives you to click on an article title to learn more? Do you have any tricks or tips on how to create a title? Comment below!