Actionable Headline Tips and Quick Tools
The humble headline. Such a simple construct, really – a one-line summary of a piece of content and why it’s worth reading. Yet, good headline writing is a deceptively complex process. In fact, crafting a clear, powerful, and compelling title may just be the most difficult part of content creation.
Why? Because there is a lot of contradicting advice when it comes to identifying what it takes to write a good headline. For instance:
- You need to set a consistent tone that aligns with your brand, but you want to make sure each piece of content feels unique.
- You should highlight the keywords your audience is searching, yet you need to write for humans, not robots.
- You want to take advantage of social and consumption trends, yet you should avoid cheesy click-bait headlines that detract from the content’s perceived value.
- You want your headlines to be clear and understandable, but you also want to avoid sounding too dull or technical.
And, you have to balance all of these considerations while keeping your word count below the acceptable character-count limits, to boot.
To clear the confusion and help you create headlines that will capture the interest of your target audience, we’ve put together some cool tips and tools that you can use to generate unique headlines, evaluate how well they perform, and attract your target audience without having to resort to sneaky tactics that may turn off readers.
The secret sauce: Tips that help with headlines
Tip 1: Give yourself options: Headline writing is certainly not an exact science – there’s no definitively right way to craft a compelling title that will guarantee your content gets the attention it deserves. You may find it helpful to create a few headlines for each piece, then select which one you feel will resonate best with your audience.
Tip 2: Keep score: Since headlines can play a make-or-break role in the success of your content marketing, why take a chance that you’re missing a critical element for success? Instead, quantify your titles’ potential value using a title evaluation scorecard.
While you may not hit on every item in the list, the higher the score, the more confident you can be that your titles are doing your content justice.
Tip 3: Test the waters: Following the rules of good writing and having a good sense of what will interest your audience are both important for successful headline creation. But if you really want to optimize the traffic coming to your content, you may want to take a more scientific approach to testing the performance of your headlines.
A/B testing (also known as split testing) is the standard method for comparatively evaluating headline options. In this technique, you would randomly segment your audience into two groups, and then send your content to each group, using a different headline for each. If one headline gets a significantly better response than the other, your best bet is to go with the higher-performing one.
Tools to help with headline creation and optimization
Headlines should be a unique and personal reflection of the value your content offers. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a little technological assistance to help point you in the right direction. From standalone tools and apps to full-scale marketing automation systems, plenty of tech solutions can help with headline creation and optimization. Here are just a few:
- Hemingway Editor App: Insert your headline into Hemingway and the tool will give you a color-coded analysis that tells you if your copy is too dense or complex, needs a more active voice, or goes off on an illogical tangent. It also will offer suggestions of replacement words to make your headlines more impactful and understandable.
BLOG Headline Generator: Get endless suggestion, catchy titles, and other creative blogging topics with our updated Blog Title Generator!
- Co Schedule’s Headline Analyzer: Co Schedule has a full suite of paid content management tools, but it offers up its headline analyzer for free. The tool scores your overall headline quality and rates its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.
- Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer: This tool compares your headlines to others in your industry, so you can get a relevant analysis of how emotional your headlines are. It can also help you decide what kind of emotion you want to activate in your customers by enabling you to test various options.
- Hub Spot’s Blog Topic Generator: Stuck for headline ideas? Just plug in some terms that describe your content’s topic and Hub Spot’s handy tool will send you a week’s worth of potential headlines you can customize to your needs.
- Quick Headline tools: Headline Generator can be used to create your headline options by you can evaluate which one performs best against your website traffic.
- Plagiarism Checker
Don’t let a boring, weak, or ill-conceived title derail the success of your carefully crafted content. Try a few of these tips and tools that may make it easier to generate unique headlines, evaluate their performance, and ensure that your content is attracting the massive audience it deserves.
I hope this helped 🙂