13 Techniques to Writing Irresistibly Clickable Blog Headlines

13 Techniques to Writing Irresistibly Clickable Blog Headlines

Are you looking to get more people to click on your blog titles?

Need some fresh ideas for writing your headlines?

In this article, we are sharing a complied list of stunning techniques that will help you to write irresistibly clickable blog headlines.

I have searched the Internet to find some of the best techniques for you. You’ll find tips and techniques from The Guardian, Hubspot, Start Up Moon, and of course, Copyblogger.

Why We Care About Headlines

Ginny Soskey from Hubspot writes that we should spend half of the time that it takes to write an article on our headlines. Why is that?

Copyblogger‘s study puts it into perspective:

“Eight out of ten people will see your headline. Two out of ten will read the rest.”

Simply put, that is why we care so much about headlines. The headline is the first kick in the race. It’s what pushes you ahead or leaves you behind.

13 Techniques to Writing Irresistible Blog Headlines

First, I want to start with a few tips from The Guardian. According to a published study, these techniques could help increase your headline click rates:

Techniques to Increase Your Blog Headlines Click Rates

  1. The 8 Word Rule
    Simon Edelstyn over at The Guardian writes that titles or blog headlines that are 8 words in length had the highest click through rate–so high in fact that they performed 21% better than average.
  2. Colons and Subtitles
    Add colons or a subtitle for a 9% better performance rate.
  3. Thumbnail It
    Do not forget to add a thumbnail to your headline. According to the research, it can increase your titles click-through rate by 27%.
  4. Odd Numbered Lists
    This one caught my attention. For a 20% higher click-through rate, use odd numbers when numbering your lists.
  5. Ask a Question
    Those titles with a question mark tend to have higher click-through rates that those that do not.

Blog Headline Tips from Hubspot

The next tips for techniques are some of my favorite from an infographic from Hubspot.

  1. Adjectives
    Just so we are clear, according to Your Dictionary, an adjective is a word that describes or clarifies a noun. Hubspot recommends using interesting adjectives in your headlines.To help with this, I’ve put together a list of adjective words. Use this list as a starting point to making your own. Sometimes a list like this is all that’s needed to get those creative juices flowing.

    • alert
    • alive
    • amused
    • annoyed
    • bewildered
    • bored
    • brainy
    • brave
    • breakable
    • clever
    • clear
    • cloudy
    • delightful
    • drab
    • elated
    • easy
    • fancy
    • glamorous
    • helpful
    • impossible
    • nutty
    • powerful
    • stellar
    • successful
    • tame
    • ugly
    • witty
  2. Negative Wording
    According to Hubspot, get more social shares with words like: No, Without and Stop.
  3. Use Hubspot’s Formula
    Hubspot’s formula is:

    Number or Trigger + Adjective + Keyword + Promise

    Here is their example:

    • Instead of writing, How to Sell Your House, write,
    • How You Can Effortlessly Sell Your Home in Less Than 24 Hours

    Quick Note: When making promises in headlines, you must follow through with that promise in the article. It is not enough just to get your article shared and liked. The goal is to get your article read. This starts with the headline and finishes with your stellar content.

Helpful Techniques from Start Up Moon

  1. Add Gory Adjectives
    According to another study that Start up Moon did using words like Kill, Fear, Dark, Bleeding and War for more shares. For example,

    • Inside of writing, Google shuts down Google reader, consider writing:
    • Google kills Google reader

Copyblogger’s Tips for Magnetic Headlines

Coppyblogger‘s tips for amazing magnetic headlines include:

  1. Offer a Benefit
    If your reader sees nothing else, at least they will see that you have something to offer them that they want. That is always enticing.
  2. Barking Commands
    I love this technique because these headlines are simple and direct, but do not offend the reader. As a reader, I know exactly what I’m getting into when I click on your headline. An example is:

    • Become a sought after blogger in 30 days
  3. How to….That…
    When writing the infamous ‘How to’ headline, consider adding “that” to it. There is a big difference in a headline that says,

    • How to Make a Cake, vs.
    • How to Make a Cake that Your Mother-In-Law Will Love
  4. How to … and….
    These kinds of headlines are great because you are offering your readers not just one benefit, but two. Brian Clark of Copy Blogger points out that this type of headline is best used when benefit one and benefit two are related.

Bringing It Home

While I’ve already started this piece of information above, I think it’s important to reiterate it.

Your headline can be the most clickable headline ever created. However, if you do not deliver in the content you may find yourself annoying your readers.

As a reader, I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to click on a headline and find out the content doesn’t expound on it.

Use these techniques to help kick start your articles.

Here are two of my favorite headlines we have ever published.

Do you have a headline technique not listed? Please add your brilliant technique in the comment section below.

Happy blogging everyone!

Christine King is a staff writer at R & R Web Design LLC. She is passionate about writing and loves what blogging and businesses can achieve. Armed with her degree in social work, she brings the unique ability to motivate readers in every blog article she writes. She specializes in creating content and writing blog articles for a variety of businesses at R & R Web Design LLC.

This article was published on: February 23, 2015 and was last modified March 22, 2017
8 comments on “13 Techniques to Writing Irresistibly Clickable Blog Headlines
  1. I’ve been checking my headlines thru Advanced Marketing for emotional ranking. I didn’t think SEO liked using question marks or colons.

    • Hi Roslyn,
      You know, I have been looking into Advanced Marketing as well. I’m still trying to figure them out though. I cannot help but wonder why certain headlines do better than others. For example the Oxford Comma headline received a 100% rating through them but other headlines have not scored as high. There are certain other keywords that when I add them to a headline it automatically scores higher.

      I did not include them because I do not know enough to formulate an opinion. My goal is to have an article published next month about the Advanced Marketing tool. I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

      As to your question about SEO disliking question marks or colons, I’m not really sure. I have not heard that and that is not my experience. I’ve asked our local SEO expert Robin to weigh in with her opinion.

      Thanks so much for checking out the article this week. I always love hearing from you. 🙂

    • Roslyn, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I haven’t found any study that would indicate that a question mark or colon in a title would hurt SEO.

      Matt Cutts, who works with Google’s search quality team on search engine optimization issues, stated that separators like the colon in titles are fine for SEO.

      A study by Outbrain, a content discovery platform serving content recommendations on top publisher sites, analyzed 150,000 article headlines or titles. The study suggests that putting a question mark in a title can actually improve the click through rate. There was no indication that it would help or hurt rankings directly. They found:

      • A colon or hyphen in the title — indicating a subtitle — performed 9% better than headlines without.

      • Titles that ended with a question mark had a higher click-through rate than those that ended with exclamation marks or periods.

      Are you referring to a question mark in a web page’s URL?

  2. Rick says:

    Some great ideas, Christine.

    Thanks

  3. Hey Christine,

    You have listed some great tips on how to create those clickable blog headlines. I myself have been getting better at creating blog headlines. I have been using a headline analyze and just recently started using tools from Buzzsumo and SEMRush to see what content gets the most shares.

    Headlines are the first thing that’s going to catch your audiences’ eye and if they’re not cater to their liking, then they’ll go to another blog that does. It’s simple as that. So yes, you want your headlines to be engaging, and above all you want your content to deliver on correlation to the headline!

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

  4. Very interesting. I will have to test this for sure. Thank you!

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