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 In Blog Archives, Digital Marketing, print, Traditional Marketing and Advertising

Since the early days of journalism, writers have known the headline is the single most important part of any article (or blog post).

According to advertising legend David Ogilvy,

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

In today’s world especially, your headline is in competition with the latest celebrity tweets, new babies on Facebook and cats doing hilarious things.

To stand apart from the noise, you need a stellar headline.

To find out what makes a great headline “click,” The Guardian staff collected data from 150,000 articles headlines.

The goal was to see which specific formulas received clicks, and which didn’t.

Here are a few of their insights: 

1. Find the perfect length

It turns out 8 words is the key to a clickable headline. The Guardian’s research shows headlines performed 21% better than average when there were exactly 8 words.

2. Colons and subtitles add intrigue

When a subtitle was indicated by a hyphen or semicolon, the headline performed 9% better. It seems readers like a little something extra in their headlines!

3. Draw the reader in with pictures and lists

It’s a trick known by the magazine industry for decades – pictures and lists draw the eye. In fact, research showed a thumbnail next to the headline can increase the click-through rate by as much as 27%.

4. Forget the “top 10” list – find an odd number

It turns out headlines including an odd number perform 20% better than headlines with an even number. What does this mean? Instead of a “top 10” list, try a list with 5 or 7 items.

5. Do questions really work?

Titles ending with a question mark consistently out-performed headlines with an exclamation point or period. The only caveat: headlines with 3 exclamation marks (!!!) had almost twice the click-through rate as headlines with any other punctuation.

With the Facebook newsfeed, Twitter timeline and the format of Google’s search results, it’s easier than ever for a reader to scan right over your blog post or article.

Without an eye-catching, enticing headline, you could be letting valuable customers skim past your posts and promotions. Luckily, these 5 headline tips will help you increase click-through rates and convert more casual readers into long-time customers!

If you’re interested in learning more ways to increase your reach and digital presence, send your inquiry to info@agencyentourage.com.

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