Write attention-grabbing headlines

1. Ask yourself, What benefits do my product or page offer? And What problems will it solve for users?

Think about what your users might be struggling with. For example, Yotpo, a platform that helps ecommerce store owners integrate reviews into their online marketing and sales, used the headline Rise to the top of search results to both convey a benefit of using their product, improved SEO, and addressing a problem potential users might be facing, low search rankings. “Rise to the top of search results” both conveys a benefit (improved SEO) of using Yotpo and addresses a problem potential users might be struggling with (low search rankings).

2. Write clear, specific headlines of 20 words or less.

Use keywords to grab the attention of readers skimming the page and be clear about the benefits you offer. For example, the 4-word headline Turn trust into sales on Yotpo’s homepage, effectively uses the keywords trust and sales and goes straight to the point, highlighting the main benefit offered by the platform. The headline "Turn trust into sales" on Yotpo's homepage effectively uses the keywords “trust” and “sales” and goes straight to the point with one of the key benefits offered by the platform.

3. Use psychological triggers like surprises and questions to capture attention and spark curiosity, for example:

Surprise: Warning: Unattended items in your shopping cart may be eaten by gnomes. (Modcloth). Why Your Copy Needs to Pick a Fight with the Other Guy (Instead of Smiling and Shrugging). (Copy Hackers). Questions: What Should Your New Password Be? (BuzzFeed). Why Are So Many Blog Post Headlines Framed as Questions? (Kapost). Curiosity: The Countries Where It’s Easiest to Become a Self-Made Billionaire. (Business Insider). They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano…But When I Started to Play! (John Capes). Negatives: 10 Ways the Internet Is Destroying You. (ListVerse). Oracle Makes More Moves to Kill Open Source MySQL. (Tech Crunch). How To’s: How to Be Unique (Even If You Don’t Feel Special). (Henneke). How to Use Customer Experience Maps to Develop a Winning Content Marketing Strategy. (Copyblogger). Numbers: Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us. (OkDork). The PPC Food Pyramid: A 211 Point PPC Marketing Strategy. (KlientBoost). Audience Reference: Finally: You Can Open and Process Raw Images in your Browser. (The Next Web). Bloggers! Are You Leaving Traffic on the Table? (SumoMe). Specificity: Uh-oh, Your Prescription is Expiring. (HubSpot). 10 Portland Brews You Should Drink Right Now: Ten Reasons The Beers In Your Fridge Right Now Just Don’t Cut It. (AskMen).

4. Write subheadlines that connect, qualify, intensify, or push.

Connect: Does your subheadline retain and support the same thought, concept, or dominant emotion in your headline? Qualify: Does your subheadline narrow your audience by adding qualifications? Intensify: Does your subheadline amplify the one dominant emotion from your headline? Push: Does your subheadline push the reader into the first sentence to find an answer, solution, or explanation?

5. Use the word you, to speak directly to your audience.

Addressing your audience directly compels them to pay attention, listen to what you have to say, and ultimately interact with your conversion goal. For instance, SumoMe’s headline, Bloggers! Are You Leaving Traffic on the Table? Speaks directly to their audience of bloggers and is much more compelling than something like, Are Bloggers Leaving Traffic on the Table?