What’s in a headline? Not much. Only EVERYTHING. Think of newspapers, they’ve been leading the way in headlines for years, especially the tabloids. They understand the power of a headline and know if they get it right, they’ll attract attention. If they attract attention, they’ll sell newspapers. Simples.

If you want your website to stand out in a sea of information overload, and for people to actually read your blog (must read this) it all starts with your headline. Sure you need a great article that offers “value” and yada yada yada, but people won’t read it unless you grab them by the cahoonas and force them to pay attention.

This is where your headline comes in, and make no mistake, it needs to be good.

People spend fortunes testing/ split testing – Headlines.

Fortunately this is a good thing. With the Internet being what it is, people are too quick to spout off their success stories. By doing this they give people like us valuable information absolutely free of charge.  We can piggy back off other peoples tests and use them to get a foot hold on our own. Nothing beats actual testing for yourself, but if you need a head start and can sift through all the stones and pebbles, out there in cyberspace there’s pure gold waiting to be found.

I’ve done some mining of my own and found 11 killer headlines that you can start using today. Take them and do what you will, but remember where you heard them first, and if you like them, give this little article a share. It’s a new website, I need all the friends I can get.

1) Numbers and Lists

I started with this, because it’s the headline I used in this very article. People love lists. It allows them to compartmentalise. It makes them manageable, easy to remember and allows the eye to fly down a page, taking or leaving what it wants. It’s been proven that numbered lists are shared more on social media, so it’s a great headline to start with.

Examples:

numbers

  • 10 Ways To Earn Money As A Student, Without Working.
  • How To Forgive Someone Who’s Hurt You: In 15 Steps
  • 101 Reasons to Move to New Hampshire

2) Questions

Questions will pique a reader’s interest. Humans are curious creatures and we all love questions. There’s a reason why quiz shows are so popular, because we love questions so much. Studies have shown that a question in a headline increases clicks by up to 5 times! If that isn’t reason enough  to try it out, then what is?

questions

Examples:

  • How Did My Dog Get Fleas?
  • What Made My Experience At The School So Unique?
  • Why Is My Dog Dragging Its Bottom?

3) The Only Way To..

The “only way to” headline makes people think they are finding the definitive answer to a burning question. Hopefully they are, but they’ll have to click the link to find out. With headlines like this you should always add a quantifier, because there’s never usually just one way to do something. Adding a quantifier such as ‘The only way to XXX without having to XXX’ will give a plausible way to back up the fantastic claim in your headline.

Examples:

  • The Only Way To Feed Your Cat Without Making It Fat
  • The Only Way To A Perfect Life Without Spending Money
  • The Only Way To Handle A Skunk Without Getting Sprayed

4) Do Something In A Period Of Time

TimeThese type of headlines are great if you can give readers something to save them time. Time is the only commodity we all eventually run out of, so is more precious than a rainbow coloured unicorn. If a reader can see how long something will take before clicking,  they are much more likely to read your article.

Examples:

  • Teach Your Cat To Sit in Less Than 20 Seconds
  • Change Your Life In Under 5 Minutes
  • Getting Rid Of Skunk Smells – 1 Minute Trick

5) Negative Headlines

Believe it or not, negative headlines have a higher click through rate than positive ones.  This may be through conditioning and sheer weariness of reading all those positive headlines. Flip it on it’s head and give it a negative spin. You might just see your clicks increase.

Examples:

  • Never Feed Your Cat On This Harmless Substance
  • How Not To Suck At Life
  • 6 Reasons Your Pet Is Avoiding You

6) Surprise or Shock

SurpriseEveryone loves surprises, and if it’s shocking it’s even better. Horror films make a fortune out of surprising people, and we always come back for more. Why? Because we love the thrill. The same goes for headlines. If you can offer readers a surprise or a shock, their fingers will be clicking your ad before their mind has a chance to think about it. Well maybe not, but you get the point.

surprise

Examples:

  • 10 Surprising Things Your Cat Does Behind Your Back
  • 5 Shocking New Ways To Improve Your Life
  • I Couldn’t Believe What My Dog Did Last Night!

7) Helpful How To’s

Let’s face it, when most of us want to learn something we head straight for Google. Write a helpful ‘How To’ article and you’ll be rewarded with traffic forever. Keep the headline simple and direct. It’s always good to add a quantifier to make it even more specific.

Examples:

  • How To Train Your Cat, The Easy Way
  • How To Rank First On Google, Without Spending Money
  • How To Remove Stains From Your Carpet, Without using Chemicals

8) The Best Way To

Suggestions on the ‘best way‘ to do something make for attention grabbing headlines. If you want to learn how to do something, you want to know the absolute best way. If you can provide this for your reader your headline has a much greater chance of getting clicked.

Examples:

  • The Best Way To Train Your Cat
  • The Best Way To Get Visitors To Your Website
  • The Best Way To Remove Stains, Without Using Chemicals

9) Extremities, Be Extreme!

Be extreme in your choice of words and you have a higher chance of getting noticed. If it’s good, it’s the best, amazing, fantastic, perfect. If it’s bad, it’s the worst, terrible, disgusting. Strong words provoke strong reactions so make yours as extreme as possible.

Examples:

  • 10 Funniest Examples of Cat Behaviour
  • 21 Perfect Ways To Attract Visitors
  • 101 Biggest Mistakes Made By Pet Owners

10) Paranoia, Trust Issues

paranoia

Conspiracy theories are huge business, because deep down we don’t trust half the things we’re told. Play on this by adding some paranoia into your headline. Add some distrust and believe it or not, people will trust you more.

Examples:

  • 10 Greatest Lies Told By Your Vet
  • Don’t Believe Internet Marketers, They Are Lying To You
  • 23 Reasons Not To Trust Your Doctor

11) Personal Experience

People love connecting through other peoples experiences. This is why social media is such a phenomenon, because people love to hear about other peoples lives. If you share a personal story, it has a better chance of connecting with readers. We trust personal experiences more than faceless sales pitches, so add some personality into your headline.

Examples:

  • How I taught My Cat To Walk On A Lead
  • How I Reached 500k Visitors A Day Using Facebook Ads
  • What I Learned From My Dog Grooming Business

Take The Plunge

Take the plunge

The only way to find out what works is to dive in and get testing. These headlines provide some great tools to get started, so mix them up, try them out and compare your results.

Thinking of headlines isn’t easy and is neglected all too often . Remember, if 8 out of 10 readers see your headline, only 2 out of 10 will click it. Don’t give them a reason to keep scrolling, give them a reason to click your headline. Appeal to their curious nature, shock them, make them click your link.

When you’ve achieved the art of headlines, you’ll achieve the art of getting traffic. But the headline is your store front, don’t forget to give them something when they come through the door.

Give them what they want and
your CTR will go through the roof.

Hopefully these headlines have given some food for thought. I’ve tried to think of the best attention grabbing headlines and delivered them nicely on a plate for you, but if I’ve missed anything feel free to let me know.Oh, and don’t forget to share, share, share.

Author: Steve Ceaton

I'm Steve Ceaton. I've worked in web design and SEO since 2006. I also write fiction. Follow Me: @SteveCeaton on Twitter.

6 thoughts on “11 Headlines To Increase Clicks and Convert Visitors”

  1. Great article Steve, lol, I just checked your headlines and they are as you have taught in this article.

    I love your posts and I am subscribed to it. And I hoped to be mentored by your experiences… like, really gathering all those blogging experiences till I become as big as u are.

    *cheers

    1. Thanks lol..This is a new blog but I’ll be writing about everything I’ve learned over the last 10 years..so glad you’re following 🙂

    1. Thanks Renee! This is a new blog so I’m starting from scratch. I’ve been ghost writing blogs for other people for years and now, finally I’m doing my own. Your comment is hugely appreciated 🙂

  2. Very useful article with ideas easy to implement. I’m keeping this one bookmarked and should probably print and hang it until it becomes a natural way for me to write headlines.

    Thank you.

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