We both know the importance of quality headlines that grab attention. It gets us clicks, grabs the reader’s attention and has the ability to either make or break our marketing strategy.

Did you know that up to 80% of your readers will only skim your headlines instead of reading your amazing copy…?? Headlines are not only important but crucial if you want your audience to read the body copy.

Knowing this, many still fail to get it right. Is there a winning formula to get ALL your headlines working in your favour and also take your CTR’s through the roof?

The web is full of amazing information but it can often be hard to get a formula that works for YOUR own style of writing, your blog and SEO.

Here’s a few tips to use as a formula when writing your next headlines.

The Facts.

Good headlines are a critical part of your SEO strategy. Moreover, they are crucial to making your content stand out from that of your competition.

Understanding that a good headline serves two purposes; draw the reader in and SEO rankings is paramount.

My take on it is that one must always first focus on the reader then tweak it for SEO.

Think Target Audience.

Identify your target audience and write headlines for them. I cannot stress how important this is. You might write the same headline differently if it were targeting hipsters vs. retired lawyers… Obvious as it may sound, this is probably the most important step!

Read our quick guide on how to turn features into benefits for your target audience.

The Big Idea. What’s the hook that the brain can latch onto?

What is your big idea? What is your copy about? How does this solve a problem or entertain your customers?

Read more with our four elements to a killer campaign.

You will be surprised to know that the majority of ads and marketing campaigns have no big idea behind them. The big idea is not “hey, I want to sell more of my fantastic peanut butter, buy it” but rather “The best damn peanut butter you will EVER eat”!

You need to be clear on your big idea before you even consider writing your headline. Once you have your big idea and your message is clear you can write headlines that hook your visitors in.

Best yet, you don’t even need to spell it out for them, creating a hook that the brain can identify with or an ‘ah-ha’ moment is often more effective.

Catch the eye…

Knowing that readers skim content and mostly focus on headlines- we need to write with this in mind. A few good oldies are using provocative copy or asking a question.

The human mind cannot help but be drawn in with offensive, provocative or defensive language. Same goes for questions, it’s almost as though we are wired to respond to a question.

Another really interesting way to go about your writing is to solve a problem. Millions of searches are done monthly asking a question on how to solve a particular problem.

For example, how to write kickass headlines or tips for writing kickass headlines… Your goal is to solve the problem with your headline.

Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

Again, another point that is so important but often forgotten. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is your number one commandment. It will not fail you!

We all make this mistake and I’ve had to go back many times to make a headline simpler. It always results in higher CTR’s.

Keep your message simple and to the point.

SEO and Headlines.

All the above can often go out the window when looking at things from an SEO perspective. The key is not to purely write for SEO but to write purely for that customer’s attention. You can rank first or place your ad on the biggest billboard and yet still fail to grab the target audience’s attention.

Mixing good customer engaging headlines with SEO is hard (I know) but not impossible. Take a lot of time researching your keywords, get ideas, and combine or play on it using the above methods.

SEO is not everything too, and search engines are becoming smarter at serving relevant content.

Time, Time, Time.

Take your time to write your headline. Think about your target audience, think about your copy, your idea, and think about all the steps mentioned above.

The fact that you are reading this shows that you are understand the importance of a good headline. Some folk like the famous David Ogilvy often spend days thinking of that winning line and definitely spent more time on the headline than the copy itself.