How to Write Effective Headlines that Get Clicked & Shared [9 Proven Formulas Inside]

13 May 2019

It takes a lot of time and effort to write a high-quality article, but unfortunately, many articles don't even get read.

To ensure your content even stands a chance to be seen you need to start paying much attention to creating magnetic headlines that generate clicks.

Copywriters know that although 80% of people read headlines, only 20% will actually go to the article to read it.

The key to maximizing content marketing and blogging effectiveness is to write amazing headlines that compel people to click on it to read further.

The best way to get really good at writing headlines is to learn copywriting. Copywriters practice until they can write content that is so good that it will convince people to purchase products.

How to create an effective headline without overselling yourself? You don't want to be called out for creating click-baiting headline, so stick to what your content actually says. Your headline shouldn't cheat: It should make your content shine.

In this article we'll show you different copywriting techniques that can be used to write headlines that are more inviting and attract clicks.

1. Brainstorm Several Headlines

I normally try to write a minimum of 5 headlines for each article and select pick the best one. Many professional editors and bloggers suggest doing this and it has helped me improve my headlines.

As there is no magic formula you can use to write the perfect headline, writing several headlines helps to to brainstorm different ideas. Try using magic words that invite clicks (but again stay away from being over-promotional):

Words that trigger a click

2. Use Numbers in the Headline

The best headlines are very specific and a good way to do this is to include a number in the headline.

Conductor did research that revealed that more than 63% of people prefer headlines that include a number over any other type of headline.

Numbers headline

3. Use Brackets

If you use brackets in your headline, it becomes more engaging. Numerous respected copywriters globally use brackets in their headlines, as well as inside their copy.

Hubspot and Outbrain conducted research on in excess of 3.3 million paid links and showed that headlines that included brackets performed 38% better than those without them.


Copywriters use parentheses or brackets to separate sections of a headline. A Notice how brackets also create visual variety in the examples shown below. Various ways can be used to make headlines more appealing by using brackets.

4. Offer a Bonus

A very effective way to use brackets is to offer a bonus, thereby giving potential readers another reason to click on the headline.

E.g.: 5 Ways to Write Better Headlines for Your Articles (Claim your Free Template)

5. Generate Curiosity

Brackets can also be used to add a short phrase that is likely to generate curiosity. When Upworthy and Buzzfeed started out, they used this tactic often.

E.g.: 5 Ways to Write Better Headlines for Your Articles (#4 Increased My Sales by 50%)

6. Boost Credibility

Another effective way to use brackets is to add something that boosts your credibility. This gives potential readers a reason to see you as an authority, making it much more likely that they'll click through and read the article.

E.g.: 5 Ways to Write Better Headlines for Your Articles (That Increased My Sales by $15,300)

Brackets can be seen as a way to embed a short sub-headline into the main headline. By adding a few choice words in brackets, you can build up the headline by giving your readers an extra reason to click, promising added benefits or adding statements of credibility.

7. Use Colons and Hyphens

A study done by Outbrain found that using colons and hyphens tends to increase click through rates by more than 8%. Colons and hyphens also have the effect of adding visual variety (similar to brackets) and result in headlines that are more interesting.

A simple way to use colons and hyphens is to first put a SEO keywords phrase, followed by a compelling title.

8. Use Questions

Another technique that compels people to click on a headline is to use questions. Question optimization also a great way to build more organic search visibility.


Question optimization

A question often creates curiosity and readers who want to know the answer will click your headline and read the article.

The question should not be one that is easily answered, but should be one that generates curiosity and provokes thought.

E.g.: Do YOU Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing Headlines?

If you are a copywriter, you will probably be curious to see what the 5 mistakes are. Asking a questions is a great way to write headlines that have a better chance of getting clicked.

9. Use Keywords For Search Findability

Although bloggers generally know that it is crucial to do keyword research to identify keywords that people actively search for, many simply ignore this step.

Keywords are however important for anyone that wants long term SEO traffic flowing to their blog articles.

A common strategy is to start your headline with the target keyword and then expand to spur creativity.

E.g.: Writing Headlines: Do YOU Make These 5 Common Mistakes?

Mastering Writing Headlines

There's a no one magic bullet here: You need to keep experimenting. The tips mentioned in this article will give you a good idea on how to write headlines that people will want to click on. But don't ever use just one tactic that one proved to work. This will get your readers tired of your style. Always remain original and inventive.

The art of writing great headlines can actually make a huge difference. You will see your blog articles shared a lot more as well as featured on many popular blogs.

You should however understand that writing good headlines is not a skill that can be mastered overnight. Getting really good at it, as with anything, requires constant practice and lots of hard work.

We've driven over $100 million in online revenue for our clients, and counting. Discover how we can help your business SOAR, today.
Ready to speak with a marketing expert? Give us a ring
1300 662 225
Meta Partner | Digital Eagles
Level 1, 66 Victor Cres,
Narre Warren VIC 3805
Level 2, 161 Collins St,
Melbourne VIC 3000
Join the Eagles Nest today! Our expert team will keep you informed with the latest digital marketing news, events, and insights.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Copyright 2020 © Digital Eagles
envelopesmartphone linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram