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By now you have likely understood that one of the most important elements in writing more engaging copy, is the focus that most writers place on creating a catchy headline.

Here are 8 techniques that professional writers use:

1. The Numbered Headline

This is where you are using the appeal of a number to start your headline.

Examples:

  • 7 Ways To Lose Weight Quickly and Safely
  • 10 Tips For Improving Your Linked In Profile
  • 20 Alternative Spices And Herbs To Improve The Taste Of Food without Salt

2. The Statistical Headline

The human brain seems to love seeing digital numbers in a headline so in the case of a statistic, it can be quite catchy to include some statistical fact or percentage.

Example:

  • Driving 55 miles (88 km) per hour instead of 65 miles (105 km) per hour increases your car mileage by about 15%.

3. The Questioning Headline

Obviously starting your headline with a question can be a trigger to get your reader started.

Example:

  • Why does Your Jack Russell Puppy Need early Training?
  • When Was The Last Time Someone Paid You For Your Original Idea?

4. The If/Then Headline

This technique is most useful for presenting the reader with a specific challenge which is then followed by the solution all in one line of text.

Example:

  • If you have ever sat there looking at a blank page, wondering what to write next, then this creative writing e-book is for you!

5. The Testimonial Headline

A good testimonial can be an excellent way to start your page. It should be written by someone who has experienced your product or service and it should communicate the benefits experienced. It should also include the author’s name.

In our case, we deliver hands-on SEO training. So for example:

“Steve Scott is an amazing instructor. The course content really blew me away and far exceeded my expectations! I’ve been in the I-Net industry for over 10 years – teaching website design, development and marketing for several of those years so I’m not easily impressed. Steve and this course kept me spell bound. This is a class I would heartily recommend to my own students. It is great and so is Steve.”

Dave Debs

Now this paragraph may be too long for a headline, but it would still be excellent to include it in quotes at the top of the page.

6. The Discount Headline

Straight forward, it offers the reader a specific discount.

Example:

  • SAVE 20% when you register before November 1st.

7. The “News” Style Headline

Example:

  •  After Class Mentoring Support Doubled to Include 12 Months at no charge

8. Then finally, there is what I like to call, the “power of pun” headline

This can be an extremely influential way to write a headline.

What you do is to take a common theme that everyone is familiar with and recognizes, but in delivering that headline, you switch out one ending component, so that it catches the reader by surprise. This is the basis on which some puns work to a humorous effect.

You think you have heard the expression or cliche before, but at the last minute a new word, replaces the expected word and the result, both surprises the reader and sudden twist, catches them unaware.

I wrote an article back in 2006 for REALTOR magazine and the subject was on the subject of “Artificial Intelligence” of Search Engines. That phrase “Artificial Intelligence is well known enough.

Using the original headline, it read like this when I started:

“Artificial Intelligence of Search Engines.”

e.g. however, by the time I finished writing it, I gave it the following twist.

“Artificial Smarts of Search Engines.”

To apply this type of headline, you need to think of a typical well known phrase or expression or even a cliche that everyone has heard before but then switch out one part of it to catch the reader by surprise.