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Why SEO Love Monster Headlines (And You Should, Too!)

Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader. Without a compelling promise that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist. So, from a copywriting and content marketing standpoint, writing great headlines is a critical skill.

Out of all the folks who read your headline, only 20% will read the article copy. Whether it’s for email subject lines, blog posts, ebooks, or webinars, you need a powerful, sexy headline to make readers swoon.

Best Headlines For Blogging, Why SEO Love Monster Headlines (And You Should, Too!)

Modern online article headlines are tricky – they need to be SEO keyword friendly, but also should be unique and creative. The end result needs to be super clickable, irresistible headlines.

If you’re like me, your eyeballs encounter nearly a hundred headlines before you've finished your first cup of coffee. What makes you read one story over another? It’s all about the headline – that magical string of words that allures and excites.

What makes a killer captivating headline? We’re dishing out 15 headline writing tips to help.

What Good Headlines Do -

Before we get into the tips, let's refresh our memory on what headlines have to do. A good headline:

  • Gives potential readers a snapshot of what the content will be about. This can either be clearly stated or can be a teaser inviting them to read more.

  • Makes a promise to readers that you have to keep when writing the content.

  • Makes your social cards and search engine listing more interesting to win more clicks and traffic from readers and searchers.

  • Creates a sense of immediacy and urgency or by makes readers anticipate that they will learn something essential by reading your content.

Best Headlines For Blogging, Why SEO Love Monster Headlines (And You Should, Too!)

Now that you know what your headlines have to achieve, here are Top 15 ways to make them more effective.

1. Write A Lot Of Headlines -

As my SEO journey, I know that the first headline you come up with for a piece of content isn't always the best one. In fact, by the time you publish the content, the final headline is often far removed from your first attempt. So I was interested to see that CoSchedule's Garrett Moon recommends you write about 25 possible titles for every piece of content. Yes, 25! Once you've done that, discard everything but the last third, because it's the headlines you come up with when you dig deep and think you're out of inspiration that are often the most innovative and exciting. This tip is based on Upworthy's approach and you know how viral their headlines are.

Don't have a lot of time? Even writing 10 headlines will work, says Garrett Moon, though the more you write, the better your chances of hitting headline gold.

2. Use Suggestion Tools -

We can't always feel inspired, so when you're stuck for headline ideas, try a headline suggestion tool. For example, if you use the Portent Content Idea Generator, you can put in your topic, then click the arrow to get a suggestion. And if you don't like the one you get, keep clicking till you get one you like - Here. 

Best Headlines For Blogging, Why SEO Love Monster Headlines (And You Should, Too!)

In my experience, these titles can be of varying quality, but they often serve to spark the imagination for a better idea. Since the suggestions are based on proven traffic magnet templates, they're worth some attention. Hubspot also has a blog topic generator that works in a similar way.

If you'd rather blow the box away than think outside it, then there are a couple more fun tools to help you. The Clickbait Headline Generator suggests clickworthy headlines which you are free to use or can adapt for your own content. And you can also get inspiration from the Upworthy Generator which suggests Upworthy-style headlines or from the Buzzfeed Generator, which does the same for Buzzfeed.

3. Get The Length Right -

All headlines aren't created equal - and opinions vary on what the ideal headline length is. Back in 2009, Jakob Nielsen analyzed BBC news stories to find the ideal length for online content and concluded that it was five words (34 characters). That doesn't give you much room for anything but the facts. To grab attention in an era of waning attention spans, you need a few more words than that. Headlines on Buzzfeed and Upworthy (let's just call them the viral headline holy grail) are usually much longer than that.

There are even more stats:

  • Research from Outbrain found that content with headlines between 60-100 characters had the best click through rate.

  • Buffer says ideal character counts are 71-100 for Twitter, 40 for Facebook and 60 for Google+

So what's the ideal length? According to CoSchedule, headlines between 50 and 70 characters will work well for most sites, though you may need to tweak your headline depending on whether you're more interested in SEO, email clickthrough or engagement.

4. Invest In Word Power -

It shouldn't be a surprise, but using the right language make a big difference to how people respond to your headlines. Luckily, there's a lot of research to help you improve your own headlines.

Ripinn's analysis of 2616 viral headlines found that:

  • Name-dropping increases a headline's potential, whether you are citing a current trend or event or a popular celebrity.

  • Using techniques to make people more curious works well.

  • Mentioning strong emotion gets more attention.

  • Bold titles work, as long as your content has the evidence to back up your claims.

Buffer's followup to the Ripenn research also found there are several viral headline words and phrases, like "the most", "why" and "how to". Addressing readers directly also helps, as do phrases that create immediacy.

5. Learn From The Best -

All the tips above show you how to find templates that work to create your own headline, but they aren't the only way to fly. You can also learn from the best by finding headlines that people have already clicked and shared. Buzzsumo is a great tool for doing this kind of research. Either check out the trending topics and use these as a jumping-off point or type in your search term and use the on-site filters to see what's been popular in your niche recently. Then use your findings to create a new title that will work for your topic.

Finally, avoid starting from scratch if you can. A great way to find headlines that you already know work is to use BuzzSumo. Input your top and check out the most shared headlines. Use the on-site search filters to check for recently popular topics. Use your findings to create new versions which will work for your topic.

Another good way to find headlines that work is to connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts to Nuzzel and see what your followers are sharing. It's an excellent way to get a quick overview of what's hot now, and if you publish often it could help you ride current trends. Growth Hackers and the community can also help with this.

6. Analyse Your Headline -

By the time you get to this step, you should have a bunch of potential headlines at roughly the right length and using words that you know work. Now it's time to do some further fine tuning. That's where headline analyzers come in.

The Advanced Marketing Institute's Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer tests your headline for the likelihood that it will connect with your customers emotionally. The higher the score, the better. I've found it difficult to get a true assessment from this tool because the content categories available don't always match what I'm writing about, but it may work for you.

Best Headlines For Blogging, Why SEO Love Monster Headlines (And You Should, Too!)

An even better tool, in my opinion, is the free CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. Plug in your headline and you get an analysis which includes an assessment of emotional impact, power words, word balance and readability. It also identifies the beginning and end of your headline (since this is where most people read) so you can see if what readers see will pack a punch. Keep tweaking your headline till you're happy with the score.

7. Test And Measure -

Finally, test your headlines to see how people respond. In the end, this is where all the work you have put in will pay off and you'll find out what really works. Ways to do this include:

  • Using social media polls to find out which title appeals to readers most.

In the end, you will have to combine a number of these techniques to find the formula that works best for you. Have you had any posts go viral? What did you learn about your audience from that experience?

8. Make it sexy -

Just because you have to be accurate doesn't mean you can't find ways to make your title pop. There are a lot of ways to make a title sexier:

  • Have Some Fun With Alliteration. The title and header in this blog post, for instance, play with alliteration: "Foolproof Formula" and "Writing Wonderful." It's a device that makes something a little lovelier to read, and that can have a subtle but strong impact on your reader.
  • Use strong language. That's what we did with this title. Strong phrases (and, frankly, often negative ones) like "Kick-Ass," "Things People Hate," or "Brilliant" pack quite a punch. However, these must be used in moderation. As one of my coworkers likes to say, "If everything is bold, nothing is bold."
  • Make the value clear. Presenting the format and/or contents to a reader helps make your content a little sexier. That's why we'll often use brackets at the ends of titles to denote format and content, like [Infographic], [Free Ebook], or, in this post, just "A Simple Formula" at the beginning of the title. Templates tend to be particularly powerful for CTR: We found that adding "[Template]" to our titles got the most average views of all bracketed terms.
All of this hinges on understanding your core buyer persona. You need to find language that resonates with them, and know what they find valuable. Your titles might not resonate with some of your readers -- but if they resonate with your core buyer persona, that's the most important thing. (Haven't created or refined your buyer personas yet? Use this template to create your own buyer personas for your business.)

So, how might we punch up our accurate-but-boring working title, "X B2B Companies Using Facebook in Cool Ways"? Here are some options:

I like that first title the most because it's simple, succinct, and has two sexy components. First, "Brilliant" is a very positive, yet strong word. Who doesn't want to be brilliant? Second, I know many of the B2B marketers we talk to believe Facebook is more geared toward B2C companies, though they'd love to take advantage of the platform if they knew how. A post that positions two things commonly disassociated with one another -- Facebook and B2B -- adds some great value. Third, it has a nice alliteration with "B2B" and "Brilliant."

9. Remember the 5Ws -

In grammar school you probably remember learning the 5Ws:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why

These engaging, interrogative words are used to gather information. By using them in your headlines, you articulate to readers the kind of information you intend to provide.

10. Keep Headlines Under 70 Characters -

If you want your headlines to look good in Google and prevent them from being cut off, make sure your headlines stay under 70 characters.

Best Headlines For Blogging, Why SEO Love Monster Headlines (And You Should, Too!)

We don’t get a full understanding of what this article is about due to the chopped headline.

11. Use Strong Adjectives and Verbs -

As Startup Moon notes, there’s a morbid fascination that seems to hang over us. Readers are often drawn to dark and violent wording. Some dark headline power words include:

  • Kill
  • Fear
  • Dark
  • Bleeding
  • War  

But it’s not just ominous words that allure readers – other viral headline words that appear in popular headlines include:

  • Smart
  • Surprising
  • History
  • Hacks
  • Big/Huge
  • Shocking

12. Breed Distrust -

Us humans can be a cynical bunch, and we’ll often jump at the chance to read about how we are being manipulated, deceived, or given the run around.

Headline writing examples:

  • 6 Lies Your Car Dealer Will Try to Tell You
  • Is Your Doctor Telling the Truth About Prescribing Your Kids Ritalin?
  • Sun Damage is Bad, But is Sunscreen Even Worse?

13. Numbers, digits, & lists -

We've talked before about how much readers are mesmerized by lists. Starting your headline with a number helps the headline stand out. Just as the human eye is drawn to contrasting colours, we’re also naturally drawn to the juxtaposition of digits resting beside text. A list also gives readers a clearer idea of what to expect in your post, as well as promising a quick, scan-friendly read.

Best Headlines For Blogging, Why SEO Love Monster Headlines (And You Should, Too!)

Some great list words to get you started:

  • Reasons
  • Ways
  • Tips
  • Tricks
  • Secrets
  • Ideas
  • Techniques
  • Strategies
  • Facts
  • Methods
  • Statistics

14. Don’t be Afraid to Embellish -

The best blog post headlines aren't afraid to sell themselves. Embellish. Exaggerate. Entice.

Is substituting carrot sticks for potato chips a “secret” to losing weight? Not really, but you can act like it is in an article entitled “The Ultimate Diet Secrets for Shedding Serious Pounds.” Don’t be afraid to take a few liberties in headline writing.

A sense of urgency doesn't hurt either:

  • Make the Most of Holiday Shoppers – Don’t Miss Out!
  • Don’t Buy a Home Without Asking Your Real-Estate Agent These 8 Questions

15. Try to optimize for SEO -

I say "try" because sometimes, trying too hard to optimize for SEO can make your title sound strange. If you can optimize your titles for search, that's great -- but clarity should always be your primary goal. While keywords are important, it's more valuable to have a headline that gets clicked and shared frequently, which can have a positive impact on its ranking on search engine result pages.

I think we can optimize our accurate-but-sexy title without compromising clarity, so let's try to make it a little more SEO-friendly. I would do something like this:

Why? Because I'd rather rank for the term "Facebook Marketing" than "Facebook Pages" And as long as my content talks about the companies' marketing, and not just their Pages, I'm still being accurate. It's a subtle tweak, but retains both the accuracy and the sexiness of the title.

I'm going to move forward with the title above, but it's worth noting that keywords do really well in search when they're placed at the front of the title. So if I was particularly interested in getting this post to rank for the term "Facebook Marketing," I might choose to reorder the wording to something like this: "Facebook Marketing Examples: 10 B2B Companies You'll Want to Follow." That way, users searching for "Facebook Marketing" see right away that that's what my post is about.


This was our definitive rundown about How To How to write magnetic headlines, we are certain that these article would have been proven useful for a considerable lot of the users out there. On the off chance that you have any sort questions left identified with these tricks then lend your inquiries in the comment box. Any of our team members will hit them up in no time. 

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Why SEO Love Monster Headlines (And You Should, Too!) Reviewed by Soumadeep Patra on 05:04:00 Rating: 5


  1. very nice souma deep , your consistency i like , and you will be best blogger a one day , keep on ,,,,

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your support and blessings. :)

  2. I agree with you,Soumadeep Patra,that your headline is the first impression you can make on a prospective reader.And crafting an arresting headline to turn a browser into a reader is a skill that should be developed.None of the factors you itemised to create a monster headline could be dismissed.The wonderful insights that you brought into the write-up are enlightening.Fine,consistent work!

    1. Thanks A Lot For Your Valuable Comment, Have An Awesome Day Ahead :-))

  3. so extensive!!!! that too for a title... I wonder whether I will be able to follow them... but thanks for sharing buddy.... great tips :-)
    Happy to connect :-)
    Cheers, Archana -


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