Headline-Writing Made Simple: 5 Tips to Evoke the Right Emotion

Headline-Writing Made Simple: 5 Tips to Evoke the Right Emotion

By Laura Dolan, Senior Copywriter, Keap

 

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that owning your own business requires wearing many hats. You’re the accountant, product manager, social media promoter, and in some cases, copywriter.

If you don’t have a writer on hand, now’s the time to learn some headline-writing tricks that will get your content noticed and attract customers to your business.

Headlines that catch the customers’ attention can enhance your email marketing, improve your landing page conversion rates, and boost post-metrics.

Your end goal is to garner relationships with your customers for years and years, so this is your chance to make a great first impression. Leverage your website, landing pages, blog posts, and emails so your customers can become more familiar with your brand.

It all starts with a headline that reflects valuable content. Check out these five attention-grabbing headline tips to entice customers to devote themselves to your business:

 

1. Use Emotional Words

The fundamental strategy here is to evoke emotion, so you must be aware of what constitutes emotional words and how they can be used in headlines. There’s no shortage of adjectives that you can use to describe what your audience can expect just by reading your headline.

Here are some adjectives appropriate for emotional headlines:

  • Best – not only is it good for SEO but when people buy something, they won’t settle for less than the best version.
  • Discover – people like to try new things and if your company offers that opportunity to either improve their skill set or try something new, it will motivate them to want to explore further
  • Easy – people always want the path of least resistance–if your product promises no stress, they will take a chance on you.
  • Everything you need – make them feel like they only have to come to one place–be their one-stop-shop
  • Free – people love free stuff, this goes without saying, as long as there’s no catch.
  • Guaranteed – helps people feel they can trust your business and feel secure in their purchasing decision.
  • Help – people like to know they’re not alone and that your business is either an email or a phone call away should customers have questions or concerns.
  • Huge – huge sale, huge discount, huge deal—will pique a customers’ curiosity.
  • Instant – not only does it create a sense of urgency, but it also fulfills the need for immediate gratification.
  • More – people always want more for their money as in additional products, but more in this sense could also be used in the context of comparing items, i.e., which one is more valuable?
  • Never – ensure customers that they’ll never have to deal with undesirable scenarios ever again
  • Powerful/Effective – these are robust words, as customers know what they’re about to read will evoke a certain amount of confidence in your company.
  • People – customers like to know that what they’re reading is relatable to others and what their opinion is on a specific topic or what their experience with a particular product was
  • Proven – this instills a sense of credibility; customers like to know if something they’re about to invest in actually works.
  • Quality – this suggests the idea that the product or service customers receive will be high-end or unique, which is a great way to attract business.
  • Save – people are always looking for bargains–lean into their quest for saving money but still offer a superior product.

 

2. Tell Your Story

This is essentially what your headline is, a summary of what’s to come. Reducing your entire landing page, article, email subject line, what have you, into one sentence should reflect your business’ mission. Ultimately, your message should express how your customers’ satisfaction is your number one priority.

Don’t be afraid to troubleshoot. Writing the perfect headline is rarely a one-and-done type of task. It can take as many times as you need to yield your content’s most ideal summary while packing a punch, compelling your audience to read beyond the title.

For example, the headline “Keap helps business owners stay organized” uses the company name in the title and evokes a sense of security for readers, demonstrating its mission and how customers’ lives will improve. It’s simple, to the point and depicts what the readers can expect.

Side note: Avoid clickbait at all costs. Teasing customers or using false advertising is a surefire way to lose business and credibility. For example, don’t say “Top 10 Tips for Upselling–You Won’t Believe #3”

 

3. Keywords are Key

Speaking from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perspective, you always want to leverage trending keywords because the end goal is to rank as high as you can in a Google search.

One thing that will inspire ideas is a keyword resource such as the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool. Find the top-performing keywords in your industry and generate the perfect title out of those, further optimizing your content and ranking higher in an organic search. Remember always to include your business name as much as you can in your headlines, if applicable.  

 

4. Strength in Numbers

Numbers are desirable in a headline. Statistically, odd numbers fewer than 10 or top 10 lists perform better in terms of SEO. Numbers in headlines can apply to emails, blog posts, or any other type of marketing.

If your content includes a list, steps or tips, definitely consider adding a number to your title reflecting that quantity.

Attention-grabbing headline examples with lists include:

 

5. Keep it Short and Sweet

When writing your headline, less is always more. Google recommends 70 characters or fewer. If you prefer to think of it in terms of word count, 10 to 12 words have been demonstrated to perform the best per SEO experts.

For a fun way to guarantee your titles are within the recommended parameters, use a word counting tool such as wordcounter.io or wordcounter.net to play around with headlines’ length

For the record, the title of this article has 10 words and 63 characters. Sometimes you have to prioritize word count over character count. Will more words get the point across or fewer characters? It’s another troubleshooting opportunity. Move some words around, condense your statement, while trying to cater to what you think your target audience would want to hear to get them to explore your brand a bit more.

 

Refresh your Content

It’s never too late to improve your content. Go back to your blog history, as writing an emotional headline doesn’t just have to be applied to future content. Take this opportunity to refresh some preexisting articles on your site with some enhanced titles and subheads if necessary, to see if they perform any better.

A/B testing is also a great strategy to see what works and what doesn’t. Try it on some email subject lines and see which ones demonstrate a more successful open rate.

Keeping these emotionally evoking headline tips in mind, you may see improvement in the content’s performance and drive more traffic to your site and your business.

 

 

Laura Dolan is the Senior Copywriter for SEO at Keap. She has been a writer and editor for over 14 years publishing pieces in B2B and B2C industries including food and drink, energy, construction, supply chain, education, technology, retail, pet products, mental health, real estate, and engineering. She has also written and edited for international publications in the U.K., Canada, Australia, and India. When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time with her husband, Jeff, four stepchildren, dog, Sparky and cat, Piper.