10 Helpful Headline Tips To Catch People’s Attention

  1. The first headline writing tip is to start with the number 10. Starting with a numeral increases your chances of getting clicks.
  2. Numbered lists are more likely to get clicks too because readers know what they’re getting themselves into.
  3. Tell your readers why they should care right away. Always answer “so what, who cares?”
  4. Deliver. Don’t promise a story in a headline if you don’t deliver it in the copy. Make sure your headline accurately represents your story. Otherwise, it’s considered clickbait.
  5. Use keywords related to the topics in your story to boost your search engine optimization.
  6. Write 25 versions of your headline and pick the best one. It takes time to write a good headline. Prioritize this process and you will write better headlines.
  7. Use powerful and emotional verbs.
  8. Use active voice, not passive.
  9. Headlines with approximately six words tend to earn the highest number of clicks (between 35 to 60 characters, spaces included).
  10. Use a compelling featured image that reinforces your headline’s message. Headlines with images are more likely to catch people’s attention.

Free Headline Analyzer

There are lots of free headline analyzers you should test your headlines in. I suggest trying CoSchedule. Note: It’s nearly impossible to get a headline score of 100. Anything over 60 is usually good. Use their tips to test out different headlines for the same story.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 1.31.10 PM.png
Courtesy: CoSchedule

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 1.21.28 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 1.19.15 PMScreen Shot 2017-09-24 at 1.19.32 PM


Which headline would you be more likely to click?

headline kneeling

Buzzsumo looked at headlines online and on social platforms. Check out their report called, We Analyzed 100 Million Headlines. Here’s What We Learned.

Here are a few interesting takeaways from their report:


Related Resources:

8 headline tips to draw readers on social media


Published by JeanetteAbrahamsen

I am an instructional designer and TV news instructor at the University of South Florida. My passion for innovating learning led me to pursue my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Instructional Technology. I love creating media to enhance eLearning and foster online engagement. I teach students to create multimedia stories for broadcast, web and social media platforms. I lead the Florida Focus class where students produce daily news shows that air on Tampa's PBS station. My reporting classes collaborated with Tampa's NPR station to produce award-winning stories. I am an Emmy Award-winning journalist. I produced thousands of hours of TV news in some of America's largest media markets at Tampa's NBC station, San Diego's ABC station and the San Diego Union-Tribune. I also produced immersive 360-degree virtual tours at the University of South Florida and reported for Hashtag Our Stories.

One thought on “10 Helpful Headline Tips To Catch People’s Attention

Leave a Reply