10 Tips on how to write the perfect headline

  • News & views

People read the first three words of paragraphs and bulleted items and often stop reading and skip on. They read the tops and bottoms of things before they read the middles (Marketing Sherpa).
With that in mind, your headline and first few words are vital. You’ve only got a few seconds to demonstrate thought leadership and generate enough trust to make your audience read on. Those first attention-grabbing words have to encapsulate your brand, as well as driving engagement by appealing to your audience and their needs.
You need to think about who your target audience are and what their needs are; what problems do they face, what do they talk about, what words do they use? If you always write your headline with those questions in mind, you’ll tap into exactly what they’re looking for, and deliver content they believe in.
Our tips for getting it right:
1. Write for time-poor readers. What would make you click-through?
2. Keep it simple, specific and short – it should be 70 characters or less.
3. Make sure it’s straight to the point and obvious what will follow. Don’t try and trick readers by misleading them.
4. Is it topical and relevant? If it’s not, readers won’t be interested.
5. It has to be useful to your audience – is it going to add value?
6. The headline has to be A/B/n tested and carefully optimised based on statistically significant data.
7. Make sure it’s evergreen and always-on – it should be capable of lasting years.
8. Make it widely re-used on all your channels – email, social, display, search, outdoor etc.
9. To be successful, it will need to be an exact match to your landing page.
10. Use high performance words and follow a formula – it sounds obvious but it does work.
Who are dianomi?
We serve 3.4 billion native ads a month to 95 million users for 250 clients across 300+ premium publishers in North America, Europe and APAC. We A/B/n test over 2,100 competing headline variants daily. If you’d like more information on how we can help improve your native financial content, click here