Ah, headlines. This is surprisingly a controversial topic and you’ll find all sorts of advice on how to create great headlines, many of which contradict each other. But all those tips and pieces of advice won’t help you if you don’t know what the purpose of your article is.
This is because, different types of headlines support different goals. For example, a title like the one of this post might help you get better search engine ranking, but it won’t get you published in a high-visibility publication. Also, it will probably get less clicks than something like, “How to Create Great Headlines for Your Article Marketing Efforts.” The latter is much more catchy, but it won’t get as much love from the search engines.
So, before you follow any advice on how to create a great headline, you need to be clear on the purpose of your article. Why does your article exist?
- To drive traffic to a website?
- To support your expertise status?
- To get syndicated?
And if the article needs to serve multiple goals, which one is the most important?
If your goal is to improve off-page search engine optimization and drive more traffic, make sure the key word phrase you are optimizing for is in the headline, preferable at the beginning.
If your goal is to support your expertise status, you’ll want the headline to be a bit more traditional. Questions are a good way to go. So is starting out with “How to”. These types of headline also work very well to get your article syndicated.