The headline…it gets overlooked a lot.
But, it’s the first thing that gets noticed about your website. If users are in search, they see that big blue headline first. If they’re actually on your website, it’s the first thing they see at the top of your web page.
Your headline determines whether searchers click through to your website. And if they’ve already made it to your website, it determines if they read to the bottom of your page or not.
Well, not entirely. But, it plays the largest role in whether that happens. Pages on your site with longer engagement time, more click-throughs, and lower bounce rates experience better rankings in search.
So, your page’s headline is quite a powerful thing that shouldn’t be overlooked.
What makes one headline get more clicks than another? Buzzsumo was wondering. So, they did research on 100 million headlines.
And here’s some of the highlights:
These are the three phrases Buzzsumo’s research found for starting headlines:
X reasons why…
X things you…
This is what…
Why do the first two work? List-based posts have always worked well…even before the internet. In the day of magazines, newspapers, and other print content, marketers knew this. People just love knowing how many things they’re going to learn before actually visiting the post.
“This is what…” likely works because it arouses curiosity. That’s usually the leading emotion to market to for consumers.
By the way, the most engaging numbers in headlines are 10, 5, and 15 – in that order.
Shorter is better, isn’t it? Not with headlines.
Buzzsumo’s research found headlines that get shared the most have 12-18 words, with about 15 being ideal. They actually fall almost perfectly on a normal curve.
If you’re going to make the topic clear and communicate exceptional value, headlines take more words.
People in any niche respond to certain headlines best. At this point, the web is so saturated with great content and engaging headlines that you can research what works quite easily.
Buzzsumo offers free 14-day trials. With their tool, you can enter in a URL of a top website in your niche and instantly find the articles that get the most shares so you learn what headlines and topics work.
We don’t have any kind of business affiliation with Buzzsumo, so don’t feel like this is an advertisement. It’s simply an extremely useful tool for researching the most popular content in any niche.