It’s incredibly hard to write headlines that can bring in the money (or traffic). Even for the best of the copywriters in the world, there’s no magic bullet; it’s all about writing up drafts and then testing them out to find the headline type that gets most clicks.

To help you find the most magnetic headlines, there are tools like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer and the good old one Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer from The Advanced Marketing Institute.

Much like a DSLR without a tripod, your sales funnels just won’t work without a proper impetus. Without proper, targeted, well-written, and purposeful headlines it’s almost impossible to attract organic top-of-the-funnel traffic.

Even professional copywriters find it hard to craft a powerful headline. Some headlines are better than others. However, there are certain types of headlines or headline formulas that are proven to get more clicks.

With all these types of headlines, a few things are common: they have personality, and they have elements of uniqueness, curiosity, and are generally interesting.

Here’s our selection of 7 headline types that get clicks.

1. Ask questions

headlines with questions

When you ask questions in a headline, you are grabbing attention. You pique interest. You make your visitors or readers stop and think.

But beware: asking any random question won’t do (especially not for your headline). According to Brian Clark of Copyblogger,

“The true rule is that you should never use a question that the prospective reader can answer with a no. If you ask that type of question, you’ve just failed… because you gave people a reason not to read your content.”

The right kind of a question in a headline is the kind of question to which your readers normally won’t have an answer for. At least, they are aware that you might have an answer that might be different from the one they have on their mind.

2. Numbers make for great headlines

In case you haven’t noticed, the title of this post is a number-based headline.

Numbers are the quintessential web snack. People love to gobble up list posts for that precise reason and there are numbers to provide just how effective headlines with numbers are.

According to a Conductor Survey, headlines with numbers turned out to be the clearest, most-clicked, and most-effective.

Here’s how you can easily use numbers within your headlines:

  • 54 Resources On [ Your Niche] You Should Print And Laminate
  • 145 Tips To Make Your Website Load Faster Than It Takes to Open A Browser
  • How To Boost Your Organic Traffic By 340% in 3 Months Flat

3. Stay understated, or shoot for the stars

Most people would think that using Superlatives like “best”, “fantastic”, “smartest”, and “perfect” would make the headlines more attractive.

Data, however, suggests otherwise and clearly points to visitors preferring to click on rather understated headlines than the ones with a truckload of superlatives.

According to Nathan Safran of Moz, thanks to the Conductor Survey above, the headlines with fewer superlatives were clicked on most often. Interestingly, 25% of respondents preferred the last headline, that was packed with 4 superlatives.

Headline types with superlatives

  • The 27 Ways to Train a Dog (0 superlatives)
  • The 27 Best Ways to Train a Dog (1 superlatives)
  • The 27 Best Ways Ever to Train a Dog (2 superlatives)
  • The 27 Best Ways Ever to Train a Perfect Dog (3 superlatives)
  • The 27 Best and Smartest Ways Ever to Train a Perfect Dog (4 superlatives)

In the headline examples above, 51% of the respondents of the survey liked the understated approach, preferring to click headlines with 0-1 superlatives.

4. “Make my life easier” headlines

It’s just human nature that we all look for shortcuts. Or, maybe not shortcuts really but relatively easier ways to do things. This applies to everything in life.

Now that blog posts, ads, and pretty much most content online is written to primarily “solve” problems, your headlines will appeal more when you can make their life easier.

Ryan Scott calls these headlines “Make my life easier” headlines and they are appealing for exactly that reason.

  • The Easy Way to [Insert Something Hard to Do here]
  • How To Do [Something Important] In [Shorter Time Frame] Instead of [The longer time frame]

5. Make it fast, now

We all want things yesterday. We can’t wait. Patience is not a common virtue and no one gets hurt if you can “do something” way “faster” than usual.

Implement that into your headlines and you’ll have people clicking through to see just how to get something faster or sooner.

Here are some examples:

  • The Quickest Way to Make your First $100 Dollars Online
  • The Incredibly Fast Way To Get Ranked On Google

6. Use the non-obvious

If you go south when everyone else is going north, you are bound to be noticed. That’s just how it works.

It also works with headlines.

Say something that’s not usual, you’ll pique curiosity, amusement, or even pure shock. But that works great for headlines.

Here are a few examples:

  • Using Facebook? It’s Making You So Unbelievably Dumb
  • Content Marketing? That’s For Children. Here’s What Adults Should Do
  • Going Digital Is The New Norm? You Have No Idea How Wrong You Are

7. Backed by science or proof or experience

Even if something was covered by some other blog or publication, you can still write about it if you have something to say about it. You could pick up what almost everyone knows and still give it a unique twist depending on what you’d end up writing on.

On that note, if you write anything backed by science or proof or your own experience (with results to show), you have a good headline in the making.

Examples? Here you go:

  • 14 Remedies to [The problem], Backed by Science
  • 17 Ways to Beat Higher Advertising Costs (Proof from Real Campaigns Inside)
  • What 12 Years of Doing SEO Really Taught Me?

If you spend time on writing blog posts and doing content marketing, you should be spending even more time on choosing the most effective headline types. Because headlines are that important.

What kind of headline types do you use for your blog posts, content marketing, and more?

Want to take “luck” out of the equation?

Pick up our free guide to the 100 most opened subject lines.

Discover which subject lines ‘get the open,’ complete with open rates and click-through percentages, so you compare your own results…

Also provided in the report is a spreadsheet of all of the subject lines, so you can sort them as you want…  Just click here to download it!


Ash
Ash

Ash is an end-to-end digital marketer and an entrepreneur. He runs fetchprofits a full-service digital marketing agency, funnelserve -- a destination to purchase Unbounce Landing pages, and also blogs at groovywebtools. When he isn't inundated with marketing, he travels around the world wherever his heart takes him.