Headlines are the single most important factor when creating great content. Why? Because headlines determine whether or not your target audience is going to read your article.

A headline is the only impression you can make on an Internet surfer that can turn them into a potential reader. This is why it is so critical to create headlines that will grab the attention of the audience you are trying to reach.

With the amount of content being pumped out onto the web, the average Internet surfer will read 80% of headlines, but only 20% of those surfers will actually read the article. Therefore, you should spend just as much time crafting a solid, strategic headline as you do on the content within the piece.

Headlines for Digital Marketing Strategies

Headlines are not simply used as the title of your work; they are used so that readers can easily identify the content within the piece, the relevancy of the piece, and whether or not the content is going to be interesting and informative

A headline affects your content’s readability, searchability, and virality. This being said, your content’s headline need to be incorporated into your digital marketing strategies. Here’s why:

  • Gain a Readership– Your headline is the first thing your reader sees that tells them what your content is about. If it sounds interesting, informative and relevant, then they will likely click on your link and read your content. If your article includes really great content, the chances are higher that the reader will return to your site, or possibly share the content with others. A headline is the first opportunity copywriters and content marketers have to building a solid readership and a loyal following for all future articles and blog posts.
  • Search Engine Optimization– A headline is the first thing your audience sees after plugging in keywords into a search engine. The higher your content is ranked on the search engine results page is directly correlated to your content’s click-through rate. This means that you need to consider keyword searches when drafting quality headlines. The keywords chosen within the headline determines where it ranks in the results page of a search engine. The easier it is to search for your content, the easier it is for readers to find.
  • Virality– Headlines are not the only reason why content goes viral, but they do significantly increase the chances of that happening. Although you may have created great quality content, it is the headline that captures the attention of the masses. These 10 tips to creating viral headlines offers helpful insights to developing the best possible headlines for your content.

Your content will never have the chance of being seen by anyone if the readers can’t find it. Be very meticulous when drafting your headlines. They should include keywords that not only describe the content within the piece, but also for the purpose to increase the searchability so readers can find your content.

Create Powerful Headlines

Every great content marketer knows that a headline is supposed to do more than just grab the attention of the audience. True, attention grabbing is a crucial piece, but truly great headlines do far more than that. A really powerful headline should have the following 4 effects on your readers:

  1. Build a Relationship
  2. Create a Sense of Urgency
  3. Generate a Need for Knowledge
  4. Begin the Message

All of these effects collectively seek the attention of the reader. If these characteristics are considered when drafting your headline, then the natural result will be an increase in readership, searchability, and virality.

Chances are you will not create the best possible headline on the first draft. David Ogilvy, known as “The Father of Advertising”, once revised a headline 104 times before deciding on the final draft. He believed that a rock solid headline was equally as important as the ad copy itself. As a general rule, spend the same amount of time drafting a headline as you do on creating the content.

As with everything else, creating great headlines get easier with practice. Although it may seem tedious and unnecessary at first, a powerful headline is the difference between reaching your audience, or having your content lost in the chaos of the web.