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Headings to attract more readers

Headings (or titles) to blog posts and other online articles are important.

A good heading will entice people to read the post which means they will click on a link to it as well. So write a good heading not just within your blog but in the title you use for links to your blog post.

Including relevant subject words in a heading has two advantages for bringing in more readers.

Anybody looking for information on a specific topic will be attracted by seeing those words in the heading. It will also stop uninterested people clicking through to your post (and this is a good thing if you are trying to reduce your bounce rate and not waste time and bandwidth on people who are not your potential customers anyway).

Including subject words also helps search engines summarise your blog post and determine its importance and relevance for any specific search term.

Here are a few examples to show how a subject word can help:

What I’m reading vs My top business books

Preparing dinner vs Planning nutritious meals

My hobby vs Bike riding for fun

Which of these headings do you think will show up in search engine searches for business books, healthy cooking and bike riding?

15 Responses to Headings to attract more readers

  • UmiNoor says:

    Very true. A heading is important to also help readers determine if the content is what he/she is searching for. As a reader, I certainly appreciate writers who take the time to create headings that would clearly tell me what the content would be about. Generic headings like “What I’m reading”, “Preparing dinner” and “My Hobby” aren’t helpful at all.

    • tashword says:

      It can be hard to make the heading informative and interesting, but worth the effort most of the time I hitnk.

      • zargranios says:

        Yes, it can be hard, that’s the reason why there is a whole career based on this (well not only on this), but on advertising..
        In advertising, a good heading can be crucial for posible consumers to buy your product.

      • tashword says:

        Thanks for adding that, Zargranios – it isn’t just in blog posts and articles that headings matter.

  • Kayde says:

    I had never thought about how important a heading to a post could be. It makes complete sense though. If I come across a post that has a boring title I am far less likely to read it. Why would I want to read about someone’s hobby when I could read about the joys of bike riding instead?

    • tashword says:

      Glad it makes sense to you, Kayde. The heading is so much shorter than the following content that we often treat it as unimportant but I think people are so busy now that the heading has to attract people or they will never see what you have written.

  • anotherspaceman says:

    I can’t help but to think calling this “sexy headings to attract more readers” would reveal a sad truth about people.

    Not a fan of tabloid newspapers myself, but anyone who provides online content soon discovers that sadly the baser articles will attract more hits. Of course these are also the areas that are covered in more depth already.

    It’s as simple as to consider what you’d stick in the search box yourself. Chances are other people will think the same. And if you want more info, check the google search history for words and terms relating to your article. It will reveal some interesting stuff.

    • tashword says:

      Yes I could have made the heading sexy but that’s not who I am (and my stats probably reflect that, lol!) and it’s certainly not what I would put in as a search term either. I don’t like over-the-top hype and sensationalism although many people must as it definitely works…

      Looking at search stats always amazes me – some of the terms used to find things online are weird!

      • anotherspaceman says:

        I don’t suppose you could go as far as to write an article about how you do that tash?

        Sure a lot of people would find it handy info – and I’m sure there’s a plethora of sites out there I’m not utilising!


      • tashword says:

        An article on how to look at search stats? Not something I consider myself an expert on but I could certainly write about what I do know 🙂 Stay tuned!

  • FamilyTreeClimber says:

    This is good information for web writers. The heading is what lures people in. If your heading isn’t informative and catchy, the reader may move on without reading or clicking on other articles. If it’s too vague, they may be disappointed when they view the page and find it’s not what they thought.

    Thank you for showing the examples of how we can write headings differently. Often, two or three words can make a difference.

  • andrew320 says:

    I work as a reporter for news organization and there have been times where the headline was poorly worded that it was actually incorrect and insulted our thousands of readers.

    Let’s just say, the headline was titled “murdered” but the story consisted of the person just dying!

    In my experience, it’s a hit and miss. On some days, I can come up with superb headlines, but on other days, I’m terrible at it. I don’t know why.

    I’m OK with any headline, except the darn puns!

    • tashword says:

      I hate headings that are misleading – worse if it is deliberate to grab attention or shock. Murder and natural death are not the same and shouldn’t be interchanged!

      I’m the same – some days it is much easier to find a good heading (or topic or anything else) than others – another good reason to leave things at least overnight before proof reading and checking, as you may think of a great heading tomorrow. Of course, you don’t always ahve that option and just have to do the best you can.

      As for puns, they are an art form and we can’t all be good at everythin!

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