Everyone knows the importance of getting attention online. And, the total value of being easily found and staying visible online.
Traffic is great, but if you can’t make any of it convert, then all those visitors are wasted.
Attention spans are shorter than ever and while the exact amount of time varies from one study to another, generally speaking they all agree that you have less than 10 seconds to grab a hold of a web surfer’s attention before you lose it forever.
That means you better have a great headline.
Think about it.
Every single day and week you end up surfing the web, scanning magazines while waiting in line, or reading news stories that you really weren’t that interested in.
How did you get sidetracked? 🙂
The first step was almost guaranteed to be a powerful, insulting, gripping, or otherwise impossible to ignore headline. (References to linkbait / clickbait in SEO circles).
Headlines are powerful, and learning to write outstanding ones for every single article or blog post online can quickly transform your business because of the increased attention.
These 10 tools help you learn to create attention, intrigue, and everything your headline needs to go from failing to fabulous.
#1: Online Title & Headline Generators
Online title generators and online headline generators are very useful tools that can help at every stage of creating a great headline from brainstorming ideas to looking for that extra word or little adjustment that changes the entire effectiveness of those all-important first words.
A title generator can use a few keywords to develop a lot of great titles based on proven formats that have worked in the past, and can help with brainstorming the various options you have.
Many of these tools will have dozens if not hundreds of pre-programmed headlines that use a basic template such as:
– 10 ways (KEYWORD) can change your life
– Master (KEYWORD) or else
– (KEYWORD): What you need to know right now!
These tools won’t give you that one in a thousand headline that becomes famous due to being completely unique and different, but it can help break up writer’s block or at least create a solid title from a proven formula.
Most marketers have one or two of these tools they use as their go-to for headline creation.
#2: The Headline Analyzer
Using different measurements to see how active your opening headline is, how many action words are used, and by looking at the parts that make up a great conventional title you can see how your current headline measures up.
Questions to ask:
Is it emotional?
Is it action oriented?
Is it eye-catching or tired and too vague?
This tool isn’t there to create new headlines, but it can help you tackle the full list you’ve come up with and see how they measure up against one another and what potential problems might be recurring with what you are writing.
This is good guidance for the editing process.
#3: Your Bookmarks Tab
This seems strange, perhaps.
But one of the best possible free tools that can help you learn to be an amazing headline writer is your bookmarks tab.
When you’re surfing the web and see a story that just grabs you, an advertisement that makes you click, or a sales letter that forces you to click and see what’s being sold, save that in one of your folders. (TIP: Install the evernote plugin in your bookmarks and save)
Creating a bookmark folder just for these types of headlines will give you a great resource to see what makes even seasoned marketers click through.
The longer you collect these bookmarks, the better the resource gets.
Learning to take a look at magazine covers (especially magazines like “The National Inquirer” or “Cosmo”) and see how they pitch sensationalism will also show you how to get attention with a few basic words. These folks are paid high dollars to capture your attention. Leverage that!
#4: Copywriting Courses
Copywriting courses (Awai Online for B2B) are a great way to learn this specific type of sales writing and to create the type of headlines that are necessary to create the perfect introduction to the fully formed sales letter to follow.
Every major sales letter writer and marketer understands the importance of those opening words and no serious course will skip a section about crafting effective and powerful headlines that will force readers to click through and see what else you have to offer.
Two things to remember when looking at any copywriting courses:
– All serious copywriting courses will include sections on writing the best headlines
– Look for courses by renowned & experienced sales writers (awaionline)
Obviously you can trust a course from a renowned copywriter or from someone who has made letters that have sold millions in product.
This is one of those cases where you only want to learn from those who have proven they truly know their stuff!
#5: Fiction Courses
This might be counter-intuitive, especially to people who don’t see the initial connection, but the absolute best headlines tend to be creative, use vivid language, and paint a picture.
What better way to learn the creative use of language than to take a creative writing class?
Whether online, in a community workshop, or at a University, taking classes in fiction writing can help copywriters learn to think differently.
Using words in creative ways will open up the options when writing headlines and give these writers a leg up on writers who are stuck in a small contained box.
Learn to embrace the skills that fiction writing bring you!
#6: The Optimizely Tool
This cutely named tool focuses on optimization of the headline (or headlines) you are trying to decide between.
Reportedly Bleacher Report, NBC Universal, and Microsoft all use this tool to increase their page views and click through rates.
The major focus of this tool is testing different headlines against each other so x number of visitors see one headline, while x number see another.
The tool then figures out what type of titles are working, which ones get more clicks from people who visit, and what can be done to make even more effective headlines in the future.
This is a great tool for fully optimizing all of your titles and headlines on any given page or website.
#7: Taboola Newsroom
Taboola Newsroom is a tool that’s only available to people in the Taboola network, but it’s a tool worth looking at if you have access.
This not only looks at optimizing headlines but also the recommendations, thumbnail pictures, and other important factors that can also result in higher open rates and a larger number of visitors per story.
This takes the analyzing of good established headlines to another level.
#8: Qualaroo Tool
Qualaroo is a survey tool that will help an intelligent writer take their titles to the next level.
After a person visits or takes an action, those who agree to take the survey will be able to give information about what caught their attention, why they clicked, and what would make them come back for more.
In other words, while a headline’s job is to get attention from as many potential visitors as possible, Qualaroo can answer the all important question of “Why did the headline work?”
Hear from the very mouths of your customers what is working and what isn’t.
That type of direct information can lead to some serious quality writing by building off positive traits you are 100% sure works.
#9: Copywriting & Headline Writing Cheat Sheets
Who doesn’t like the occasional great cheat sheet?
These sheets aren’t just good for the main title, but direct sub-titles as well as headings and sub-headings throughout the page.
Having a sheet with 100 potential headline options makes it easy to really get the gears grinding and help you to see your options when writing.
Are you going to go with a list article, a serious help article, or an article threatening scarcity?
Depending on which way you go, you’ll want a different headline and a great cheat sheet will be able to provide just that.
#10: Emotional Headline Analyzer
An emotional headline analyzer is an important tool that scans any given headline and in this case it’s looking to measure the emotional impact that your words will likely have on any interested potential readers.
(Try the emotional headline analyzer free)
Will they be offended?
Will they be happy or irritated – or does the vagueness of the headline being checked out be too much to get any type of an emotional response?
This tool can help give you an idea of what’s going right or what exactly it is that might be missing.
No one said online marketing and headline writing is easy.
It’s simple, but it takes work.
We know great headlines attracts – and can lead to more visits, more clicks, better results.
By using some, or all, of the ten tools and strategies mentioned throughout this article you will be churning out the type of headlines that create impact.
Don’t settle for second rate output when these tools can help you master the art of creating winning headlines that will get the results you need every single time!NEED SOME HELP? Contact Us Here and schedule your time.
Jon Rognerud and Chaosmap work with Fortune 500 companies, small business and entrepreneurs to create digital traffic strategies that scales up customers, leads and sales. Mr. Rognerud wrote a best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur). Connect directly here.