20 ways to write Compelling Website Headlines and Subheadings

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20 ways to write Compelling Website Headlines and Subheadings

Struggling to craft website headlines that actually get clicks? You’re not alone. Frustration can quickly set in when your content goes unnoticed, despite pouring your heart into it. It’s like screaming into the void, right? You know your stuff is good—no, it’s great—but it’s buried under a mountain of more ‘clickable’ content. If this hits home, you’re in the right place. Read More: 30 Trends in Website Content Writing for 2024

It’s totally normal to feel like the digital space is an unforgiving battlefield. You might think, “I’ve tried everything. Why isn’t it working?” That feeling of disillusionment is valid. Crafting compelling headlines and subheadings isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. What if I told you there are techniques out there that are seldom talked about, strategies that can turn your headlines from a whisper to a roar?

Let’s dive in. I promise by the end of this post, you’ll have 20 unique and effective ways to make your website headlines and subheadings so irresistible, readers won’t be able to scroll past. Ready? Let’s begin.

Read More: Top 21 points every Content Writing client wants you to know beforehand

1. Invoke Curiosity with a Cliffhanger

  • Example: “The Secret Ingredient That Can Revolutionize Your Morning Routine…”
  • Tip: Tease your reader with just enough information to pique their interest but leave out a critical detail.
  • Trick: Think of your headline as the opening scene of a mystery novel. It should set up a question that the reader feels compelled to answer.
  • Implementation: Use phrases like “You Won’t Believe What Happened Next” or “Discover the Hidden Truth About…” These phrases create a sense of suspense.
  • Avoid Overuse: Don’t overuse cliffhangers, as they can become clickbait if not backed up with valuable content.
  • Additional Example: “This One Simple Trick Could Save You Thousands on Your Next Trip…”

The power of a cliffhanger lies in its ability to draw readers in with the promise of revealing something valuable or unexpected. It plays on human curiosity—a trait that’s hardwired into our brains. By hinting at valuable content without fully disclosing it, you create a natural urge for the reader to find out more.

2. Use Unexpected Juxtapositions

  • Example: “Luxury Living on a Budget – Here’s How”
  • Tip: Combine two seemingly contradictory concepts to create intrigue.
  • Trick: This technique works because it challenges the reader’s assumptions, making them curious about how the contradiction is resolved.
  • Implementation: Identify two elements that are not commonly associated and think about how they can be realistically linked in your content.
  • Avoid Forced Pairings: Ensure that the juxtaposition makes sense and is relevant to your content to avoid confusing or misleading your readers.
  • Additional Example: “Healthy Desserts That Actually Taste Good”

The unexpected pairing catches the eye and makes the reader think, “How is that possible?” It’s an effective way to stand out in a crowded content landscape because it promises something out of the ordinary. The reader is compelled to click to understand how these two different ideas come together. Read More: 7 best tips on writing Productive Content that every reader approves

3. Ask a Provocative Question

  • Example: “What If Everything You Knew About Healthy Eating Was Wrong?”
  • Tip: Formulate questions that challenge conventional wisdom or touch on common misconceptions.
  • Trick: A provocative question should create a sense of doubt or curiosity, prompting the reader to seek answers in your content.
  • Implementation: Think about common beliefs in your niche and how you can question them in a way that engages your audience.
  • Avoid Vague Questions: Make sure your questions are specific enough to intrigue but broad enough to cover in your content.
  • Additional Example: “Why Are You Still Doing These 5 Outdated SEO Practices?”

By posing a provocative question, you invite the reader into a conversation, making them think critically about their current beliefs or practices. It’s a powerful way to engage because it sets up a problem that your content promises to solve, making the reader eager to discover the solution.

4. Leverage the Power of Numbers

  • Example: “7 Ridiculously Simple Ways to Boost Your Productivity”
  • Tip: Use odd numbers in your headlines; studies show they are more memorable and perceived as more authentic.
  • Trick: Numbers promise a specific and organized piece of content, which appeals to readers looking for actionable advice.
  • Implementation: Ensure the number in your headline matches the number of tips or steps in your content to maintain trust.
  • Avoid Overly Large Numbers: Too many points can overwhelm the reader. Stick to manageable numbers that offer enough value without being exhaustive.
  • Additional Example: “5 Mind-Blowing Facts About Space You Didn’t Know”

Numbers create an expectation of structure and brevity, which is particularly appealing in an age of information overload. Lists are easy to read, and the promise of a specific number of tips or facts gives the reader a clear idea of what to expect. Read More: How and why to find long tailed keywords for ranking higher in the search result?

5. Harness the ‘FOMO’ Factor

  • Example: “Join the 5% Who Know These Insider Tips”
  • Tip: Create a sense of exclusivity and urgency by implying that the reader might miss out on something valuable.
  • Trick: Use words like “only,” “exclusive,” “limited,” and “discover” to enhance the feeling of FOMO.
  • Implementation: Position your content as insider information or a limited opportunity to increase its perceived value.
  • Avoid Overhyping: Make sure the content delivers on the promise to avoid disappointing your readers.
  • Additional Example: “Don’t Miss Out: 10 Game-Changing Hacks for Small Businesses”

FOMO is a psychological trigger that plays on the reader’s fear of being left behind. By suggesting that only a select few have access to your content, you create a sense of urgency and exclusivity that can significantly boost click-through rates. Read More: Content Writing: Feed your curiosity with Meaning, Skills, Tips, & FAQ.

6. Include a Time Frame

  • Example: “Transform Your Website Traffic in Just 30 Days”
  • Tip: Use time-specific phrases to give readers a clear idea of how quickly they can expect results.
  • Trick: Shorter time frames create a sense of immediacy and are more likely to drive action.
  • Implementation: Clearly state the time frame and ensure your content realistically delivers on this promise.
  • Avoid Unrealistic Promises: Be honest about what can be achieved in the given time frame to maintain credibility.
  • Additional Example: “Learn a New Language in 3 Months with These Tips”

Time frames add a sense of urgency and provide a concrete promise of quick results, which can be highly motivating for readers. This technique is particularly effective for readers looking to achieve fast and tangible outcomes. Read More: 25 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Website Content Writing

7. Use Emotional Adjectives

  • Example: “Devastatingly Effective Ways to Boost Your SEO”
  • Tip: Choose adjectives that evoke strong emotions and amplify the impact of your message.
  • Trick: Emotional language can make your headline more compelling and memorable.
  • Implementation: Pair emotional adjectives with powerful nouns to create a strong visual and emotional impact.
  • Avoid Overuse: Use emotional adjectives sparingly to avoid diluting their impact and sounding exaggerated.
  • Additional Example: “Amazingly Simple Tips to Transform Your Home Decor”

Emotional adjectives can create a strong connection with the reader by appealing to their feelings and desires. This technique can make your content stand out and resonate on a deeper level, encouraging readers to engage more fully. Read More: How to Structure Your Website Content for Maximum Impact

8. Incorporate a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

  • Example: “The Only Guide You Need to Master Social Media Marketing”
  • Tip: Highlight what makes your content unique or superior to others.
  • Trick: Your USP should clearly articulate the distinct benefit or advantage your content offers.
  • Implementation: Identify your content’s key strengths and communicate them succinctly in your headline.
  • Avoid Generic Claims: Ensure your USP is specific and credible to avoid sounding like empty hype.
  • Additional Example: “The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Irresistible Headlines – Tried and Tested!”

Your USP sets your content apart from the competition by clearly communicating its unique value. This technique can help you attract a more targeted audience who are specifically looking for what you offer.

9. Utilize ‘How-To’ Headlines

  • Example: “How to Write Headlines That Guarantee Clicks Every Time”
  • Tip: Provide a clear and actionable promise that addresses a specific need or problem.
  • Trick: How-to headlines are effective because they promise practical and valuable information.
  • Implementation: Start with “How to” followed by a verb and the desired outcome to clearly convey the benefit.
  • Avoid Vague Instructions: Ensure your content provides detailed and actionable steps to deliver on the headline’s promise.
  • Additional Example: “How to Boost Your Blog Traffic with Simple SEO Techniques”

How-to headlines are popular because they offer clear solutions to common problems. By providing a roadmap to achieving a specific goal, you can attract readers looking for practical guidance and easy-to-follow steps. Read More: Creating Engaging Content for Your Website: A Step-by-Step Guide

10. Make It Personal

  • Example: “Your Ultimate Guide to Perfect Blog Headlines”
  • Tip: Address the reader directly to create a sense of personal connection and relevance.
  • Trick: Use words like “you” and “your” to make the reader feel like the content is tailored specifically for them.
  • Implementation: Personalize your headlines by considering the reader’s perspective and needs.
  • Avoid Over-Personalization: Balance personal language with universal appeal to ensure broader relevance.
  • Additional Example: “Your Secret Weapon for Flawless Skin: Expert Tips Revealed”

Personalized headlines can create a sense of intimacy and direct engagement, making the reader feel valued and understood. This technique can enhance reader trust and loyalty by showing that you’re speaking directly to them.

11. Employ Alliteration

  • Example: “Banish Boring Blogs: Boost Your Engagement with These Tips”
  • Tip: Use repetitive consonant sounds to create a catchy and memorable headline.
  • Trick: Alliteration can make your headline more rhythmic and fun to read.
  • Implementation: Identify key words in your headline and find synonyms that create an alliterative effect.
  • Avoid Forced Alliteration: Ensure the alliteration feels natural and doesn’t compromise the clarity of your messages.

Alliteration can make your headlines more engaging and easier to remember. By playing with sounds, you can add a musical quality to your headlines that stands out and sticks in the reader’s mind.

12. Tap into Pop Culture

  • Example: “What ‘Game of Thrones’ Taught Us About Digital Marketing”
  • Tip: Reference popular culture to make your headlines more relatable and timely.
  • Trick: Choose references that are widely recognized and relevant to your audience.
  • Implementation: Link a pop culture reference to your topic in a way that adds value and insight.
  • Avoid Obscure References: Ensure your pop culture references are current and widely understood to avoid alienating readers.
  • Additional Example: “Marketing Lessons from ‘The Avengers’: How to Assemble Your Dream Team”

Using pop culture references can make your content more relatable and engaging. It taps into shared experiences and interests, creating an instant connection with your audience. This technique can also make complex topics more accessible by framing them in familiar contexts. Read More: Creating Engaging Content for Your Website: A Step-by-Step Guide

13. Use Strong, Active Verbs

  • Example: “Crush Your Competition with These SEO Strategies”
  • Tip: Choose powerful verbs that convey action and impact.
  • Trick: Active verbs make your headlines more dynamic and compelling.
  • Implementation: Replace passive verbs with strong, active ones to create a sense of urgency and excitement.
  • Avoid Overly Aggressive Language: Balance strong verbs with appropriate tone to avoid sounding too harsh or confrontational.
  • Additional Example: “Transform Your Website with These Proven Design Tips”

Active verbs can add energy and momentum to your headlines, making them more engaging and persuasive. This technique can help you convey a sense of action and immediacy, encouraging readers to take the next step.

14. Create a Sense of Urgency

  • Example: “Last Chance: Master SEO with These 10 Proven Tips”
  • Tip: Use time-sensitive language to create a sense of urgency and prompt immediate action.
  • Trick: Words like “now,” “urgent,” “immediate,” and “last chance” can enhance the feeling of urgency.
  • Implementation: Clearly communicate the limited availability or time-sensitive nature of your content.
  • Avoid False Urgency: Ensure that the sense of urgency is genuine to maintain reader trust.
  • Additional Example: “Don’t Miss Out: Limited-Time Offer on Our Best-Selling Course”

Urgency can motivate readers to act quickly, reducing the likelihood of them putting off engagement and forgetting about your content. This technique is especially effective for promotions, time-limited offers, or breaking news. Read More: 25 Reasons Why Tone and Style Are Crucial in Website Content Writing

15. Highlight Benefits, Not Features

  • Example: “Unlock Massive Website Traffic with These Simple Tweaks”
  • Tip: Focus on the positive outcomes or benefits that the reader will gain rather than just describing the features.
  • Trick: Benefits appeal to the reader’s needs and desires, making your headline more compelling.
  • Implementation: Identify the key benefits of your content and highlight them in your headline.
  • Avoid Feature Overload: Don’t get bogged down in technical details; keep the focus on the value to the reader.
  • Additional Example: “Achieve Flawless Skin with These Expert-Approved Tips”

Highlighting benefits can make your headlines more attractive by directly addressing the reader’s needs and desires. This technique shifts the focus from what the content is to what it does for the reader, making it more relevant and enticing. Read More: 20 ways to write Compelling Website Headlines and Subheadings

16. Utilize Social Proof

  • Example: “Discover the Strategies Top Bloggers Use to Skyrocket Traffic”
  • Tip: Leverage the credibility and success of others to enhance your headline’s appeal.
  • Trick: Mentioning industry leaders, influencers, or popular trends can add authority and trust.
  • Implementation: Highlight testimonials, case studies, or endorsements to build social proof.
  • Avoid Overstating: Ensure that the social proof is genuine and verifiable to maintain credibility.
  • Additional Example: “As Seen on TV: The Best Kitchen Gadgets for Home Cooks”

Social proof can add credibility and authority to your content by showing that it’s trusted and valued by others. This technique can reassure readers and increase their likelihood of engaging with your content.

17. Be Controversial

  • Example: “Why Most SEO Advice You’ve Heard Is Wrong”
  • Tip: Challenge common beliefs or opinions to create intrigue and spark debate.
  • Trick: Controversial headlines can attract attention by standing out from the norm and prompting curiosity.
  • Implementation: Identify widely held beliefs in your niche and present a counterargument or alternative perspective.
  • Avoid Sensationalism: Ensure that your content can substantiate the controversial claim to maintain credibility.
  • Additional Example: “The Dark Side of Social Media Marketing Nobody Talks About”

Controversy can be a powerful tool for engagement by sparking curiosity and debate. This technique can make your content stand out and encourage readers to explore different perspectives.

18. Use Humor

  • Example: “SEO Tactics So Good, Even Google’s Laughing”
  • Tip: Inject humor into your headlines to make them more engaging and memorable.
  • Trick: Playful language and witty phrases can make your content more approachable and fun.
  • Implementation: Use puns, wordplay, or lighthearted references to add humor to your headlines.
  • Avoid Overdoing It: Ensure that the humor aligns with your brand’s tone and doesn’t undermine the message.
  • Additional Example: “Why Your Cat’s Better at Social Media Than You”

Humor can make your headlines more relatable and enjoyable, increasing the likelihood of engagement. This technique can humanize your brand and create a positive connection with your audience.

19. Be Clear and Specific

  • Example: “Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible Headlines”
  • Tip: Provide clear and specific information about what the reader can expect from your content.
  • Trick: Specificity can enhance credibility and reduce ambiguity, making your content more trustworthy.
  • Implementation: Clearly outline the main points or steps in your content to give readers a precise idea of what to expect.
  • Avoid Vague Language: Ensure that your headline provides enough detail to be informative and compelling.
  • Additional Example: “10 Proven Techniques to Improve Your Website’s Loading Speed”

Clarity and specificity can make your headlines more effective by clearly communicating the value and scope of your content. This technique can help attract readers who are looking for concrete and actionable information.

20. Promise a Story

  • Example: “How a Small Business Owner Tripled Her Revenue with One Simple Change”
  • Tip: Use storytelling elements to create a narrative that engages readers and promises valuable insights.
  • Trick: Stories are naturally engaging and can make complex topics more relatable and memorable.
  • Implementation: Highlight a compelling narrative or case study in your headline to draw readers in.
  • Avoid Overly Long Headlines: Keep your storytelling concise and focused to maintain readability.
  • Additional Example: “The Inspiring Journey of a Startup That Conquered the Market”

Storytelling can make your content more engaging by appealing to the reader’s emotions and curiosity. This technique can help humanize your content and create a deeper connection with your audience.

Crafting compelling headlines and subheadings is an art, and these 20 unique techniques can help you master it. By understanding your audience’s emotions and leveraging these strategies, you can create headlines that not only catch attention but also drive engagement and clicks. So, the next time you’re ready to write a headline, remember these tips and watch your content soar!