10 Headline Tips to Grab Readers and Drive Traffic


by Daniella DiMartino

In today’s world, you have a matter of seconds to grab a reader’s attention and get them to read your content. That’s where the headline comes into play.

Woman writing near computerAs audiences are being bombarded with advertisements and marketing content, you need to step up your headline game to cut through that noise.

Even if your content is jam-packed with helpful or knowledgeable information, a weak headline can ruin your chances of being successful.

Not everyone is a copywriter, and at times, it isn’t even a copywriter who is writing your content. But knowing how to write a compelling headline is an invaluable skill. Here are some quick tips to help you get started, then read on to dig into more:


10 Headline Tips to Grab Readers and Drive Traffic

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Stay Relevant or on-trend for your target audience
  3. Speak to your desired result
  4. Ensure it adds value to your content
  5. Make it actionable versus telling what it is about
  6. Include numbers
  7. Offer a solution to a problem
  8. Spark interest
  9. Experiment with different headline lengths
  10. Write more than one headline for your content and choose the most impactful
“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
David Ogilvy


Keep It SimpleTip #1: Keep it simple

Have you ever heard of the acronym KISS? Keep it simple, stupid. By using the KISS principle, you could increase your conversion and achieve better results. Take this post’s headline for example. “10 headline writing tips to drive traffic to your website and engage your audience” is, well, long and cumbersome. So how do you say what you want to say in a shorter, simpler form? That’s how we came to use “10 Headline Tips to Grab Readers and Drive Traffic” instead!


Tip #2: Stay relevant or on-trend for your target audience

Headlines are useless if your potential audience doesn’t care. Craft content and headline copy about relevant topics happening in your industry or write about how your industry affects trending topics.  


Tip #3: Speak to your desired result

What is your article or blog post about and what do you want readers to achieve from it? Your headline should reflect that.


Tip #4: Ensure it adds value to your content

A good headline not only helps your readers know if the content is for them, but it helps your content get seen. Does your headline get at the heart of the added value of your content?


Tip #5: Make it actionable versus simply telling what it is about

Ultimately, you want the reader to gain something from your article or blog post. Use action words: “Drive” or “Stop” or “Earn” or “Grow” are all examples of actionable words. An actionable headline is motivating.


Use Numbers in your HeadlinesTip #6: Include numbers

Is your content 5 useful tips? 7 ways to do something? 9 do’s or don’ts? Include that in the headline. The number tells readers that this is probably a quick read, it’s skimmable, and there’s no need to sift through lots of copy if they don’t want to. Alternatively, a large number (such as The Top 100 Rock Songs of all time) indicates that your content is comprehensive, which can also be of value to the reader.


Tip #7: Offer a solution to a problem

Let readers know that this quick read will solve a problem. Your audience will be more eager to read and engage with your content.


Tip #8: Spark interest

Headlines can be a peek at what you’re trying to share (or sell), just a little hint, something leaving them wanting more. That prompts them to want to read further and click!


Tip #9: Experiment with different headline lengths

The shorter the better (remember, KISS!), but sometimes it is hard to get the point across in a few short words. Try writing your headline in multiple lengths and see which works best for your audience, and which tells the most accurate story of what’s in the content.


Tip #10: Write more than one headline for your content and choose the most impactful

By writing and trying out 3 to 5 different headlines, it allows you to preview how each potential reader would see the final headline, and how each one could affect their potential to click.


If your goal is to provide thought leadership and have that content shared by your readers, the headline of that content is what ultimately gets passed around and ends up in people’s search results. A great headline tells visitors what to expect and assures them they’ll find what they need. Engaging headlines not only help drive traffic but adds value to your content. We hope that our tips helped motivate and inspire you to come up with more compelling headlines!

Daniella DiMartino

Daniella DiMartino was the Director of Marketing & Communications for KDD, a full-service marketing firm based in the Hudson Valley, NY, through May 2022.