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Increase Your Conversion Rate with These Headline Writing Best Practices

headline writing best practices

Increase Your Conversion Rate with These Headline Writing Best Practices

Increase Your Conversion Rate with These Headline Writing Best Practices

Your title or headline is not just a bunch of words you name your blog, article, video or whatever content you have, with. It is an important and critical element that can help you achieve your marketing goals.

Moreover, your title is the face that your readers will be seeing first. That is why according to Quicksprout.com, with the right tweaking and choosing of words on your headline, you can increase the conversation rate of your content by 40%. 

Also, only 20% of your readers will finish your content, BUT 80% of them will read your headline. 

That is why whether it is a blog, news update, video or podcasts that you are sharing, everything will start with a captivating and intriguing headline. 

And once they are intrigued and hooked with your headline, they will start reading, listening or watching your content. 

But what if they just scan and skim, and leave afterwards. That is true. In fact, according to the research made by HubSpot, 43% of readers skim through posts once they clicked the title. 

This is the fact, but it doesn’t matter. 


Well, if you are after increasing traffic to a landing page, or getting clicks, then a powerful headline is enough for people to click your content and boom there goes your traffic goals.

So the real question now is how do you create a powerful headline that will help you increase your traffic?

How do you tweak your headline so people will click and read your blog?

Are there any rules or strategies for that?

To help you with your marketing and traffic goals, we, at Digital Strategists, listed down important and effective headline writing best practices that you can use. Here they are.

Headline Writing Best Practices

1. A hyphen or colon can make a difference

Smallest tweaks like a hyphen or colon to your headline can make an enormous impact on your title.

According to the research and study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, a headline with a hyphen or colon can increase the click-through rate by 9%. 

This is one of our blog titles that use a hyphen, and true enough, it is one of our most viewed blogs in our collection.

How To Boost My Website Traffic – Easy To Do Strategies

So if you are thinking of a headline, try to include a hyphen or colon to increase your chances of getting clicks. 

2. Limit your headline to 60 – 100 characters

The length or number of words in your headline can also impact the effectiveness and click-through rate of your content. 

According to the research done by Outbrain, headlines that have a length of 60 to 100 characters can get you more traffic. Anything that is beyond or below that can reduce your click-through rates. 

Moreover, search engines, most especially Google tend to ignore the remainder of the headline if it passes the 62 characters limit. With this, it can greatly affect your conversion rate and also impact your search engine appeal. 

So if you are writing a headline, make sure they are within the 60 to 100 character limit.

headline writing best practices
Source: CoSchedule

When it comes to word count, 16 to 18 words is the ideal length that can get the most engagement.

headline writing best practices
Source: CoSchedule

3. Use numbers and statistics

Numbers are a powerful element in creating headlines. Several research and studies show that headlines with numbers tend to have 73% more social media shares and engagements. 

Wow, that’s big!

That is because our minds are very receptive when it comes to seeing numbers. When we see numbers, our brain automatically organizes information into a logical order. This study has been proven by Debra Jason in her article “5 Reasons Why Numbers In Headline Works”

So if you are creating web content, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • A number is better than a word
  • Small numbers are more digestible than large ones
  • Odd numbers are seen as more authentic than even numbers 

This is the reason why most of the posts you are seeing on the internet use odd numbers instead of even numbers. According to the Content Marketing Institute, our brain believes that odd numbers tend to be more factual than even numbers. Moreover, odd numbers help people easily digest and recall information than their opposites. 

Moreover, in using numbers in headlines, you need to use figures instead of words. So instead of saying “Seven Tips in Creating a Powerful Headline”, try using the numeral 7, “7 Tips in Creating A Powerful Headline”. 

Another interesting fact: using odd number 7 in headlines can increase your click-through rate by 20%

Also, if you are creating a step-by-step guide you may want to limit it to 9 steps. Well, that is because the human brain can easily process information 9 steps at a time. On the other hand, if you are writing about tools or ways on how to do things, there is no need to limit yourself.

4. Use rationales

According to Neil Patel, rationales are simply an underlying reason why something should be done. In short, with your title, you are already providing reasons why your readers should click and read your article. 

Here are some of the recommended rationales that you can include on your headline. 

  • Tips and tricks
  • Reasons
  • Lessons
  • Ways or How To’s
  • Ideas 
  • Facts
  • Secrets
  • Strategies

We, at Digital Strategists, often use the rationale strategy in creating headlines because we wanted our readers to know more about website development, content marketing, social media management, and digital marketing in general. 

So here are some of our headlines that worked using the rationale technique:

5. Create unique headlines

Unique headlines are headlines that are not yet on the internet. Yes, you may be writing the same topic, but that does not mean that you should use the same headline if so, you are putting your content in a lot of competition and losing your search engine appeal. 

So how do you know if your title is unique? 

Simply go to Google search, typed in your headline idea, and use “ ” double quotation marks before and after your headline. This is for Google to show you the exact result that you need. 

Before publishing this article, we already tested the title and checked on Google if it is a unique title, and here it is:

headline writing best practices

Unique headlines tend to get more shares. Readers are more comfortable sharing headlines with unique titles because you can’t see it anywhere and it shows freshness. 

6. Be very specific

If you want your headline to grab the attention of your readers, make sure that you are VERY specific in what you are trying to present or relay. 

With so much content and information on the internet, readers can get lost easily. So if you want your readers to focus only on your headline, make sure that your headline is already providing specific answers to their questions. 

The more specific and precise you are on your headlines, the easier you get the attention and later the loyalty of your readers.

Moreover, with specific headlines, your readers will be able to set their expectations right with your content. 

To help you in writing ultra-specific headlines, you need to know your target market. 

Here are some very specific blogs that we created.

headline writing best practices

Whether you are just starting or a seasoned writer or marketer, always remember to be specific and go straight to the point. 

This is also the reason why you should know your target market and the niche you want to penetrate.

7. Show some urgency on your headline

Okay, with what we just discussed, I am sure you already have an idea on how to create an attractive headline. 

But wait, it is not enough. 

Your headline may be attractive and have followed everything that we have mentioned. But your readers can say, “Okay, this is a good headline, will read it later.” And this happens all the time. And the reality is that they won’t read it. And they will even forget it after. 

So what is lacking?


You need to put some urgency on your headlines. 

Instead of saying, “5 Mistakes in Writing Headlines You Should Avoid” why not, “5 Mistakes in Writing Headlines – How Many Are You Doing?”

With the 2 headlines, which are you likely to click right away?

So be creative in injecting urgency to your headlines. You can ask yourself, “Will I click this title if I see it somewhere?”, “What is lacking in this headline that needs urgency?”. 

You can always experiment and ask people around.

Wrap up

These are just some of the many simple tweaks and strategies that can help you create effective headlines that convert. We will be sharing more headline writing best practices in our succeeding posts. So better watch out or subscribe to our newsletter. But for now, the main thing that you need to remember in creating effective headlines is to learn to experiment. Write 5 titles and check which is better and follows the above strategies.

In marketing, whether it is content writing or social media, EXPERIMENTATION is important. It is how you will know which strategy works for your business or brand and which is not. 

Happy writing!

If you need help with content writing, just shoot us a message at dgstrategists@gmail.com

May you have more clients to come, 

The Digital Strategists Team