[Insert catchy headline]

Headlines are the first words your audience sees. And, if your headlines don’t catch your audience’s attention, they may be the last words your audience sees.

That’s why it’s so important to create headlines that grab your reader’s attention and act as incentive to read the rest of the piece you have taken the time to write.

The following are a few key tips for writing better headlines.

Keep it aligned with the content

Okay, we’re starting with the practical here. If your article is about your economic growth outlook for emerging markets, it’s probably a good idea to have the words “economic” and “emerging markets” in the title, or at least allude to these concepts in some way.

If your title for this article is “Strawberries and cream make for a proper outlook,” people may read on, but you will quickly lose them and their trust, possibly for good.

Keep it tight

Our motto is “the fewer words, the better.” Instead of writing, “The five best ways to improve your portfolio management process,” try “Improve your portfolio management process today.” The second option has almost half the word count and is way more active.

Our motto is “the fewer words, the better.”

And speaking of active words…

It’s always better to use strong, active words over a more passive tone. Verbs tend to draw in readers a lot more than adjectives and nouns.

Start your “search” engines

We’re not sure we’re saying it right, but these days it’s important to consider using words in your headlines that people are likely to “Google.”

If you’re writing about small-cap investing, include “small-cap investing” in the headline to improve the chance that your piece will be picked up by search engines and, when people punch in “small-cap investing,” hopefully your article will be close to the top of the list!

Avoid industry jargon

Financial professionals tend to use a lot of industry words that aren’t necessarily used or understood by the masses. It’s a good idea to save that jargon for the body copy in your piece, where you will have more room to explain what those jargony words actually mean.

You should also avoid largely unknown acronyms in your headlines.

These are just some of the tips we believe will help you write better headlines to better engage readers. Please weigh in if you have other tips on this topic!

Looking for writing help? Contact us at 416.925.1700, 844.243.1830 or info@ext-marketing.com.

Read more:

Delivering the right information at the right time

Five techniques for more effective self-editing