Whether your content is a blog post, a LinkedIn article, a webpage, or something else, it starts with a headline. Those are the most important words in your writing. A good headline will capture the reader’s interest. Without it, the rest of the content will never be seen.
Focus on Your Audience
As you review the advice below, remember that your headline and content needs to speak to your audience. The top advice may or may not be applicable to the audience you need to reach.
The Research Says
Buzzsumo conducted an analysis of 10 million articles shared on LinkedIn. Here’s what they found:
- The words that come first in the headline have the most impact on reader interest
- The highest performing two-word phrase that started a headline was ‘how to’. This gained almost three times as many shares on average as the next highest performing phrase.
- The next four most shared phrases were all forms of list posts. These gained more than double the average shares of ‘what’ or ‘why’ posts.
- Headlines that signal How To or List post content get the most attention: ‘x ways to’, ‘x things you’, ‘x tips to’ and ‘x steps to’.
- Lists that offer 5 or 10 items get the most attention.
- Interestingly, headlines starting with ‘The’ were the most shared on LinkedIn.
- Industry trends such as ‘the future of’ and “top x” perform strongly as they provoke curiosity about industry developments
- Headlines that provoke urgency or fear of missing out do well. However, for B2B headlines, a focus on practicality and industry insights wins out over emotional
7-12 Word Headlines Are Best
Headlines that are 7 to 12 words get the most B2B engagement overall. This seems to be particularly important on Facebook. Overall, shorter headlines work better for B2B messages.