Writing Great Headlines for AC: A Refresher

In Writing for AC, Writing Tips on June 25, 2009 at 10:00 am

Writing compelling, click-worthy headlines is an important part of publishing articles on Associated Content. According to, 8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy and only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.

If you’re determined to get those pageviews, paying attention to your headline will help you get more clicks. A high-impact, keyword rich headline will attract readers when it’s listed in a feed or posted anywhere else on the web, and also has the potential to rank high in the search engines.

You don’t need to  do keyword kung fu or use over-the-top statements to write some great headlines, but you will need to think about keyword placement, and choose certain words that attract clicks. Here’s a refresher on writing great headlines for AC articles:

1. Keep it Simple and State the Obvious

Let your creative side run free when writing your article, and stick with a direct, no-nonsense approach when creating the headline. The headline needs to tell the reader exactly what’s in store, so avoid using clichés or creative phrases. However, don’t be afraid to use superlatives to emphasize your point. You can keep your headline simple but make it more effective when you add words such as ‘best’, ‘worst’, or ‘most effective ways’ to the sentence.

2. Pose a Question

Readers like to have their questions answered directly, and an article that answers a specific question might just help you get more clicks. Rephrase a declarative statement used in your headline as if you were a reader looking for answers. What type of questions would they be asking? Use one of these questions as your headline to pique a prospective reader’s interest.

3. Generate a List

‘Top 10’ list still do very well online, and do generate pageviews consistently on Associated Content. Lists are easy to read and often go viral. Consider turning your article into a list, and including the ‘Top 10’ or ‘Top 7’ in your title so the reader knows exactly what to expect.

4. Front-Load with Keywords

Whenever possible, use your primary keywords or keyphrases at the beginning of the headline. This may help you achieve a higher ranking on the major search engines, and also gets to the point of your article with ease.

5. Offer Tips or ‘How To’

‘Tips for….’ And ‘How To…’ are some of the easiest reads and do tend to generate high pageviews consistently on Associated Content. Figure out a way to structure your headline or topic so that people understand they will be getting some sort of personal benefit from the article.

  1. Important information for keyword-grabbing and attention-catching headlines.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the advice, i shall follow it.

    take care

  3. I’ve been trying this and it is working. Thanks for laying it out.

  4. Hi,
    Very timely and great advice for all kind of web writers. This will help all of us.

    I shall follow this in all my articles.Very Vet useful indeed.

    Have a great weekend and good Day!


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