Did you know that, on average, eight out of 10 people will read a headline, but only two of them will go on to read the rest of the article that goes along with it? Headlines are the first impression you make on a reader — and it might be the only part they will actually read. That’s why it is so important to have compelling, effective headlines to draw in readers.

A great headline will grab people’s attention, appeal to their curiosity and ultimately lure them into the rest of your article, press release or blog content. Contrarily, if you have a lackluster headline, you may turn off your audience, and in some cases make your message sound gimmicky or boring.

Related: Marketing channels evolve, but good copywriting remains the same

Headline writing needs to be concise yet interesting, making it quite a challenge to come up with good ones. Take these tips into account when writing headlines for your content:

  • Be concise and clear: Headlines should be kept to roughly 8-10 words or fewer. You should be able to sum up your content to just a few words. Be as clear as possible in your headline so that your readers know exactly what’s to come in your blog content or article.
  • Optimize for SEO: If you want to attract more readers to your website or blog (and chances are you do), you should optimize your headlines for the search engines. Consider your best keywords and try to incorporate them when writing headlines.
  • Give a result or benefit in the headline: This adds power and weight to the topic you’re covering with your content. For example, instead of saying, “Great Sweaters for Fall,” a better headline would be “7 Sweaters to Flatter Your Figure.”

If you’re having headline writer’s block, you can stick with these three tried-and-true formulas that really work:

  1. Use lists: People love lists. They give a number of specific examples to obtain a wanted result. Example: “5 Ways to Increase Web Traffic.”
  2. Write how-to articles with a purpose: Find a benefit to your topic and include it in the headline. Example: “How to Write a Cover Letter to Land Your Dream Job.”
  3. Compare an activity to someone/something well known: Comparing an ordinary activity into one that everyone can relate to will be inspiring to readers. Example: “Workout Like an Olympian.”

Play around with a few of these examples or come up with your own to get your wording right. It also might help to come up with a list of 3-4 headlines, and then can pick your favorite from your brainstorming. And if you need some help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional copywriter.