Are you creating high-quality content yet experiencing little traffic? Maybe you’re wondering why even though you’re posting on multiple channels no one is clicking on the headline you’re sharing on social media and checking out your content? If so, it’s time to start thinking about how to write better headlines.
In content marketing, more important than likes and shares is click-through. Social media channels give you only seconds to attract a reader’s attention. A good content marketer knows that you should spend as much (if not more) time on your headline as on the rest of your copy.
The difference between a good headline and a bad headline can be just massive. It’s not a rounding error. When we test headlines we see 20% difference, 50% difference, 500% difference. A really excellent headline can make something go viral.
But how to you get to that “perfect” headline?
There’s loads of advice on how to write the most effective lines:
- Use emotional words
- Be useful (like “How to” content or lists)
- Use keywords
- Create a sense of urgency
- Offer value
All of this is valid and true. However, for time-crunched individuals (read: all of us), it can be a challenge to spend hours perfecting the most click-worthy text. That’s where tools come in handy.
It’s time to check out these five spectacular free headline tools you can take advantage of to boost content marketing efforts by making your eye-catching content irresistible.
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1. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
Want to know if the headline you selected is great for SEO and attraction? CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is a great place to start. Input a headline and it will grade you based on your incorporation of power words, headline length, use of attraction phrases, and more.
I often write an article based around a relatively straightforward headline and then use this tool to help me tweak the title. It provides you with a quick score and breakdown on the title you submit. You can then check out the suggestions, make changes to improve the title, resubmit, and see what happens to your score.
This headline tool will also keep all your previous headlines listed so you can compare how your score has changed based on what words you used.
The CoSchedule tool is a great place to start – but it’s not the end all be all. For instance, while you should limit your title in your meta tag (for search purposes), sometimes writing a longer headline can be perfectly acceptable. It can make your piece more SEO-friendly and also give readers a more specific description of your intent.
I often use CoSchedule’s tool to create my first headline and then use the next tool on the list to lengthen and spice up the title a little more and make my content marketing efforts even more effective.
2. Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer
Want to give your headline a little extra zip? Take what you’ve written using CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer and use Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer. You won’t be disappointed!
This headline analyzer tool doesn’t have the same length restriction as the previous one. It also analyzes your headline based on slightly different – yet still valid – criteria. For example, it will score you on such areas as:
- Strong human connection
- Passive vs active voice
- Use of emotional words
- Addition of brand
In fact, it takes into account more than 300 unique variables to help you develop headlines that capture attention, increase engagement and deliver a stronger impression. In other words, these variables make your title eye-catching and irresistible!
3. Portent’s Title Maker
Know the general topic you want to write about but not sure what the right angle is? Portent’s Title Maker is a good place to get fun ideas on how to liven things up. It’s limited to one suggestion per word or phrase, but you can always resubmit your topic to get a new suggestion.
It’s a fairly simple tool, but it’s clean and easy to use. You just submit a topic and boom, it gives you a headline (complete with amusing commentary).
Note that the headlines are somewhat BuzzFeed-like. If that’s not the vibe you’re going for, then this isn’t the tool for you.
In addition, there’s no real analysis for why its suggestion would make a good headline. If you find a headline you like, you’d be well served to run it through another tool like the first two above. That way you can get a deeper analysis and ensure you’re hitting the right notes for your specific audience.
4. Impact’s BlogAbout Headline Tool
Similar to Portent’s tool, Impact’s BlogAbout Headline Tool allows you to generate a series of titles around a similar topic. This tool also has a clean and simple interface.
Input your and the headline tool will provide you with a title which is very professional sounding. The title will have some blanks. You can fill in the blanks with relevant words that will make the title unique and more specific to your voice.
You can select a title or easily create a new one if the first suggestion provided doesn’t work for you. When you have created a title you like, you can add it to an ongoing list. The best part – you can have your titles emailed to you in the end, so you have a nice list of possibilities for future content creation and inspiration.
5. TweakYourBiz.com Topic Generator
Thinking of writing a series of articles on a similar topic? Try TweakYourBiz.com’s Topic Generator. Just input your subject and away you’ll go.
This tool is great if you want to focus your writing around a single topic and will need multiple ideas for future posts. For example, let’s say you want to focus on cobrowsing. Add the word or phrase into the field at the top of the page. Select whether you’re using a noun or a verb, and what case you want your title to appear in. Then hit Submit!
You’ll get a ginormous list of suggestions from a number of different angles, including (but not limited to):
- Best of
- How to
Sometimes the titles come out a little off-base. However, the long list it provides can inspire you to new topics, angles, and headlines you can use for a very long time. You can print out your fabulous list of titles or download them for future use.
Looking for topics to insert into the generator? Check out these 52 Ideas for Shareable Content Creation.
A Closing Warning Message
Each of these tools is fantastic in its own way. Used wisely, they can increase attraction, boost your click-through rate and vastly improve your content marketing efforts.
A note of warning, however: avoid misleading headlines and click bait at all costs. When you manipulate your audience, they will know it and not be appreciative.
Remember, the end goal isn’t just to get people to click on your headlines. You want them to consume your content, enjoy it, and come back for more – and hopefully even become followers and customers.
Have any more headline tools you like to use to improve your content marketing efforts and help in understanding how to write better headlines? Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me up at @HollyChessman.