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How To Create Headlines That Get Clicks (Infographic)

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

Those are the words of famed copywriter and the Father of Advertising David Ogilvy.

He said this back in the 60’s. This was when people saw a fraction of the headlines they do today.

Think about how many headlines you see everyday. There’s an endless stream on social media, on the viral news sites you visit, and the hundreds of email you get everyday.

You know the reason why you see those viral click bait stories are at the top of your Facebook feed? It’s because they get a high click through rate. The News Feed algorithm factors in stories that people interact with, whether it’s a click, comment, or a like.

This over-saturation means headlines (and content) are even more crucial. Simply pushing whatever headlines first comes to mind won’t cut it. You have to compete for people’s attention. This takes effort.

So what’s the best way to create a click worthy headline?

Depends on who you ask.

The pros typically brainstorm a few dozen headlines and write them out in a doc. From there they’ll narrow it down to the best ones and pick the one they think will get the most eyeballs. Ogilvy once wrote 37 headlines for a Sears Roebuck ad. That’s a lot, but you’d be surprised how many headline variations you can create for one piece of copy.

And this is just the headline. Forget about the actual content. Creating a solid headline is a lot of work, following through with solid content is another battle.

Today’s infographic comes from Quick Sprout. It provides tips for how writers and copywriters can create better headlines.

The Formula For a Perfect Headline

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

  1. Ayodeji Olabiyi Feb 01, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    what a very interesting article. I have always believed that headlines and titles are very important while part of your headlines goes into your meta tags for increased click through rates when your site posts appear on the SERPs, due to their SEO impacts on articles & blog posts. I will be waiting for the writer to say one or two on this line of thought.

    • Hey Ayodeji,
      Thanks for your comment.

      You’re right, the title tag is important when crafting the headline. What’s also important to remember is that the title tag has to describe the content.

      If Google doesn’t like the title tag you’ve set, they’ll change the title that appears in the search rankings. Watch this video from Cutts for more:

  2. Great stuff…but I disagree with the 6-word limit idea. I get more traffic on longer headlines, though I am trying to get all the keywords before the Google cutoff.

  3. This means that should we take our time and spend at least 40% of time in crafting a good headline and 60% time in writing the actual post? It is a fact though, good headline catches attention fast. I have never saved a list of ideas to create good headlines but this graphic is worth having. Thanks for the tips.


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