Try our headline-writing checklist
Readers spend 56% more time looking at headlines than at text, according to the Eyes on the News study by The Poynter Institute.
To make the most of this most-important line in your message, here’s a quick checklist to run on your headline:
- Do you focus on the reader? Are the first couple of words about the end user — or about your organization and its new whatsit?
- How strong is your verb? Are you writing roils and flip-flops? Or introduces and announces?
- Did you focus on the front? What will people skimming your headline on a list learn about your topic in the first two words?
- Is it factual and free of hype? Did you skip the varnish?
- Will Google be able to find it? Did you use online tools to make sure it’s optimized for search engines?
- Is it short? Five to eight words — no more than 40 characters?
- Did you include a deck? Or did you drop the one-sentence summary under the headline that may be the best-read element on your page?
If so, it’s time to press Send.