5 simple steps to killer headlines

Did you know that people make up their minds whether to stay on your site within 2 seconds? And for social media posts it’s just a fraction of that time? What you need is an eye-catching headline that allows you to stand out for all the right reasons. The team at fivesquid asked best seller Katie Howe of What Katie Writes to offer her advice on the topic.

Take a look at Katie’s wise words on 5 simple steps to killer headlines:


1) Never Use the First Thing You Come Up With

This kind of goes without saying, but you’d be amazed at the number of small businesses that ignore it. If you come up with something you love in just a few minutes, just imagine how great your headline will be when you spend an afternoon on it. Be patient, and the ideas will come.

2) Stick to One Focus Keyword

The mysteries of how Google works are only known to a select few, but there’s a common school of thought that says keywords in headlines carry more weight. Don’t go over the top and create a mini paragraph with half a dozen keywords. Put your 2-3 word focus keyword in there in a natural way, and leave it at that.

3) Listicles are a Great Way to Catch the Eye

If you want to make your blog accessible then a listicle is a great way to do it. Not sure what one is? You’re reading one! Take a look at that headline up there, and then figure out how you could write a post on your speciality. They’ll also make for great feature lines in your tweets and Facebook posts.

4) Odd Numbers Attract More People Than Even Numbers

Weirdly it’s odd numbers that tend to catch the eye a little better than even numbers. Why not give yourself an inherent advantage by adding one more point to your blog…or one less if you’re feeling lazy!

5) Split-Run Testing Can Work Wonders

Last but not least, you need to test your headlines from time to time. If you’re a small business then your time and budget may be a little constrained, but it still pays to listen to the masses. Trial two very similar headlines, and then see which style works best for you. If you do this a dozen times, you’ll soon have a formula that works wonders!

The Right Way

  • Seek outside input to spark your creativity
  • Be inspired by your competitors
  • Include 1 focus keyword
  • Test different styles of headlines

…and the Wrong Way

  • Try to do everything yourself, even when you have writer’s block
  • Copy headlines direct from your competitors
  • Cram as many keywords in there as possible
  • Ignore your analytics


Now that you’ve heard how a pro would do things, all you need to do is get that thinking cap on, and start putting pen to paper. And you guessed it if you feel like this isn’t your bag (and it’s not everyone’s) why not hire an expert like Katie or another top notch writer on the UK's favourite freelance marketplace fivesquid!