5 Headline Archetypes for Better Reader Engagement

Suggestions from the Headline Writing Workshop at the Mequoda Summit West 2011

Last week’s Headline Writing Workshop at the Mequoda Summit West 2011 was a great course to learn new headline archetypes, or refresh yourself on headlines that copywriters have used for years to increase open rates.

If you missed our Mequoda Summit West 2011, or were in a different session at the time, I have included five headline archetypes below. Try using one of these in the next article you write.

5 Headline Archetypes

Headline Archetype #1: The Keyword Headline – Keywords are immensely important for search engine optimization. If you include your keywords in the headline of article posts, you will have a better chance of gaining organic results within search engines.

Since audience members enter keywords in search queries, they often respond well to keyword-based headlines. Keywords should also be used on landing pages, in the body of copy for important pages and in the meta data of your webpages.

Headline Archetype #2: The Urgency Headline – If you want your audience to act immediately, an urgency headline will create anxiety within them. Including a specific day, date or time helps emphasize the associated time frame of the urgent message.

Example of an urgency headline: Last chance to save on early-bird registration

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Headline Archetype #3: The Benefit Headline – As the benefit headline is often overused, make sure you only use it occasionally. When you do use a benefit headline, do so by emphasizing benefits and implying a promise.

Example of a benefit headline: Learn a new language in 30 minutes a day

Headline Archetype #4: The How-To Headline – Combine a benefit relevant to your audience and add the words “how-to” to the headline. People often use the Internet to learn new things, and your articles utilizing this archetype will promise to reveal “how-to” achieve the benefit.

Example of a how-to headline: How to grow prize-winning petunias

Headline Archetype #5: The List Headline – Lists conveniently summarize valuable content while blatantly informing the reader how many tips they will learn.

Example of a list headline: 5 Headline Archetypes for Better Reader Engagement

Our Headline Writing Workshop highlighted 19 headline archetypes. If you would like to learn more, please let me know and I will supply more headline archetypes through the Mequoda Daily.

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