What A Kickass Traffic-Generating Headline Is Made Up Of?

grid-1511497_640In today’s information-driven digital landscape, each piece of content bears the sole aim of dragging maximum traffic. But, is it just the story that drags traffic, or is there something more that compels a reader to click your blog? Well, let’s first see what the facts show.

A recent ‘Conductor study’ found that the well-framed headlines have higher CTR, compared to a good content led by a weak headline. And yes, I can relate to the same as many times a “Kickass” headline has forced me to steal time from a tight schedule and read a piece of content further. In fact, now I understand better the real meaning of David Ogilvy’s statement-“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.”

Have you ever wondered what a kickass traffic-generating headline is actually made up of? Is it a science, art or a combination of both? Let’s try to learn what all it takes to write a good headline.

A Number Based Formation

“Numbers + Action + Result = More Traffic”

It is a proven formula to sensitize the human brain and compel readers to act upon and cling to the idea of the content. Furthermore, Including numbers in your headline enhance its scan-ability, make reading easier, and promise specificity, credibility, & usability to the reader.

For instance,

  • A 3 Point + Formula + To Simplify Content Creation
  • 6 + Metrics + to Weigh Your Content Marketing Efforts

In the given headline “6 Metrics + Weigh Your Content Marketing Efforts”, is offering the readers predictability by informing them what they are getting into.

Another interesting fact about the formula based formation is that headlines having an odd number in them enjoy 20% higher CTR as compared to the ones having even numbers in them. Therefore, if you base your headline on the above formation then it’ll certainly generate higher traffic.

Curiosity Builders

If you seek to be read on the internet, then deliver a blow to the reader with a highly catchy, attention-grabbing, and insightful headline.

To enhance the appeal of your headline, you can effectively use the psychological phenomenon of the ‘curiosity gap’. This gap is the difference between what the readers know and they want to know. If not filled, the gap evokes a feeling of deprivation in the readers, which tempts them to click the title.

The headline draft must be luring enough and provide the reader an incentive with certain ‘in-trend’ information and action words.

A few examples would help you to understand this better;

  • Before Blindly Following the Proven CRO Tips- Read This!
  • Done With Your Interview! Now What…?

However, I personally believe it’s a pure art that how persuasively you use your bait to leave the readers wanting for more.

The style I follow for creating curiosity can be better understood with the following examples:

  • How to make fortune with 5 impressive tips
  • Meet Peter, who makes $10 every minute from a single mail

Adjective Selection

A prudent use of adjectives makes miracles. Believe me! The strategic positioning of a certain adjective like Incredible, Free, Effortless, Strange, Real, Crucial, Fun etc., in your content headline, will fix your readers’ eyes and they’ll be certainly compelled to skim through your piece of literature.


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Unique Rationales

Getting viral on the internet is a trend today, and trust me your content too can go viral with the apt use of different rationales like Tricks, Hacks, Tips, Secrets, Facts, Reasons, Ideas, Ways etc., in the content headlines.

The word rationale indicates the logic or reason behind an action. These rationales help readers comprehend the basic idea beforehand, and enable them to judge what they would get after reading your post.

So if you’re serious that your readers should click through your lexical masterpiece, then give them enough reasons to click, read, and share your creative works.


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The Trigger Words

What, Why, How, or When are the often used trigger words, which the content marketers use to leverage either for persuading the readers or for enabling readers to know about something. With these words, you pin-up a reader’s conscious towards the solution of a particular problem.

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Negative Superlatives

Positive superlatives certainly instill a new life in mediocre headlines, but the truth is they may have turned hackneyed due to their excessive use for endorsement purposes.  Additionally, Outbrain examined 65,000 headlines, and the team figured out that the titles with negative superlatives received 63% more clicks compared to their positive counterparts.

Readers are connecting more with the negative superlatives as they tap into their insecurities in a powerful way, and perceive them as more authentic, impartial, and intriguing.


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Hence, after reading the above pointers, we can say that creating a traffic generating headline is perhaps a perfect blend of the both i.e. Science and Art. Depending upon a writer’s need, sometimes a pure formula based formation can be appropriate. Likewise, you can draw a desired level of traffic with the mere use of unique rationales in the content headline.

Anurag Gupta

Anurag Gupta is a budding entrepreneur with stakes in WeblinkIndia.net, an acclaimed Web Designing Development & Social Media Company, headquartered in India. He also happens to be a keen writer, sharing insights, tips, and tutorials on subjects related to the ever evolving landscape of Web Designing and Development. You can follow me at twitter.