Headlines

Poynter Results

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    8 headline tips to draw readers on social media

    Stories fill social media platforms in a continuous stream, so drawing readers to your work gets more difficult every day. Cutting through the social noise starts with sharper headlines that resonate with audiences. Here are eight tips for stronger headlines on social media.

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    10 questions for your headline-writing checklist

    • Is it accurate? There’s no such thing as “kind of” accurate. When you check a headline, take note of each word and make sure it’s correct.
    • Does it undersell the story? The headline might be accurate, but it might not make the story’s point strongly enough. The headline should be as strong as the content allows.
    • Does it oversell the story? You want it to be strong, but you don’t want to cheat the reader.
  • Tips/Training

    Article

    10 questions for your headline-writing checklist

    Headlines are lifelines to our readers. They grab attention, build trust and help time-pressed consumers focus on the stories they care most about. How do you ensure that they are engaging as well as accurate? Here are 10 questions to ask when you are writing (or editing) headlines.

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    9 tips for writing stronger headlines

    Headlines are lifelines to our readers. They grab attention, build trust and help time-pressed consumers focus on the stories they care most about. Here are nine ways to write engaging, accurate headlines for any platform.

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    4 guidelines for writing SEO-friendly headlines

    Headlines are lifelines to our readers. They grab attention, build trust and help time-pressed consumers focus on the stories they care most about. They link readers with our content, giving us a chance to reach our audience across a sea of information.

    Headlines also help search engines decide whether our offerings match what users are looking for. Most search queries are two to four words long and consist of proper names and keywords. The best headlines will match the most common relevant search queries. Here are some guidelines for choosing your words.

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    How headline writing and SEO collide

    SEO (Search Engine Optimization) includes techniques (both editorial and technological) to ensure relevant content ranks well in search results on search engines. Good SEO calls for breaking--or at least re-examining--some established conventions of headline writing.

    Consider these ways that headline practices and SEO needs collide:

    Style issues. Conventional print headlines typically use last names only and abbreviations (in state names, for example). Good SEO includes spelling out any keywords that a user is likely to use in a search query.

  • Commentary

    Article

    Most of your headline writing tricks don't work, apart from these two

    Analytics firm Chartbeat has published a new study which finds that most of the conventions for writing catchy digital headlines don't work very well.

    Author Chris Breaux, a Chartbeat data scientist, summarized results of testing a dozen styles for optimal click-through rates as follows:

    “Use terse, punchy headlines”; “Ask questions”; “Name drop.” None of these properties show much predictive power.

  • Article

    Techmeme is probably rewriting your clickbait headlines

    So far this month, editors at Techmeme and its sister site Mediagazer have rewritten more than half of the headlines that appear on the influential news aggregators, Techmeme CEO Gabe Rivera tells Poynter. In the month of March, Techmeme's cadre of 13 editors (most of them part-timers) have written 61 percent of the headlines for stories that appeared on the sites.

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