When readers are skimming through a site on their browsers or Twitter feeds, the headline is the only thing that tells them whether a piece is worth their time. So, when tackling headlines for the Web, remember that clarity trumps cleverness (unless you’re writing for the front page of The New York Post).
“Headline writing for the Web isn’t headline writing for magazines — this is the land of the literal,” said Sara Wilson, a senior editor for The Huffington Post.
But that doesn’t mean a headline can’t also be engaging. “You want a strong ‘clicky’ headline that entices readers: a burning question, a big secret, a thing-you-need-to-click-on-this-headline-to-find-out,” she said. “But it should accurately reflect the ideas in the piece, or the readers will be annoyed.”
For eight more tactics on getting your article the buzz it deserves, read 9 Ways to Get More Comments, Tweets and Likes for Your Story.