3 Proven Headlines to Increase Engagement

A few months ago at Golden Arm Media, we started implementing a new strategy for writing headlines. I learned this strategy from Jon Morrow, founder of smartblogger.com and a phenomenal copywriter. What he taught us has led to far greater click-through rates on our content. Morrow spoke at one of Austin’s monthly networking events, Internet Marketing Party, and outlined the three core ways to write a headline that will get you more click-throughs. I’ll summarize the main concepts here, but you’ll ultimately get more value from going back through your previous blog articles and videos to see if any of them can be turned into one of these three formats:

  1. Questions

Headlines phrased as a question naturally create intrigue. They form a knowledge gap between the reader and the content that can only be filled by clicking through the link. In other words, based on what the headline is asking and its relevance to your audience, a reader’s curiosity or desire to learn will likely compel them to view the content. Using this blog post as an example, you might reformat the headline to ask, “How Can I Double the Click-Through Rates on My Articles?” or “Not Getting the CTR Your Blog Needs? Try These Three Solutions.” By leading with a question, the people that want to know the answer to this problem are more likely to click through and read the article.

  1. How-Tos

How-tos promise a step-by-step solution to a problem. That means you first have to identify a problem your audience needs solved. Once you have that figured out, your headline should be phrased in a way that encourages the reader to click through and discover your specific solution to their problem. Had I titled this post in a how-to format, the headline might be “How to Increase CTR with More Effective Headlines.” The more specific you make your headline, the more likely someone who has that problem is going to look at your content.

  1. Numbered Lists

Numbered lists are the number one type of headline that Jon recommends. In today’s BuzzFeed culture, the popularity of listicles is no surprise. I even used the numbered list format for the headline of this post: “3 Proven Headlines to Increase Engagement.” This type of content is so prevalent because people want those bite-sized bits of information they can quickly consume. When presented with a numbered list, readers have the option of reading the whole article or simply skimming it for those little nuggets of wisdom. Using this format decreases the investment of time a viewer has to commit to click through and read your piece of content. The less time and effort required to find the information they need, the happier your audience will be.

So there you have it. Three phenomenal ways to structure your headlines. As I mentioned earlier, take this opportunity to go back through and look at all your previous blog posts, YouTube videos, or any piece of content you’ve created, and see what you could reformat for better engagement. Then share the content again and track your numbers to see if you’re getting more click-throughs this time. There’s a good chance you will. Now, put your message in motion.



Looking for a content strategy that gets results? At Golden Arm Media, we’re always creating the type of compelling content that drives audience engagement and gets your brand noticed.

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