If you write for the web, whether it is your own blog or website or someone else’s, you need to come up with some snappy headlines that draw people in. These tools make that task easier.
I am not a fan of click-bait headlines and don’t use them very often. Maybe it would draw in more visitors, but it is just a pet hate. There are all over the web and here are two examples. They are made up, but are similar to ones I have seen.
They often lead to disappointment when you click them and visit the article.
However, there are certain elements and structures that can be used in headlines that will boost the visitors to your site if they see a link somewhere, such as in search engine results or a social media share.
One technique for writing headlines is not to write one, but to write five. Think of five different ways to describe the article, then sit back, look at them and choose the best one. The second best one can be used as the page title, the one shown on the web browser tab.
There are lots of tools on the web to help you to generate headings for posts on your website.
These title generators can also be used to generate ideas for posts too. If you are not sure on what to write about, enter two or three keywords into them and they will display a headline. You can then base your post around it.
• Title Generator
The Title Generator website promises to provide 700 headlines that include whatever word or phrase you enter. The headlines are spread over several pages with 200 or more results on each page.
It does not understand meaning and so sometimes the headlines are not quite right. It depends on the keywords that are entered but often you can tweak headlines to make them better. It is a fantastic resource for generating ideas. Bookmark it.
• Headline Analyzer
This tool from CoSchedule is a bit different to most of the others and it is a headline analyser. Enter the headline you intend to use for a post on your site and it analyses it and produces a report.
It tells you how many common, uncommon and emotional words the headline contains. It also tells you the power, which seems to be how irresistable it thinks it is. It comments on the length and says if it is too long or too wordy.
It is interesting to read the report and it could be used to build your headline writing skills.
Before the results are delivered, it asks you to fill in your name, company name, email, and a few details about your business. Some people might not like this and it puts you on a mailing list. The emails are relevant, so you might like them.
Sharethrough has a headline analyzer and you paste or type a headline into it and it displays a report. There is a quality score and comment and I got 65 Average for this article. The Strengths list is empty, so I guess it doesn’t have any!
There are some suggestions, but they are not particularly helpful and it said to try adding a celebrity. It also suggested increasing headline length, whereas the previous tool suggested shortening it. Long headlines can be used provided the important words are at the start.
It isn’t my favourite tool, but it is free and easy to use.
• Portent’s Idea Generator
As the name suggests, this is a sort of idea generator. A word or phrase can be entered into the box and it generates a single headline. If you don’t like it, clicking the circular button generates another headline.
What makes this tool so good is that it explains how it generates headings. Each one consists of four sections and there is a description of each part. Your keyboard or phrase can appear in any section and it is fasciniating and educational to flip through a dozen or so headings and see how it constructs them.
The heading suggestions make great ideas for posts for your site if you are struggling to come up with a topic to write about.
• Kickass Headline Generator
This tool from Sumo is able to create many different heading styles and this is useful for generating ideas and also for creating headlines that match the content of your article if you have already written it.
Click a link at the top of the page such as Numbered Lists, How To, Strong / Controversial, Fun / Playful and so on. They all have a number of boxes on the left where enter the topic, desired outcome, undesirable outcome and more. The number and type vary with the heading type and it lets you switch from one to the other, so you can see different types of heading.
There is a DIY Headline Formulas tool which has every option and they can be experimented with to see what headings it comes up with. It is a useful tool and one to bookmark.