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How to write catchy headlines for the web
BBC’s heads are short, clear, front-loaded and context free
The world at a glance: The BBC’s headlines encapsulate the world’s news in an average of 34 characters each.
Optimize web heads for humans as well as Google
Search me: Write headlines for humans, optimize them for search engines.
Get to the point faster by putting the topic up top
Focus on the front: Make it easier for readers — and Google — to understand your headline when you put topic words in the first 11 characters.
Google never laughs; so must web heads be dull?
No funny business: How can you write headlines that rank high in search and surprise and delight your readers? Optimize for humans as well as Google.
Web heads must fit on mobile apps, more
Don’t let your head get cut off: Write online headlines that don’t get cut off by Google, social, mobile screens — or your reader’s attention.
More on good headlines for the web
What writers & others say
“Not everyone wants to play, ‘What’s the last word in the headline?’” — Andy Bechtel, associate professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill