Words That Will Change How You Write Headlines Forever

Last Update: May 10, 2020

A short but sweet post today, more so as a reminder for myself, and so that I can point people to the contents :-)

Headlines were being discussed in Live Chat earlier today, and I sent a couple of links to words for headlines that can drastically change engagement of your posts.

The same source for these words, also has a Headline Analyser, that I often run my headlines through, to see how they score.

Headline Analyser

The one I tend to use is the one located at Sharethrough, that can be accessed by clicking the link below

headlines.sharethrough.com

Context Words

The same website also has a blog post, about using context words to increase engagement. You can view their post by clicking here, or to download the PDF containing 1,072 Context Words, you can click on the link below

d3tjhdrcpaedmv.cloudfront.net/context-word-dictionary.pdf


Details Behind the Words

Sharethrough, working with James Pennebaker, a social psychologist, came up with a list of 1,072 “context words,” that are grouped into four main categories:

  • Time (e.g. abrupt, today, fast)
  • Insight (e.g. admit, idea, secret)
  • Motion (e.g. act, climb, journey)
  • Space (e.g. away, outside)

Their own Headline title when these were released went as follows:

Neuroscience reveals there are 1,072 ‘context words’ that explain the secrets behind attention

This heading contains 3 of the context words (reveals, explain, secrets) and has a 23% context word ratio.

Although longer headlines have a far greater emotional engagement, we still need to write our headlines in accordance with search engines. This is still easily achievable when you consider the following popular quotes and brand names (words in bold are context words):

  • Once upon a time
  • Happily ever after
  • Think before you act

You can also find these in taglines:

  • Always Low Prices - Walmart
  • Turn On Tomorrow - Samsung

The headline for this post uses 2 context words (change & forever) and also fits within 60 characters, required for SEO purposes.

Have a look at the Context Words Dictionary PDF (above), and see how you can improve your headlines for greater emotional engagement of your visitors.

Even though I use the Headline Analyser above, I've never managed to get 100. Mainly because I keep my headings shorter than complete sentences, I don't include a celebrity and I don't always insert brand names. It is still a great tool to use though to help improve your headlines.

This is only one example of a headline analyser, do you have another one that you prefer using? If you do, feel free to post it below and share it with us all :-)

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      Recent messages
      Johnpavich Premium
      Thx again for this very informative post😎👌
      I tried a headline and it started at 67 and then I added more words with meaning and got it up to 80% .
      Quite amazing how a few words can make that much of a change.
      Will work on it a bit more😎👌
      Reply
      ChrystopherJ Premium Plus
      You're welcome John, just remember to use the scale with a pich of salt when it comes to branding, celebrities and length. You still need to keep your titles within 60 characters for SEO purposes :-)
      Reply
      BobMargroff Premium
      Hi Chrystopher, this is an awesome post. I have a headline generator that may also be useful. It was recommended by another member here (I can't remember who now) and once they see it as my comment, and may recognize it.

      Either way, it isn't mine, but I have used it a couple of times. It works for generating a title and then I guess you can also use your idea to see what the score may be.

      Here it is: https://www.title-generator.com/index.php

      I wish you well!

      Bob
      Reply
      ChrystopherJ Premium Plus
      That brilliant Bob, thank you, I'll check that out in the morning :-)
      Reply
      CandP Premium
      Hey Chrystopher. We caught this on live chat earlier today and have already explored those links. There really is a lot to absorb here and we are going to take our time. We have only recently begun to realize just how important headlines are.
      Thank you for sharing this information.
      Colette and Philip
      Reply
      ChrystopherJ Premium Plus
      You're welcome Colette & Philip :-) Newspapers have whole teams dedicated to just headlines ;-) It's a massive area to master! But doable and worth while, if it means you get the click of a visitor compared to a competitor :-)
      Reply
      CandP Premium
      We are beginning to see that. Thank you for your insight.
      Reply
      TheSkipper Premium
      Useful Post, Thank you! :-) That one is joining the "Bookmarked" club! :-) Thanks.
      Reply
      ChrystopherJ Premium Plus
      You're welcome Glynn :-) I've written it so that I can bookmark it for myself, if others can benefit, then even better haha
      Reply
      TheSkipper Premium
      Keep them coming!! 👍
      Reply
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