How to Write Effective Content: Titles and Introductions

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

How to Write Effective Content: Titles and Introductions

When writing content, whether it’s for your website, marketing materials, a press release, a lead capture page or another project, there are a few rules that you’ll want to follow as you write the title/headline and introduction.

The title and intro are (arguably) the most important elements of your content. Without an effective title or headline, your content won’t ever make it in front of your target audience. And without an effective introduction, your content won’t be read in full.

The headline serves the essential purpose of attracting readers and pulling in the audience, while the introduction serves to really snag and hook the reader, by establishing the content’s focus and reassuring the reader that they’re in the right place.

Writing an Effective Title or Headline

The best headlines and titles are clear, concise and informative. It’s essential that your headline conveys the precise focus and topic of the article or content.

A brief, one line headline is best. The key is to craft a headline that can be easily ‘consumed’ as a single unit. This concept is easier to illustrate with an example.

Example A:
How to Write an Effective Title or Headline

Example B:
Tips and Tricks to Write Great Titles and Killer Headlines
That Really Tell the Story and Boost Readership

Reading Example A requires no conscious effort. Your mind automatically absorbs the title as a unit in a single glance. The ability to read the title/headline in a single glance is key.

Conversely, reading Example B requires more effort. It’s too long to read as one unit and it’s impossible to read at a glance. So while it’s more descriptive, it’s far less effective. With headlines and titles, less is more. If you can’t read it at a glance, it’s too long.

If the content explores an answer to a question, a question title/headline can be fitting. This approach aligns well with search queries.

Creativity has its place, but in the world of website content and marketing materials, a direct, straightforward approach is generally best.

Writing a Compelling Introduction

The introduction serves one primary purpose: to pull in the reader by providing an overview of the content topic and focus.

By the end of the first paragraph, which should be comprised of no more than 3 or 4 sentences, the reader should know precisely what they’ll be learning about in the content. People don’t want to play guessing games and they’re not going to waste their time reading on if they’re unsure of whether the content meets their needs.

The introduction should explore the who, what, when, where, how and why of the content. In addressing these points, you will connect with the readers, proving that your writing will address topics, solve problems and answer questions that are relevant to your readership. For this reason, knowing your audience (and the information that they’re seeking) is extremely important.

Many are tempted to take a more creative approach to the introduction or headline and while creative introductions can be fun, they’re simply not effective when it comes to marketing content, website content, press releases and promotional materials. So unless the content’s primary purpose is to entertain, avoid creative approaches in favor of a clear, concise and straightforward approach when penning your introductions and titles/headlines.

About Matcha Design

Matcha Design is a full-service creative B2B agency with decades of experience executing its client’s visions. The award-winning company specializes in web design, logo design, branding, marketing campaign, print, UX/UI, video production, commercial photography, advertising, and more. Matcha Design upholds the highest personal standards for excellence and can see things from a unique perspective due to its multicultural background.  The company consistently delivers custom, high-quality, innovative solutions to its clients using technical savvy and endless creativity. For more information, visit MatchaDesign.com.

Related Tags

You Might Also Like