Get clicked: Web headlines with clarity trump creativity

Despite the protests of creative headline writers, clear headlines drive online readership. Take a look at these reasons why.

There’s a lot of sniveling and squawking going on in the Web writing community. Consider these headlines:

What’s all the bellyaching about?

The fact that feature headlines don’t work so well online. Sad, but true: When it comes to writing headlines for the Web, it’s more important to be clear than clever.

Write for indexes

I recently saw this New York Times headline on my Twitter for iPhone app:

Considering Next Steps for ‘Wanted’

The content page made clear—with a “Television” section head, a picture of John Walsh and a cutline—that the story was about the future of “America’s Most Wanted.” But without that context, the headline alone did not.

How does your headline work on your iPhone?

Web heads migrate

Online, you never know where your headline will show up. That’s because microcontent moves—from your content page to these places, among others:

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