What are the rules? How closely do you need to follow them? Should you make your own instead?
Here are some rules to ditch and some to keep:
1. Ditch: “Headlines must be short.”
Short, crisp headlines are not passé, but if you believe your visitors find lengthy titles too unwieldy to read, you have not been keeping up with the times. The best websites and bloggers break word-limit rules. Their headlines can be as long as 80 characters (sometimes longer), and they still gain traffic.
A common myth is that online readers are too impatient to read long headlines, and only pay attention to headlines that are five or six words. The truth lies somewhere in between. If your headline is interesting, it will grab readers’ attention.
Use Buzzfeed for inspiration:
2. Keep: “Include search-friendly phrases or words in headlines.”
People usually start Google queries with words and phrases like:
Now that we’ve talked about writing long headlines, injecting these words and phrases shouldn’t be hard.
3. Ditch: “Email marketing is passé. Use social media marketing.”