Short catchy headlines

Start your content with a short, catchy headline. The headline is the most obvious part of any piece of content that you create. It's what reaches out and grabs the reader and keeps them interested long enough to read the first couple of sentences. Remember, most Internet readers don't read, they skim. Therefore, it's important that your headline grabs the eye and the imagination.

If your headlines are weak, and your content can't carry the team, you have a major problem. Great headlines will not only increase traffic to your web site, but they will keep visitors coming back for more.

Grab their attention

You must make a promise with your headline, something that is relevant to your target audience. Speak to them directly. This seems obvious, but people still miss the mark. The best headlines are the ones that capture an entire idea in a few words. Think magazine covers or movie titles. Remember, your goal is to grab the attention. Here are some examples from the checkout at my local grocery store:

• 15 minutes per day at home earns you $100,000 per year

• Get flat abs in time for summer with 10 can't-miss weight loss secrets

• Shocking photos reveal: Obama is an Alien!

OK, I made that last one up, but you get the point.

Get the keywords right

Since you're writing for both your visitors and the search engines, keep in mind that you need to work your keywords into the headline. Search engines tend to give more weight to the keywords near the beginning of the headline, so try to get your keywords into the sentence as early as possible. Maybe our grocery store headlines should really read:

• Work from home: $100,000 per year in 15 minutes per day!

• 10 weight loss secrets: Flat abs in time for summer!

• Obama an Alien? Shocking photos reveal the truth!

I've bolded the first few words to show you what the search engines will give the most credence to.

Of course, writing fantastical, tabloid headlines doesn't work for every site. Write headlines that grab your user's attention. Maybe if you were writing for the Drupal community, your headlines would read:

• 7 Drupal design secrets to accelerate your development!

• Drupal convention 2020 to be held on the South Pole!

• 10 Drupal Server speed tweaks you can do right now!

• an Alien? Shocking photos reveal the truth!

Writing good body content is much harder than writing the headline. After all, it's 100 times longer! A typical page on a web site is 600 to 1,000 words long. That's about one single-spaced page in a Word doc. Much more than that and your visitor won't read it. Much less and they don't feel that there is enough substance to get their needs met. Of course there are exceptions to this, like your FAQ, but in general, you should stick to this guideline.

Be useful, create urgency, be unique is a top Drupal theme designer who lives in Copenhagen and V organizes many Drupal events and post-event parties around the globe. Party on!

Now that you've got a great title, let's work on that body.

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