This page contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and other affiliate partners. We may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through one of these links, at no additional cost to you.

Here’s a secret: Learning how to drive traffic to your website won’t go out of style —and we have a guide for you! (…See what we did there?)

Extra, extra, read all about it! While the days of newsboys calling out headlines in the street are long gone, writers have continued to craft captivating headlines on blogs, websites, and social media.

Headlines are your frontlines in the fight to draw in readers, and drive traffic to your website. Luckily, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel!

Drive Traffic to Your Website with these 5 Formulas

Here are 5 simple headline formulas that you can customize to drive traffic to your website!

1. Tell Readers “How To…”

Who hasn’t gone to Google to search “how to…”?

As a business owner, you know that you offer products and services that fulfill a demand. This template is fantastic because it promises useful instructions on a practical, specific topic—ideally one related to the services your business provides.

“How To” headlines can transform general topics into specific and useful content:

  • “How to Prepare for Moving into Your New Home”
  • “How to Find the Right Personal Coach”
  •  “How to Write Amazing Headlines.”

You can also make “How To” headlines to advertise specific products and services from your business: 

  • “How To Set Up Your New [Product]”
  • “How To Decide on the Right [Services] Package for Your Needs”.

2. Share a Secret

Alright, we know, is it really a secret if you’re sharing it with a headline?

It’s probably not a personal secret, but there are plenty of industry practices, tips, and stats that are “open secrets”—only easy to find if you already know where to look. Lifting the veil on these secrets can gain you trust and excite your reader’s curiosity.

The human brain experiences relief and excitement when sharing secrets—and we feel deeper connections when we’re let in on someone else’s secret. That’s what makes these headlines so effective!

What’s more, these headlines can perfectly lead to effective Calls to Action—offering more tips and communication via your mailing list, downloadable eBook, or social media page, which will drive further traffic to your website, across pages!

“Secrets” headlines can be about your industry or field:

  • “The secret to a successful YouTube channel”
  • “One secret that all great copywriters know”

Or you can draw on the success story of a famous example, or even a personal story!

  • “The secret method that made [company] a household name”
  • “My secret technique for balancing my work-life schedule”

3. Make Mistakes, Then Make Headlines About Them

As you might have noticed, headlines often focus on success. Both “How To” and “Shared Secret” headlines promise tips and instructions that contribute to success.

But sometimes it’s a smart move to talk about the common mistakes that can be avoided.

Everyone online offers advice and promises success, but when you can show that you’ve overcome mistakes, that tells readers that you know the difference between good and bad advice.

Try a variation on some of these formulas to create your own “Mistakes”-themed headlines:

  • “The worst mistake that [your target audience] make when [target audience action]”
  • “The mistake that nearly ruined me (and how it could be hurting you)”
  • “10 [adjective] decisions that [target audience] should rethink”

4. Make an Educated Guess

You’re a professional! More than that, you’re an entrepreneur! Running a business means weighing opportunities, which means taking risks, which means making predictions.

Predictive headlines let you make a bold, eye-catching claim, and then promise to back it up with your experience, professional know-how, and research.

Of course, this means you should have some real meat to your claims beyond a sensational headline. But if you’ve got an idea where your industry is heading, don’t be afraid to state your opinion!

Here are some templates for bold, but not boastful, predictive headlines:

  • “Make Way for [Product], the Future of [Industry]”
  • “How [Topic] Will Be Transformed by [Year]”
  • “Fad or future? Why [Product] Will Be Here to Stay”

5. Make a Promise

The phrase “But wait, there’s more!” is a bit of a joke by now, but the message behind it is still important.

Only 2 out of every 10 readers will get past the headline. Yikes! Not exactly garnering much traffic to your website with those numbers. So how do you get people to keep scrolling? One way is to promise more than words—images, videos, audio, even a free eBook or lesson!

Offering more than a long article assures readers they can get through the important stuff without losing focus: instead of scrolling through text they can see the diagrams, watch an engaging video, and more.

These “But Wait…!” headlines aren’t really their own template, but a new twist to add to other styles of headline. They work especially well with recipes, tutorials, and “How To” headlines where images can clarify each step.

Try it out:

  • “Cooking [Recipe] for [Event]—With Video!”
  • “[Activity] Tips for [Target Audience]—Downloadable Checklist Included!”
  • “[How To Headline] With Step-by-Step Pictures”

Claim Those Audience Eyes!

By applying your professional knowledge to these templates, you’ll be able to market to the needs of your target audience while grabbing their attention.

Make sure to think through the purpose of your article and choose a headline format that works for that content. These templates can’t magically make your writing more engaging, but the right headline with the right writing will convince viewers to keep reading, and drive traffic to your website.