This post is an exert from my ebook How to Generate Traffic for Your Website:
How important are headlines? VERY. The reality is that a headline can often make or break an article. A headline will determine if even the first sentence of the article is even read. On average you have 5-7 seconds to get someone’s attention, which is done through the headline. More importantly, only 2 out of 10 people will read past your headline and actually read your article! That’s just how important headlines are.
To give you a more concrete example of just how powerful a headline can be, John Wesley submitted an article to several social networking sites, including Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc. The headline read “The Two Types of Cognition”. With this headline the article generated about 100 visitors. Nothing spectacular. However a couple days later, and after some work rewriting his headline, John resubmitted it with a new headline. With the new headline it got about 5000 visitors. A very significant difference, 50 times more visitors. What was the difference? Only the headline. The article was exactly the same. The headline went from “The Two Types of Cognition” to “Learn to Understand Your Own Intelligence”. You can find the details of his case study here.
Headlines can and do have a significant impact. It might only be one line, but it can easily make or break your articles success.