Every good cook knows that the best way to “bring them to the table” is the aroma of good food. Restaurants, especially BBQs, make sure that those smells are pumped outside. It is a great advertisement.
For an article or advertisement, the headline is the aroma. It attracts the reader into wanting to open and read the content.
That means that your headline (the aroma) has to be attractive, meaningful, enticing. It has to tell enough to get the reader to continue to read your full article or advertisement. If they don’t like the headline they won’t ever get to your message.
As with all writing, there are guidelines to help you get your message across. This article gives 5 guidelines for writing headlines:
- Make sure the headline works out of context
- Tell readers something useful
- Don’t succumb to cute or faddish vocabulary
- Omit nonessential words
- Front-load headings with strong keywords
Read the full article to get their explanation of each of those 5 items and how to use them in your writing: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/headings-pickup-lines/