What is the best….?
Does that statement make any sense?
- If I am in a restaurant, I would ask my server — What is the best dish you have in chicken?
- If I am entering a theme-park, I would ask the guy selling me the ticket — What is the best ride here?
- If I am at a car dealership, my question might be — What is the best car you have on mileage?
Context is always important. Possibly, the most important.
So is the case with headlines as well.
- What is the headline for?
- Where will most of your audiences see it?
- On what platform would they be seeing it?
The headline for a blog-post would be different from that of a whitepaper or a casestudy, and it would be completely different from the headline of an email (the subject)
Will you audience be seeing it in rss feeds? Social Media? Emails? Where? Different delivery mediums have different display rules and so different lengths of your headline will be displayed. It does play a role. A crucial one.
The reading experience as well as nature of display on a desktop is quite different from that on a handheld device or a smartphone. Be it on the web, or in the email apps; maybe even on social media — don’t have data to say with certainty on the last one.
I think one needs to figure out all of these to correctly ascertain the ideal length of a headline.
Having your audience navigate through your content isn’t much different from how a game-developer subtly navigates and guides the players through the early stages of the game. You grab their attention, and then you keep on increasing your hold on it in small and periodic intervals.
At least that’s what my take is. Thoughts?