Steve Rayson:

It is difficult to overstate the importance of headlines. A good headline can entice and engage your audience to click, to read, and to share your content. In many cases headlines are the thing that is shared rather than the article. So you knew that. But do you know what makes an engaging headline?
 
 To help answer this question we analyzed 100 million article headlines. We have set out below our findings from the research including the:
 
 Headline phrases that drive most engagement on Facebook
 
 Worst performing headline phrases on Facebook
 
 Most effective phrases that start or end headlines
 
 Optimum number of words and characters to use in a headline
 
 Most impactful numbers to use in headlines
 
 Most engaging Twitter headline phrases
 
 Differences between B2C and B2B headlines
 
 While there is no magic formula for creating a viral or popular headline, there are many lessons we can learn to improve our content engagement. We shared our findings with a number of content experts to reflect on the implications of the research for writers. We have included their expert thoughts and advice at the end of this post. We have also included a section on how you can analyze headlines yourself using BuzzSumo.