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The 1,900+ Power Words You Need to Write Awesome Headlines

Are you spending hours writing content, editing videos, and tweaking sales pages just to result in nobody visiting the page you spent so long creating? Then you likely didn’t make a strong enough connection to drive people there.

Sure, you can promote the content on social media, and you can run adverts that direct people towards the page and optimize the heck out of it to rank in search engines. However, all of that effort is going to waste if you’re publishing it under a bad headline.

Power words can turn a boring, stale headline into something your target audience can’t help but click.

In this guide, we’ll share what power words are, how to write a powerful headline, and a list of 180+ words that’ll make your headline stand out.

Ready? Let’s get to it.

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What Are Power Words?

Power words are exactly what you might expect: strong, powerful words that make someone take notice.

Also known as “power phrases”, they’re used in headlines for different types of content — such as emails, blog posts, and webinars. The goal? To make them stand out in a sea of same-old headlines.

Some power word examples

Should you see a headline with any of those power words, you’re more likely to take notice, right? They appeal to us more than words we see every day, like “how to” or “tutorial”.

Take a look at these real-world examples — the power words are bolded:

  • News Story Headline
    • Covid: Five reasons to be (cautiously) hopeful
  • Article Headline
    • Video: watch Picasso make a masterpiece
  • Blog Post Headline
    • 5 Signs Your Blog Post Is Going Horribly Wrong
  • Infographic Title
    • Improving your Work Performance: Do’s and Don’ts
  • Landing Page Headline
    • Capture and record all your receipts the easy way
  • YouTube Video Headline
    • Relaxing Slime Compilation ASMR | Oddly Satisfying Video
  • Social Media Ad Headline
    • Hollywood’s pay gap is a big problem — and it’s having a big impact on marketing
  • Email Subject Line
    • Elise, turnover could be costing your company

HubSpot ad

What Makes Power Words Effective?

Are you wondering why you need to include power words in your headlines?

Marketers write headlines with one goal: to convince people to click-through and read their content — be that a blog post, case study, or landing page. We want people to see the headline and think they have no other choice but to read it.

Granted, most powerful words are single words, but small, simple changes in word choice can make a big difference in headline performance. That’s because power words grab a reader’s attention more quickly.

TechJury quote on power words

Not only that, but power words provoke an emotional response; they’re persuasive words that make your reader feel something. That emotional hook can be the difference between them clicking your content and scrolling right past it.

A Step-by-Step Process for Incorporating Power Words Into Headlines

Ready to start using power words in your own headlines? Follow these three, simple steps to make a boring headline 10x more powerful.

Step 1: Write Several Options for a Headline

It’s not uncommon for marketers to write a single headline and use it in the published piece.

The only problem with that is you’re probably not going to think of the best headline right off the bat. For this reason, copywriting pro, Joanna Weibe, recommends writing at least 50 headlines for every piece of content before deciding on the one.

We also recommend writing the headline after you’ve composed your draft. That way, you know exactly what you’ll be talking about, and you can avoid clickbait.

Before trying to squeeze power words into a headline you already have, play around with it using our Headline Analyzer Studio.

The goal is to make a list of as many high-scoring headlines as you can:

Headline version history

Step 2: Incorporate Power Words to Raise Your Score

The next step of your headline writing process is to incorporate power words.

Refer to the master power word list at the bottom of this blog post. Pick one or two to add into your headline and watch the scores of each headline idea increase.

Word balance analysis

From your list of ideas that you’ve inputted into the Headline Analyzer Studio, choose the headline with the highest score.

Step 3: Track What Performs Best Over Time

If you repeat those simple steps every time you write a new headline, you’ll start publishing content with powerful, emotional headlines that hook your audience.

The final step is to track what performs best over time and use what you learn to continue writing better headlines. For example, some audiences respond to negative power words, such as “abandon” or “boycott” in headlines. Others prefer positive power phrases, like “exciting” and “godsend”. You won’t know what your audience prefers unless you test it.

To do this, sign into your Google Analytics account and view the “Top Pages” report. Is there a common denominator — or power word — that most of your top performing posts use?

Here is an example from SEMrush’s analytics:

SEMrush top pages

You can also use Google Search Console’s Performance report to see which headlines have the highest organic click-through rates.

Your report will look something like this:

Google Search Console Performance page
Search Engine Journal

The Complete List of Power Words

Here are some of the most powerful words in the English language. Treat it as a cheatsheet to writing strong, clickable headlines for the content you’re creating:

abandon    entertaining    justice    ruined
abduct    enthrall    justifiably    ruining
abhor    enthusiastic    justified    ruins
ability    entitled    keen    sabotage
aboard    entrusted    kill    sad
absentee    envies    killed    sadden
absolve    envious    killing    saddened
absorb    envy    kills    sadly
abuse    envying    kind    safe
accept    erroneous    kinder    safely
accident    error    kiss    safety
accomplish    errors    kudos    salient
accuse    escape    lack    sappy
ache    escapes    lag    sarcastic
achieve    escaping    lagged    satisfied
acquit    esteemed    lagging    save
acrimonious    ethical    lags    saved
active    euphoria    lame    scam
adequate    euphoric    landmark    scams
admire    eviction    laugh    scandal
admit    evil    laughed    scandalous
admonish    exaggerate    laughing    scandals
adopt    exaggerated    laughs    scapegoat
adore    exaggerates    laughing    scapegoats
advance    exaggerating    launched    scare
advantage    exasperated    lawl    scared
adventure    excellence    lawsuit    scary
affect    excellent    lawsuits    skeptical
affection    excite    lazy    scold
afflict    excited    leak    scoop
afraid    excitement    leaked    scorn
aggravate    exciting    leave    scornful
aggression    exclude    legal    scream
aghast    excluded    legally    screamed
agog    exclusion    lenient    screaming
agonize    exclusive    lethargic    screams
agree    excuse    lethargy    secure
alarm    exempt    liar    secured
alas    exhausted    liars    secures
alert    exhilarated    libelous    self-confident
alienation    exhilarates    lied    self-deluded
alive    exhilarating    lifesaver    selfish
allergic    exonerate    lighthearted    selfishness
allow    exonerated    like    sentence
alone    exonerates    liked    sentenced
amaze    exonerating    likes    sentences
ambitious    expand    limitation    sentencing
ambivalent    expands    limited    serene
amuse    expel    limits    severe
anger    expelled    litigation    shaky
anguish    expelling    litigious    shame
animosity    expels    lively    shamed
annoy    exploit    livid    shameful
antagonistic    exploited    loathe    share
anti    exploiting    loathed    shared
anticipation    exploits    loathes    shares
anxiety    exploration    loathing    shattered
apathy    explorations    lobby    shock
apocalyptic    expose    lobbying    shocked
apology    exposed    lonely    shocking
appalled    exposes    lonesome    shocks
appease    exposing    longing    short-sighted
applaud    extend    loom    short-sightedness
appreciate    extends    loomed    shortage
apprehensive    exuberant    looming    shortages
approve    exultant    looms    shrew
ardent    exultantly    loose    shy
arrest    fabulous    looses    sick
arrogant    fail    loser    sigh
ashamed    failed    losing    significance
assassination    failing    loss    significant
asset    fails    lost    silencing
astonished    failure    lovable    silly
astound    failures    love    sincere
attack    fainthearted    loved    sincerely
attract    fair    lovelies    sincerest
audacious    faith    lovely    sincerity
authority    faithful    loving    single minded
avert    fake    lowest    skeptic
avid    fakes    loyal    skeptical
avoid    faking    loyalty    skepticism
await    fallen    luck    skeptics
award    falling    luckily    slam
awesome    falsified    lucky    slash
awful    falsify    lurk    slashed
awkward    fame    lurking    slashes
axe    fan    lurks    slashing
backs    fantastic    mad    sleeplessness
bad    farce    maddening    slick
bailout    fascinate    made-up    slicker
bamboozle    fascinated    madly    slickest
ban    fascinates    madness    sluggish
banish    fascinating    mandatory    smart
bankrupt    fatalities    manipulated    smarter
bankster    fatality    manipulating    smartest
bargain    fatigue    manipulation    smear
barrier    fatigued    marvel    smile
battle    fatigues    marvelous    smiled
beaten    fatiguing    marvels    smiles
beauties    favor    masterpiece    smiling
beautiful    favored    masterpieces    smog
belittle    favorite    matter    sneaky
beloved    favorited    matters    sobering
benefit    favorites    mature    solemn
bereave    favors    meaningful    solid
best    fear    meaningless    solidarity
betray    fearful    medal    solution
better    fearing    mediocrity    solutions
bias    fearless    meditative    solve
big    fearsome    melancholy    solved
bitter    fed up    menace    solves
bizarre    feeble    menaced    solving
blah    feeling    mercy    somber
blame    felonies    merry    soothe
bless    felony    mess    soothed
blind    fervent    messed    soothing
bliss    fervid    messing up    sophisticated
blithe    festive    methodical    sore
block    fiasco    mindless    sorrow
blockbuster    fidgety    miracle    sorrowful
bloody    fight    mirth    sorry
blurry    fine    mirthful    spam
boastful    fire    mirthfully    spammer
bold    fired    misbehave    spammers
bomb    firing    misbehaved    spamming
boost    fit    misbehaves    spark
bore    fitness    misbehaving    sparkle
bother    flagship    mischief    sparkles
boycott    flees    mischiefs    sparkling
brainwashing    flop    miserable    speculative
brave    flops    misery    spirit
breakthrough    flu    misgiving    spirited
breathtaking    flustered    misinformation    spiritless
bribe    focused    misinformed    spiteful
bright    fond    misinterpreted    splendid
brilliant    fondness    misleading    sprightly
brisk    fool    misread    squelched
broke    foolish    misreporting    stable
brooding    fools    misrepresentation    stabs
bully    forced    miss    stall
bummer    foreclosure    missed    stalled
buoyant    foreclosures    missing    stalling
burden    forget    mistake    stamina
calm    forgetful    mistaken    stampede
can’t stand    forgive    mistakes    startled
cancel    forgiving    mistaking    starve
cancer    forgotten    misunderstand    starved
capable    fortunate    misunderstanding    starves
captivated    frantic    misunderstands    starving
care    fraud    misunderstood    steadfast
cashing in    frauds    mock    steal
casualty    fraudulence    mocked    steals
catastrophe    fraudulent    mocking    stereotype
cautious    free    mocks    stereotyped
celebrate    freedom    monopolize    stifled
censor    frenzy    monopolized    stimulate
certain    fresh    monopolizes    stimulated
chagrin    friendly    monopolizing    stimulates
challenge    fright    moody    stimulating
chance    frightened    mope    stingy
chaos    frightening    moping    stolen
charge    frowning    motivate    stop
charm    frustrate    motivated    stopped
chastise    frustrated    motivating    stopping
cheat    frustrates    motivation    stops
cheer    frustrating    mourn    stout
cherish    frustration    mourned    straight
chic    fulfill    mournful    strange
childish    fulfilled    mourning    strangely
chilling    fulfills    mourns    strangled
choke    fuming    myth    strength
clarify    fun    naive    strengthen
clash    funeral    nasty    strengthened
classy    funerals    natural    strengthening
clean    funky    naïve    strengthens
clear    funnier    needy    stressed
clever    funny    negative    stressor
clouded    furious    negativity    stressors
clueless    futile    neglect    stricken
cocky    gag    neglected    strike
coerced    gagged    neglecting    strikers
collapse    gain    neglects    strikes
collide    gained    nerves    strong
combat    gaining    nervous    stronger
comedy    gains    nervously    strongest
comfort    gallant    nice    struck
commend    gallantly    nifty    struggle
commit    gallantry    noble    struggled
compassionate    generous    noisy    struggles
compelled    genial    nonsense    struggling
competent    ghost    nosey    stubborn
competitive    giddy    notorious    stuck
complacent    gift    novel    stunned
complain    glad    numb    stunning
comprehensive    glamorous    obliterate    suave
conciliate    glamorous    obliterated    substantial
condemn    glee    obnoxious    substantially
confident    gleeful    obscene    subversive
conflict    gloom    obsessed    success
confuse    gloomy    obsolete    successful
congratulate    glorious    obstacle    suffer
consent    glory    obstacles    suffering
consolable    glum    obstinate    suffers
conspiracy    godsend    odd    suing
constrained    good    offend    sulking
contagious    goodness    offended    sulky
contempt    grace    offender    sullen
contend    gracious    offending    sunshine
controversial    grand    offends    super
convince    grant    offline    superb
convivial    granted    ominous    superior
cool    granting    once-in-a-lifetime    support
cornered    grants    opportunities    supported
corpse    grateful    opportunity    supporter
costly    gratification    oppressed    supporters
courage    grave    oppressive    supporting
courtesy    gray    optimism    supportive
cover-up    great    optimistic    supports
coward    greater    optionless    survived
coziness    greatest    outcry    surviving
cramp    greed    outmaneuvered    survivor
crash    greedy    outrage    suspect
crazy    green wash    outraged    suspected
creative    green washing    outreach    suspecting
crestfallen    greenwash    outstanding    suspects
crime    greenwasher    overjoyed    suspend
criminal    greenwashers    overload    suspended
crisis    greenwashing    overlooked    suspicious
critic    greet    overreact    swear
criticism    greeted    overreacted    swearing
cruel    greeting    overreaction    swears
crush    greetings    overreacts    sweet
cry    greets    oversell    swift
curious    grey    overselling    swiftly
curse    grief    oversells    swindle
cut    grieved    oversimplification    swindles
cute    gross    oversimplified    swindling
cynical    growing    oversimplifies    sympathetic
damage    growth    oversimplify    sympathy
danger    guarantee    overstatement    tears
daredevil    guilt    overstatements    tender
daring    guilty    overweight    tense
darkest    gullibility    oxymoron    tension
dauntless    gullible    pain    terrible
dead    gun    pained    terribly
deadlock    hack    panic    terrific
deafening    hacked    panicked    terrified
dear    hacks    panics    terror
death    hail    paradise    terrorize
debonair    hailed    paradox    terrorized
debt    hails    pardon    terrorizes
deceit    hapless    pardoned    thank
decisive    haplessness    pardoning    thankful
dedicated    happiness    pardons    thanks
defeated    happy    parley    thorny
defect    hard    passionate    thoughtful
defender    hardier    passive    thoughtless
defer    hardship    passively    threat
defiant    hardy    pathetic    threaten
deficit    harm    pay    threatened
degrade    harmed    peace    threatening
dehumanize    harmful    peaceful    threatens
deject    harming    peacefully    threats
delay    harms    penalty    thrilled
delayed    harried    pensive    thwart
delight    harsh    perfect    thwarted
delighted    harsher    perfected    thwarting
delighting    harshest    perfectly    thwarts
delights    hate    perfects    timid
demand    hated    peril    timorous
demanded    haters    perjury    tired
demanding    hates    perpetrator    tolerant
demands    hating    perpetrators    toothless
demonstration    haunt    perplexed    top
demoralized    haunted    persecute    tops
denied    haunting    persecuted    torn
denier    haunts    persecutes    torture
deniers    havoc    persecuting    tortured
denies    healthy    perturbed    tortures
denounce    heartbreaking    pesky    torturing
denounces    heartbroken    pessimism    tout
deny    heartfelt    pessimistic    touted
denying    heaven    petrified    touting
depressed    heavenly    phobic    touts
depressing    heavy hearted    picturesque    tragedy
derail    help    pileup    tragic
derailed    helpful    pique    tranquil
derails    helping    piqued    trap
deride    helpless    piteous    trapped
derided    helps    pitied    trauma
derides    hero    pity    traumatic
deriding    heroes    playful    travesty
derision    heroic    pleasant    treason
desirable    hesitant    please    treasonous
desire    hesitate    pleased    treasure
desired    hid    pleasure    treasures
desirous    hide    poised    trembling
despair    hides    poison    tremulous
despairing    hiding    poisoned    tricked
despairs    highlight    poisons    trickery
desperate    hilarious    pollute    triumph
desperately    hindrance    polluted    triumphant
despondent    hoax    polluter    trouble
destroy    homesick    polluters    troubled
destroyed    honest    pollutes    troubles
destroying    honor    poor    true
destroys    honored    poorer    trust
destruction    honoring    poorest    trusted
destructive    honor    popular    tumor
detached    honored    positive    ugly
detain    honoring    positively    unacceptable
detained    hooligan    possessive    unappreciated
detention    hooligans    postpone    unapproved
determined    hope    postponed    unaware
devastate    hopeful    postpones    unbelievable
devastated    hopefully    postponing    unbelieving
devastating    hopeless    poverty    unbiased
devoted    hopelessness    powerful    uncertain
diamond    hopes    powerless    unclear
die    hoping    praise    uncomfortable
died    horrendous    praised    unconcerned
difficult    horrible    praises    unconfirmed
diffident    horrific    praising    unconvinced
dilemma    horrified    pray    uncredited
dire    hostile    praying    undecided
direful    hug    prays    underestimate
dirt    huge    prepared    underestimated
dirtier    hugs    pressure    underestimates
dirtiest    humorous    pressured    underestimating
dirty    humiliated    pretend    undermine
disabling    humiliation    pretending    undermined
disadvantage    humor    pretends    undermines
disadvantaged    humored    pretty    undermining
disappear    humoring    prevent    undeserving
disappeared    humors    prevented    undesirable
disappears    hunger    preventing    uneasy
disappoint    hurrah    prevents    unemployment
disappointed    hurt    prison    unequal
disappointing    hurting    prisoner    unequaled
disappointment    hurts    prisoners    unethical
disappointments    hypocritical    privileged    unfair
disappoints    hysteria    proactive    unfocused
disaster    hysterical    problem    unfulfilled
disasters    hysterics    problems    unhappy
disastrous    ignorance    profiteer    unhealthy
disbelieve    ignorant    progress    unified
discard    ignore    prominent    unimpressed
discarded    ignored    promise    unintelligent
discarding    ignores    promised    united
discards    ill    promises    unjust
disconsolate    illegal    promote    unlovable
disconsolation    illiteracy    promoted    unloved
discontented    illness    promotes    unmatched
discord    illnesses    promoting    unmotivated
discounted    imbecile    propaganda    unprofessional
discouraged    immobilized    prosecute    unresearched
discredited    immortal    prosecuted    unsatisfied
disdain    immune    prosecutes    unsecured
disgrace    impatient    prosecution    unsettled
disgraced    imperfect    prospect    unsophisticated
disguise    importance    prospects    unstable
disguised    important    prosperous    unstoppable
disguises    impose    protect    unsupported
disguising    imposed    protected    unsure
disgust    imposes    protects    untarnished
disgusted    imposing    protest    unwanted
disgusting    impotent    protesters    unworthy
disheartened    impress    protesting    upset
dishonest    impressed    protests    upsets
disillusioned    impresses    proud    upsetting
disinclined    impressive    proudly    uptight
disjointed    imprisoned    provoke    urgent
dislike    improve    provoked    useful
dismal    improved    provokes    usefulness
dismayed    improvement    provoking    useless
disorder    improves    punish    uselessness
disorganized    improving    punished    vague
disoriented    inability    punishes    validate
disparage    inaction    punitive    validated
disparaged    inadequate    pushy    validates
disparages    incapable    puzzled    validating
disparaging    incapacitated    quaking    verdict
displeased    incompetence    questionable    verdicts
dispute    incompetent    questioned    vested
disputed    inconsiderate    questioning    vexation
disputes    inconvenience    rage    vexing
disputing    inconvenient    rageful    vibrant
disqualified    increase    rainy    vicious
disquiet    increased    rant    victim
disregard    indecisive    ranter    victimize
disregarded    indestructible    ranters    victimized
disregarding    indifference    rants    victimizes
disregards    indifferent    rapture    victimizing
disrespect    indignant    raptured    victims
disrespected    indignation    raptures    vigilant
disruption    indoctrinate    rapturous    vile
disruptions    indoctrinated    rash    vindicate
disruptive    indoctrinates    ratified    vindicated
dissatisfied    indoctrinating    reach    vindicates
distort    ineffective    reached    vindicating
distorted    ineffectively    reaches    violate
distorting    infatuated    reaching    violated
distorts    infatuation    reassure    violates
distract    infected    reassured    violating
distracted    inferior    reassures    violence
distraction    inflamed    reassuring    violent
distracts    influential    rebellion    virtuous
distress    infringement    recession    virulent
distressed    infuriate    reckless    vision
distresses    infuriated    recommend    visionary
distressing    infuriates    recommended    visioning
distrust    infuriating    recommends    visions
distrustful    inhibit    redeemed    vitality
disturb    injured    refuse    vitamin
disturbed    injury    refused    vitriolic
disturbing    injustice    refusing    vivacious
disturbs    innovate    regret    vociferous
dithering    innovates    regretful    vulnerability
dizzy    innovation    regrets    vulnerable
dodging    innovative    regretted    walkout
dodgy    inquisition    regretting    walkouts
does not work    inquisitive    reject    wanker
dolorous    insane    rejected    want
don’t like    insanity    rejecting    war
doom    insecure    rejects    warfare
doomed    insensitive    rejoice    warm
doubt    insensitivity    rejoiced    warmth
doubted    insignificant    rejoices    warn
doubtful    insipid    rejoicing    warned
doubting    inspiration    relaxed    warning
doubts    inspirational    relentless    warnings
downcast    inspire    reliant    warns
downhearted    inspired    relieve    waste
downside    inspires    relieved    wasted
drag    inspiring    relieves    wasting
dragged    insult    relieving    wavering
drags    insulted    relishing    weak
drained    insulting    remarkable    weakness
dread    insults    remorse    wealth
dreaded    intact    repulse    wealthy
dreadful    integrity    repulsed    weary
dreading    intelligent    rescue    weep
dream    intense    rescued    weeping
dreams    interest    rescues    weird
dreary    interested    resentful    welcome
droopy    interesting    resign    welcomed
drop    interests    resigned    welcomes
drown    interrogated    resigning    whimsical
drowned    interrupt    resigns    wicked
drowns    interrupted    resolute    widowed
drunk    interrupting    resolve    willingness
dubious    interruption    resolved    win
dud    interrupts    resolves    winner
dull    intimidate    resolving    winning
dumb    intimidated    respected    wins
dump    intimidates    responsible    win-win
dumped    intimidating    responsive    wish
dumps    intimidation    restful    wishes
dupe    intricate    restless    wishing
duped    intrigues    restore    withdrawal
dysfunction    invincible    restored    woeful
eager    invite    restores    won
earnest    inviting    restoring    wonderful
ease    invulnerable    restrict    worn
easy    irate    restricted    worried
ecstatic    ironic    restricting    worry
eerie    irony    restriction    worrying
eery    irrational    restricts    worse
effective    irresistible    retained    worsen
effectively    irresolute    retreat    worsened
elated    irresponsible    revenge    worsening
elation    irreversible    revengeful    worsens
elegant    irritate    revered    worshiped
elegantly    irritated    revive    worst
embarrass    irritating    revives    worth
embittered    isolated    reward    worthless
embrace    itchy    rewarded    worthy
emergency    jailed    rewarding    wrathful
empathetic    jaunty    rewards    wreck
emptiness    jealous    rich    wrong
empty    jeopardy    ridiculous    wronged
enchanted    jewel    rig    yearning
encourage    jewels    rigged    youthful
endorse    jocular    rigorous    zealot
enemy    join    rigorously    zealots
energetic    joke    riot    zealous
engage    jokes    riots
engrossed    jolly    risk
enjoy    jovial    risks
enlighten    joy    rob
ennui    joyful    robber
enrage    joyfully    robed
enrapture    joyless    robing
enslave    joyous    robs
ensure    jubilant    robust
enterprising    jumpy    romance

Ready to Write Powerful Headlines?

Practice your use of power words and save this list for anytime you need help finding the perfect, added touch to your headlines. If you refer to it and follow these steps each time you write a headline for any piece of content, it’ll only be a matter of time before you see the results yourself.

There’s no doubt that power words make a good headline a million times stronger; not only do they stand out in crowded news feeds, but powerful headlines actually convince a person to take action.

The post The 1,900+ Power Words You Need to Write Awesome Headlines appeared first on CoSchedule Blog.