Creating The Perfect Headline : Discover The Power of One Line
Your site’s headline may be the most important text on your entire site. In marketing, there’s an old expression: The headline is half the job.
It may be a bit of an overstatement, but a good headline captures the attention of site visitors. In fact, improve your headline and, guaranteed, you’ll see your bounce rate drop.
So, here are 10 tips for crafting the perfect headline – what to do and what not to do.
1. “Who else wants to make $1 million before dinner tonight?”
This headline has become a marketing cliché and the introduction to just about every hype-filled, Glazier-Kennedy, long-form sales letter, complete with annoying type fonts and endless “testimonials”. This headline insults the intelligence of a chimp. Avoid the hackneyed clichés that litter websites above the fold. We aren’t idiots.
2. Create curiosity.
We’re a curious bunch so a headline like “Is Apple Gonna Introduce New Laptop Soon?” raises curiosity – especially among tech savvy users.
3. Make a good first impression.
The headline, whether on your home page or landing page, is often your first introduction to the visitor. So, be welcoming and helpful in your headlines and sub-heads on all landing pages.
Welcome to Eczema – Relief Once and For All
60% Off Everything – Hurry Up! (that makes a great first impression)
Discover the Secrets of Debt Management
All make a positive first impression through the use of words Welcome, a big sale and free information.
4. Solve a problem.
How Many Collection Letters Are Too Many?
Tax Problems Are No Problems for Acme Tax Services
0% Down on Any Car On The Lot (down payment problem solved)
5. Use action words.
Which site are you more likely to stay on?
LEARN ABOUT FREE RADICALS AND ANTI-OXIDENTS (ho-hum)
DISCOVER HOW ANTI-OXIDENTS WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE
“Learn” is boring. “Discover” has the sound of adventure to it. Also words like “Improve,” “Guaranteed,” “Succeed” and other positive action words add punch to a good headline.
6. Keep headlines short.
Site designers and copywriters recommend headlines of no more than seven words. I think even that’s too many. The fewer words the better. Which is punchier?
Philadelphia Wins Super Bowl
That one’s a no-brainer. We all want to feel like winners.
7. Promise answers to questions.
“Can I Stop the Bank from Foreclosing on My Home?”
“Why am I depressed all the time?”
“ How much does it cost to get a divorce?”
These headlines most frequently attract needs-driven buyers – buyers who have an immediate need and are looking for immediate solutions.
8. What’s in it for me?
That’s what every site visitor wants to know. So tell them.
Solve PMS Problems The Natural Way
Make Your Money Work Harder for You
Discover Secret Dating Tips
Before you launch into your sell, answer that all-important question: What’s in it for me? This will pique curiosity and provide the foundation for the sales text that follows.
9. Use testimonials as your headline.
”Acme copy machines saved our company $40,000 in one year.” T. Smith, CIO at Rank, Inc.
That’s a grabber with authority. It comes with a name, title and company. On the other hand…
“I love Acme Shampoo products because they make my hair shine.” JR, Kansas
A real stink-a-roo. It’s a fake testimonial.
Credible, verifiable testimonials make excellent headlines. The fake variety make terrible headlines when you’re trying to build credibility and trust.
10. Use strong keywords in your headlines and sub-heads.
In HTML code, an h1 header is the largest while h6 text requires a magnifying glass for a human to read.
For search engine bots, an h1 header carries much more weight than smaller text. h2 sub-heads are stronger than the regular-sized text that makes up the rest of the site’s corpus.
So, by placing your strongest keywords in h1 and h2 headers, they get more bot respect. Of course, if all your text is elephantine (h1 and h2), the bot will slam your site for hype and for trying to fool the machine by making every word of site text equally important. Choose your opportunities with care.
You’ve got less than 10 seconds to convince a site visitor to stay on-site and dig deeper into what you’re all about. That’s not much time.
So, if writing isn’t a strong point, hire someone to create your headlines and sub-heads. It may cost a few bucks, but you’ll see a nice ROI as that grabber headline lowers your bounce rate to 20%.
And that’s VERY GOOD.