How to write effective headlines for your website
Attention Small Business Owners: Headlines Are Everything! Whether you’re sending out a sales letter, placing an ad on a yellow page, or trying to sell through your website, you need a compelling headline that will draw the reader through the flaps.
Now if I told you everything you need to know about writing headlines, this article would be about 187 pages long.
However, here are some basic tips for writing an effective headline for your website:
1. Address your audience.
If you are trying to sell to bass fishermen, do not have a headline that says “Attention Anglers.”
Try “Attention bass fishermen”.
Even better would be “Attention New Jersey Bass Anglers”
Better yet: “Look out New Jersey Bass Anglers! If you are over 65 and love to fish the Delaney River …”
And so on. The more specific the headline, the more likely it is that the right people will read and respond to it.
2. Don’t try to be cute or smart.
Avoid word games at all costs. Your headline should have only one purpose: to identify people who are interested in your product or service, and to induce those people to read the rest of your site.
3. Have a penchant for the news.
For example, “Local Doctor presents a pillow that increases circulation.” Read your local newspaper for inspiration.
4. Include the main benefit of your product or service in your headline.
Once you have specifically identified your target audience, you need to tell them exactly what benefit they will get from purchasing your product or service.
5. Make your headline stand out.
Use a font that is larger than your main text. Use a color that highlights the words in your title. You’ll want to experiment with this though – there’s a fine line between sticking out and being obnoxious.
6. Be concise.
Recently there has been an ugly epidemic of internet headlines of 30, 40, even 70 words. This defeats the purpose of having a headline. Instead, look for around 12-15 carefully crafted words that will take the reader straight to the rest of your site.
7. Be sincere.
Although none of the content on your website should be misleading (it is more profitable in the long run to sell a good product honestly), it is particularly important that your headline is not misleading. Don’t say “Sexy, Sexy, Sexy” if you sell organic mouthwash or auto supplies.
Look, the best way to learn how to write a great headline is to read as many great headlines as you can. Go to your bookstore and look at women’s magazines. Read the National Enquirer. These people are professionals writing impactful headlines that make people feel and take notice.
And with practice, your headlines will make your customers feel and notice, too.