How to write effective headlines for your website
Attention Small Business Owners: Headlines Are Everything! Whether you’re sending out a sales letter, placing a yellow page ad, or trying to sell through your website, you need a compelling headline that will grab your reader by 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 title for your website:
1. Address your audience.
If you’re trying to sell to bass anglers, don’t have a headline that says “Attention Anglers.”
Try “Beware Bass Fishermen”.
Even better would be “Attention New Jersey Bass Anglers”
And better yet: “Attention New Jersey Bass Anglers! If you’re over the age of 65 and love to fish the Delaney River…”
And so. The more specific your headline is, 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 puns at all costs. Your headline should have only one purpose: to identify people who are interested in your product or service, and to entice those people to read the rest of your site.
3. Have a news bias.
For example, “Local doctor introduces 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’ve specifically identified your target audience, you need to let them know exactly what benefit they’ll get from buying your product or service.
5. Make your headline stand out.
Use a font that is larger than your main text. Use colors that highlight the words in the title. You’ll want to experiment with this though: there’s a fine line between standing out and being obnoxious.
6. Be concise.
There has been an ugly epidemic recently of headlines on the internet that are 30, 40 and even 70 words long. This defeats the purpose of having a headline. Instead, try for 12-15 well-crafted words that will take the reader directly to the rest of your site.
7. Be honest.
While none of the content on your website should be misleading (it’s more profitable in the long run to sell a good product honestly), it’s particularly important that your title isn’t misleading. Don’t say “Sexy, Sexy, Sexy” if you’re selling organic mouthwash or car supplies.
See, the best way to learn how to write a good headline is to read as many good headlines as you can. Go to your bookstore and look at women’s magazines. Read the National Enquirer. These people are pros at writing punchy headlines that make people sit up and pay attention.
And with practice, your headlines will make your customers take notice too.