When you are checking out a website, what do you normally look at first?
Yes, photos probably grab your eye before anything else. Okay, so then what do you find yourself looking at after photos, or what do you look at first if the web page has no photos?
Wherever they happen to sit in the design, it is the headline that you, me and everyone else looks at first. Right?
The headline gives the reader the first impression of the blog article, landing page copy, microsite, or online advertisement. The headline gives a taste of what the article is about.
But it also does something else…
The headline either compels you to start reading the content below it. Or, the headline causes you to skip the article and move on to something else.
Which outcome do you want your headlines to produce?
Silly question, I know.
You want irresistible headlines that pull the reader down to the first line of the body copy of your ads or articles.
Easier said than written, right?
Let’s look at some of the techniques that master headline writers use. These are things you or your hired copywriter can incorporate to create winning headlines for your website.
Master advertising copywriter David Ogilvy once said that the headline was 80% of the work to creating an article that gets read. So, imagine what mastering the art and science of headline writing can do for your website.
But you cannot forget one other piece to “seal the deal” and convert the reader into a customer–something professional copywriters and marketers call the “CTA,” or the Call to Action.
So be sure to continue reading past the headline writing and dive into a few of the underground tips about writing effective Call to Actions that your competitors don’t want you to know.
Getting people to read your content
Here are some powerful techniques to creating compelling headlines:
1. Suggest a Time Limit to See Success. You see time limits used in all sorts of products but especially in weight loss products. For example “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days!” People want to know when they can expect to see results. The sooner you are able to promise them the results that they are after (provided it seems feasible) the more likely they are to buy.
2. Use a Trigger Word. There are certain words that automatically pique the curiosity of most humans. One of the most obvious examples is “secret.” For example, “The Dirty Little Secret Your Dentist Doesn’t Want You To Know!” With a headline like that we can’t help but want to know what exactly the secret is about.
Other trigger word examples include:
3. Health and Hope. They say if you don’t have your health, you’ve got very little. And health as a metaphor also works for all sorts of other areas outside of the realm of mental and physical wellness, such as relationships and businesses.
Likewise, if you don’t have hope, life is bleak indeed. The desire to believe that things will be better in the future is a primary motivator for action, recently exemplified as a core theme of the Barack Obama campaign for U.S. President.
4. Tap into a Core Emotion. We like to think that we make our buying decisions based on rational thinking but this is in fact not the case. We are at heart motivated by much deeper and more instinctual desires. Effective headlines tap into these desires. Example of these core emotions include greed, envy, and desire.
5. Include the Primary Benefit. Include the primary benefit that the reader will gain from reading the content in the headline. In order to do this you must know what your customer’s main pain point is and how your product solves this.
WAYS TO INJECT YOUR CALL TO ACTIONS WITH MAGICAL PROMPTING POWER
Every web page should have a Call to Action. Because even if you have killer headlines and stellar content in your articles, the reader normally still needs some sort of encouragement to get them to sign up for your newsletter, buy your product, or whatever the action is you want them to take.
Here are some ingredients you can use to spice up your CTAs…
6. Clearly state the benefit. You should clearly state the benefit that the reader will get from taking the action. If, for instance you want your visitor to watch a video that will teach them about online sales, clearly state what’s in it for them in your call to action: “Learn how to double your online sales”.
7. Offer freebies. Everyone loves free stuff. Giving your readers something free for their participation will make it worthwhile for them. If your goal is to have your visitors sign up for your mailing list, offer them something in exchange in your call to action: “Sign up now for free updates”.
8. Limit the Supply. Limiting the supply is one of the best ways to improve conversions. When your offer is limited, it creates a certain urgency and prompts your visitors to take up your call to action. If you’re selling cameras for example, clearly state the inventory limits in or near you call to action.
9. Limited Time. Increasing your conversion rate is all about urgency, and nothing creates urgency like a time limit. Whether your goal is to sign people up for your mailing list or to sell a product, time limiting your call to action will prompt conversions.
But keep in mind that limiting supply or time can be a tricky business. The last thing you want to do is undermine your own credibility, and nothing does that better than false limits. If you limit a certain call to action, don’t forget to withdraw it once the limit is up.
A NEW ERA FOR YOUR WEBSITE
Are you now ready to create some tantalizing headlines and strong calls to action?
You should start testing these headline and call to action techniques as soon as possible if you already have a website, or right now if you are in the process of building one.
But don’t wait. Use this advice today and receive a free website from us… just kidding.
You get the idea.