As a writer, one of the biggest challenges I have is coming up with headlines that not only pique someone’s interest, but also entices them to buy or take the action I want them to take. I’ve learned that headlines need to strike a balance between being creative and giving the reader what they want.
Your headline is your first impression and perhaps your only chance to draw readers in. Just like when you’re interviewing for a job or going on a first date, your first impression is key and can make or break things for you. Writing a headline that makes someone want to buy your product or service can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. There are three simple principles to follow in order to write a headline that converts browsers into buyers: relevance, results and powerful modifiers.
Relevance – You need to establish relevancy as soon as possible, which is why the headline is the best place to do so. You can’t assume that your readers have all the time in the world to read through your article and then decide if it’s relevant to them. Establish relevancy from the start and you’re less likely to have readers bounce from your site.
Results – Make sure youre headline is clear first and clever second. To convey to your audience that you’ll be giving them information they’re looking for, write your headline using specific keywords to establish relevancy. Next, think of a problem or a result your readers are after and make it the foundation of your headline. For instance, in my headline I start with the relevancy component (how to write a headline) and finish with the desired result (to convert browsers to buyers). Readers want to see in the headline that they’ll experience a relevant outcome or solution. This is why the “how to” model works so well. It focuses on relevancy and results in a clear and consice manner.
Powerful Modifiers – Next, you can add words to punch up your headline a little. In my headline here, I used “compelling” to modify the word “headline.” In addition, I decided to use the word “convert” because it is a powerful verb that suggests a desired action. The key to using appropriate modifiers is that they must make your relevant keywords seem more powerful.
With any headline you write, try brainstorming a few options. You might also want to consult a thesaurus like I do to find creative and powerful ways to convey relevancy and results. Do you have any SEO copywriting tricks you use to write strong headlines? Share your tips by leaving a comment.
*Photo provided by mpclemens on Flickr