Headlines are probably the most important words in the whole website text. In fact, if
written badly, they may be the only words that website users actually read! On the other
hand, if written well, they will entice the user to go on and explore further – and maybe
even to buy something or sign up for a service! This makes headline writing the lynchpin of
the whole SEO game.
Website headlines really do make all the difference between whether the client goes on to
find out more or bounces right off the page to another, seemingly more interesting site.
If you don’t grab users’ attention and interest in that one short headline phrase then you
have failed to tempt one more potential client.
Our quick and easy tricks to writing headlines that hook you a client focus on two basic
#1: Centre your headline’s message on your user’s interests and how this page will benefit them.
Think about it – what tempted you into reading this page?
1 You probably work in SEO copywriting or digital advertising and know that creating a
good headline is one of the most difficult parts of the trade.
2 You like the idea that there are, in fact, “quick and easy tricks” that will lighten your
workload and reduce the stress of the job, and so were intrigued to find out more…
These two factors probably tipped the balance in your decision to go on and read more
here, rather than search elsewhere for the information you are looking for.
This headline worked because it focused on what you wanted to know and offered a clear
positive benefit regarding what you will get out of continuing to peruse this short article.
Similarly, if you apply this approach and focus all your headline messages on the interests
of the searcher and what they will get out of continuing to read, all your headlines will be
more effective and could well lead to an increase in conversions on whatever website you
#2: Think of your headline as a seductive pick-up line – or at the very least as a conversation opener with someone you truly and sincerely want to meet!
Your headline really needs to engage your prospective clients. The search engine landed
them on your page because apparently you are selling what they are looking for. Your job is
to convince them that your website really is their “Mr or Ms Right”.
So your headline needs to confirm who you are and what you have to offer but, just as
important, you also need to tempt their interest with something enticing that makes you
stand out from the crowd. Come on too hard and you’ll frighten them off. Come on too cool,
and the spark will never light. Your headline needs to be just seductive enough to make
them want to find out more…
So…back to our headline… “quick and easy” – these words were intended to appeal to the
basic human instinct to do what we have to do without too much effort!
Just ”two tricks” – so it’s fairly simple and there can’t be TOO much to learn. And the word
“trick” also implies a sort of sleight of hand – a magical wave of the wand that will make
your headlines work where others have failed – and who doesn’t want to be one of the
And what will you get out of it by reading more? Maybe just maybe you’ll find out something
that will give you the edge and make headline writing a bit less of a burden.
All in all – in just split seconds your subconscious analyzed the nine words of our headline
and decided it was worth investing a few short minutes into reading to find out more.
So next time you’re struggling, remember the two golden headline-writing rules:
1 Put your clients’ interests up front, in bold, and tell them why and how they will benefit from reading more.
2 Make it clear who you are, what you are trying to sell, and how you are different from all the rest.
Oh – and remember the old adage: “Less is more”.
Think of Beethoven’s 5th – dun dun dun duuuun! (just four notes).
Or the start of Hamlet’s most famous speech (“To be or not to be…)
Or even the New York Posts’ famous “Headless body in topless bar”!
Between 6 and 20 words should be all you need to tempt them.
And finally (truly finally) – read your headline out loud to hear how it sounds. Words have
innate musicality that is only really appreciated when spoken aloud. If your headline flows
easily, with rhythm, you have done a good job. If you stumble a bit trying to make sense of
what you’re saying, you should probably take another look.