Writing headlines is a skill that’s often overlooked, but doing so means, well, that you could also be overlooked. If you’ve ever noticed that a lot of web traffic is going to your home page and then not converting, then it might not be you – it could just be your headlines.
People need to be interested, even excited to give you a click – and you have a lot of competition with great headlines out there. You need to give amazing headlines, too – or miss out on all those juicy conversions that you desire.
You might not know this, but out of around the 8 of 10 people who read headlines, only two out of ten will go through to read the rest of your article?
There’s a simple explanation for this, and it doesn’t matter who you are, because it’s true for 87% of us: your headlines suck.
It’s the bald truth!
Think about published media – the type you see at the grocery store near the checkout. There you’ll typically find all kinds of magazines, with headlines blaring out from the cover, advertising all the stories and content just waiting for you if you pick them up, right there and then.
That’s essentially your home page. So, think of those magazines that you see. Why do you buy them? Is it because you always buy them, or is it because of the awesome headlines that made you just have to pick it up?
How to Write Compelling Headlines
A great headline is as simple as a problem and a solution. There’s more to it than that, of course, but this is an easy, basic formula that you can rely on, no matter what.
Problem + Solution = Exciting Headline
In less than ten words, you need to make this formula work. Don’t be tempted to creep over to 14- and 16-word monstrosities – it’s just way too long – keep it down to under ten if at all possible.
Now, you may not be able to resist doing that, and there is one trick that you can use to keep your headline short and sweet while putting all that overflow somewhere else.
It’s called the sub-header, and writers pretty much just love these bad boys. So should you, because they give you the freedom of options!
What this means for you is that you can now make the headline the problem – and the sub-header the solution. The sub-header should only be a sentence, but you’re not tied down to less than ten words.
You can see this formula at work all over the place. Many times, you’ll see a large headline calling out the problem – and then the solution being offered right next to it.
Don’t Forget A/B Testing
A/B testing is one of the best things about the online world – now, it’s easier than ever to test whether one headline converts better than the other, and build up from that into a headline on steroids that just reels people in hook, line, and sinker!
Never stop testing your headlines, as this is one way that you can turn an okay headline into a competition crusher. The tests show you what works, so follow them!
Writing headlines might not come easily to you at first, but remember that practice always makes you a lot better – if not perfect. So long as you remember the simple formula of presenting the problem and the solution, you have a working headline to whet the appetites of your web traffic.