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The written word at the foremost top of your blog page is the first thing that visitors see when they arrive at your site… at least that is the way it is supposed to be. Unfortunately for many bloggers and their respective audiences, that’s not the case.
Too many Web pages are cluttered with over-sized headers and video screen, regulating the headline to a secondary position.
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The Purpose of Website Headlines
Headlines reveal what the pages in your Website articles have to offer. They represent the culmination of the finest, most attention-grabbing, interest-arousing statements you can muster. It is also your first and perhaps only opportunity to pull eager prospects into your sales copy where they can be educated about the small business opportunity you offer.
If your headline fails to magnetize prospects, the rest of your effort can be considered irrelevant because they won’t stay long. Because capturing the attention of your targeted prospect is your number 1 priority, your headline will need to be benefit-oriented, make complete sense immediately and hint at a special something to soon follow.
Your headline needs to stop prospects from scanning… grab their attention and trigger an emotional reaction that leads them deeper into your content. And it has to do it instantly.
Stopping prospects in their tracks is important, but simply drawing attention from anyone won’t be of any real benefit to you. You’ll want to capture the attention of interested, qualified and preferably ready-to-buy, credit card-in-hand, prospects.
Target a Specific Audience
Not everyone is a prospect for your opportunity and that’s why it’s so important to target your message. You will want to identify early on the specific kind of audience your words are best meant to reach. You’ve got to convince the reader to stay on your page.
It’s important to identify the specific market that you intend to address. Often, a single word added to your headline can do the job. Your market might be a writer, Internet marketer or a single mompreneur, there are any one of a million possibilities.
Add the label that fits, the one that whispers sweet nothings in their ear and acts like an unstoppable magnet that pulls them in. Your headline works if they read on with interest and enthusiasm. Then your job is to keep adding fuel to the fire until they take the action you want them to take.
What makes prospects read beyond the headline? It’s the promise of a payoff… something of specific interest and importance to your reader. It’s a solution, a new or better way to accomplish a task, fulfill a dream or generate more website traffic. In short, it’s about specific benefits being offered to a precisely identified target.
Each and every market niche has its own nuances, so the more you know about your market, the more likely you are to connect and make a substantial impact.
Why Headlines Used as Headers On Web Pages are So Important
Once you’ve got them on the Inside, don’t let them go! The best way to prevent an instant defection is to pepper the inside of your blog post with a series of sub-headings or bullet points to sustain their interest.
Great headlines sprinkled on your page in the form of an outline are like lampposts that light up a long stretch of a dark road. Done effectively, they will help guide the reader from Point A to Point B, in a smooth and efficient manner. When done ineffectively, they cause the reader to get lost and quite often give up the task of reading your materials.
How to Write Powerful, Attention Grabbing Headlines in Minutes
Keywords that cut to the heart of your prospect’s pleasure or pain center are certain to capture the attention and interest of that specific group. High-value benefits, extra advantages or unique solutions all naturally draw attention and interest.
Example: To a prospect that is suffering from uncontrollable heartburn, a headline such as “How to Stop Acid Reflux With-in the Next 27 seconds With This One Secret Ingredient Found in Almost Every Refrigerator!” is virtually guaranteed to interrupt his online travels and the dozen or so thoughts swirling around in his mind to draw him straight towards your message.
The obvious keyword here is “Acid Reflux” – this is what the prospect’s radar is set to detect. More specifically, it’s the cure or the alleviation of pain and discomfort that the prospect seeks. But, it’s the usage of the keyword itself that identified the message as having importance – triggering the reaction and immediate shift in focus.
Prospects are constantly on the lookout for the ‘New’ ideas, solutions, and upgrades – hence the common practice among marketers to unveil ‘new and improved’ versions of older products. ‘New’ implies that there has been an improvement over the old, established way. It hints at the promise of a greater benefit.
Promise a unique advantage and you increase your chances of drawing an interested audience. As humans, we’re hard-wired to spot new ways to get more out of life. We want more… we want it faster, easier and at a lower cost. Headlines that scream such advantages generally reap the reward of higher readership.
Speak one-on-one with your target reader… make it personal, if possible, about him/her. If you can name him – do so. A headline like “Attention residents of the Whispering Pines in Colorado”, make it impossible for the residents of Whispering Pines not to read it.
Another strategy for creating powerful, slam on the brakes, headlines is to employ proven, attention-getting words and phrases. Obviously, you will want to customize your headline to suit the application, but stringing together a few words from the following list can get you off to a good start.
Printable, Eye Catching Words & Phrases Worksheet: Proven & Powerful Headlines
How to Take a Good Headline and Make it Even Stronger
Guarantees, added incentives, and definitive deadlines give an added sense of urgency and importance to your headline. A guarantee offers immediate backup for any claim previously stated. You still need to prove your point, but the fact that the promise is guaranteed adds power and significance to the message of the headline.
In your headline, you offer benefit one, benefit two, and benefit three. Benefit #1 seems impressive… benefit #2 astonishing. But Benefit #3 has never been offered before by anyone, as far as the prospect is concerned. It seems too good to be true… almost unbelievable. But then you follow up your triple benefit headline with a simple statement like “100% Guaranteed!” Or “It Doesn’t Cost You a Dime!”
The guarantee by itself adds credibility and security. Each of the benefits is attractive in its own right, but when combined, you’ve packaged a loaded statement that’s difficult to ignore.
Closing Comments About Writing Attention-Grabbing and Emotionally-Stimulating Headlines
Take your time! Remember that the headline is the key to the rest of the piece. You should spend the majority of your time on creating a powerful, attention-grabbing headline, and the rest of the time on the body of the ad, not visa-Versa. Keeping in mind that if your headline doesn’t grab the reader by the jugular, the remaining of your information will NOT be read.
Make your headline off-the-hook and attention-grabbing. Make it startling, BOLD, provocative and newsworthy. If you put an offer in the headline – make it BIG.
NOTE: This article was inspired by the Highly Recommended, Must Read book “Great Headlines Instantly” by Robert Boduch. To get your copy, click on the image.