Ted Nicholas (the guru of copywriting) says you should spend more time on your headline than on the rest of your copy, I’m not sure I totally agree, but it’s definitely the top of my list of things to get right!

If your headline does its job properly it will:

  • Catch the reader’s attention
  • Reassure them they’ve come to the right place to find what they were looking for
  • Connect with them on their level (not yours)
  • If it doesn’t work people will:

  • Be confused
  • Get irritated
  • Suffer from frustration
  • Leave your site
  • If it’s missing completely it’s as bad as not having a headline at all.

    Remember that ‘Welcome’ is not a headline and neither is ‘Home page’. If your web designer is any good they will be able to arrange for the page the user is on to show up in a different colour on the menu so you don’t need to waste prime real estate telling people where they are!

    How do you create a good headline?

  • Ask your target audience what they would be looking for when they search for the type of goods or services you offer.
  • Focus on what your audience wants to know – not what you to tell them.
  • Try and include at least one key word (but err on the side of the human being rather than the search engine).
  • Don’t exceed 17 words in the headline – yes, 17! Don’t let longer sentences frighten you.
  • Focus on either pain – the problem your user is trying to solve – or gain – what’s in it for them.
  • Brainstorm as many headlines as you can without worrying about how readable they are. Then when you’ve run out of ideas review the lot and you’ll almost certainly have one or two – or two that can be amalgamated – that stand out and have energy and engagement.
    Sign up to our FREE data service and get your free reports, tips and information that will help you get your message across in writing.

    You can also find us at Inside News or call us on +44 (0) 1245 473296