How to write headlines for maximum effectiveness

Do you want to attract more readers into your sales copy?

Then focus more attention on your headlines. Think of headlines as hooks to snag your prospect’s interest.

You must hook your prospect right from the get-go or you will not have the opportunity to go on to clinch the sale.

Let’s look a variety of vehicles from search engine listings to web pages and landing pages to see how more effective headlines can hook more readers.

Search engine listings

I read in a Marketing Sherpa Search Benchmark Study that when your prospects are in search mode, they don’t bother to read the entire listing – even though it contains so few words.

Their advice regarding search listing headlines: “The first two to three words pack a bigger wallop than words further on.”

So, not only do you need to write a compelling headline, but one that conveys key information at the front end, not the back end.

Here’s another point to consider:

To optimize your headline for the search engines, limit it 65 characters. Yes, a space counts as a character. Search engines will likely cut you off in mid-thought, which is another reason to frontload your headline with must-know information in the beginning and nice-to-know information later on.

Landing pages and web pages

At a seminar I attended on optimizing landing pages, the speaker indicated that phrasing the headline as a question pulled more responses than a headline that began with the word Free.

Effective headlines for web pages begin with questions as well.

Why does this work?

Because you pique the curiosity of your reader, who wants to find out the answer to the question.

Why go it alone when you can get this kind of advice?

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