Last updated on December 30th, 2019 at 10:22 am
Why do you need better headlines?
Because 80% of the people who arrive at your website only read your headlines. The other 20% scheme through the rest of the text, if they find it interesting. This means that you have an 80% chance to make a sale with your headline than with the actual article.
This means that your headlines must not only be concise but also powerful enough to drive the message home. The title should compel the reader to actually read the article.#Ogilvy's secrets to writing better headlines #betterheadlines #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
According to Ogilvy, people should be able to pick up the phone and call you just by reading your headline. If you were to put the headline in a classified ad, people should still respond to your call to action.
Look at this…
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
This statement comes from one person who is considered to be the pioneer of advertising.
If you didn’t know, David Ogilvy was able to single-handedly increase sales for the Mercedes brand by over 400% in just one year. Interestingly, Mercedes was not even a popular brand in the US during his time.
Ogilvy did not stumble on this success; if anything, he was going against the tide at that time. He definitely knew what he was doing because he was able to succeed with his every ad campaign. He had a formula for writing successful copies.
A copy that gets read is powerful. It has sentences that suck the reader into the content.
Better headline will invite the reader to the following sentence, and the next until he/she reaches the end of the copy.
You are as good as doomed if the reader stops reading your website copy at the headline.
Get into the mind of your reader; know what they want
Seriously, your copy serves no purpose if you have not addressed the needs of the reader.
Whenever a reader lands on your page, he/she has three questions in his mind:
- Where is this place?
- What do I want to do here?
- Why should I even do it?
The reader wants to reassure himself that he is in the right place. You must provide what you have promised, otherwise, he will just click the back button and avoid wasting time with your fluff.
When you give what you promise, your reader knows that his needs will be addressed. This should be your priority since the reader does not care about you, all he wants to see is how you are helping him.
You help the reader by promising relief from pain or gain of pleasure.Give people a promise and a reason in your headline #betterheadlines #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
When you have entered into his shoes, describe his needs using action verbs (drop adjectives). When you do this, the reader gets the feeling that you are solving the problem.
It is better to under promise and over deliver than do the other way round. Your reader should always feel that he is getting more value from you.
That way, you will get more referrals from your existing customers. You will get more conversions when your copy answers the three questions comprehensively.
Subtleties of crafting better headlines and copy
Writing your copy in a perfect language with all the punctuation and grammar done right is very good. However, when you are trying to sell something, it is better to use the language of the customer.
That is why I emphasize that you should drop all the jargon. Avoid the temptation to consult the dictionary to bulk up vocabulary in your copy; your readers don’t use dictionaries when they are reading.
Having to look up every word in the dictionary (or google) every so often is distracting and energy-draining. Your reader will feel he is laboring to read your copy and will just click away instead.
In fact, Ogilvy has an interesting take on this issue…
I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language.
As you can see, what matters most is appealing to the target audience. However, do not break loose and start butchering the language in the name of appealing to the target audience.
You must maintain a level of professionalism because your readers expect it from you. The secret is to strike a balance.
Do you know why Ogilvy’s Rolls Royce ad became very popular?
This is perhaps Ogilvy’s best headline ever. In fact, he describes it as “the best headline I ever wrote.“
Interestingly, Shell company later listed Ogilvy’s firm as the only considerable advertising agency because the Rolls Royce ad impressed them.
Ogilvy knew that the upper class who could afford the car needed peace and quietness. He understood what they desired and he promised it to them in the headline.
Who would not want to own a car in which the only thing that reminds you that you are even moving is the sound of a clock?
Notice how he uses the common language in the headline. He writes about things that people can relate with on a daily basis. He also gives a promise of the desired solution to existing needs.
Just by reading that headline, the next question someone would be asking is, “How much?”
Just by getting the title right, you have made the reader a potential client.
Interestingly, the body of the ad is 700+ words long article that describes the facts about the car. One fact after another, the reader (now a potential client) gets the real feel of the car before even riding in it.
At the end of it, the reader is more convinced about obtaining the car and cannot wait to buy it. He does not miss the opportunity to ask for a sale at the end of the ad, neither should your copy.5 secrets to writing better headlines. #blogheadlines #copywriting #contentmarketing #blogmarketing Click To Tweet
To the act of writing better headlines
Now that you know the value of your titles, you know you have to do something about it.
You must make sure you have a title that will trigger action, otherwise, you are better off not writing the content.
Here are the 5 secrets to what makes winning headlines:
1. Great headlines address an existing need.
You should incorporate the keyword that people are using to search for the information and it should blend naturally into the headline text.
You will notice that the keywords are less than perfect grammatically. That is why I said earlier that you should use the language that your target audience is using.
2. Catchy headlines use words that trigger actions.
Titles that contain emotional words tend to get more attention than those that don’t.
Try to incorporate emotional verbs into the text to increase its effect. Koshy’s comprehensive list of emotional words can be very handy when crafting a title that will convert.
3. Smart headlines go for the specifics and nothing does that better than numbers.
A title like, “These 12 American Presidents Have Come and Gone, The Queen Still Reigns” is likely to convert better than, “Queen Elizabeth has Been Reigning for More Than 60 Years.”
It will be even much better than, “The Queen has Been Reigning for Many Years.” The first headline triggers a curiosity in the mind to not only know just how long the monarch has been reigning but also to see the 12 Americans who have worked within the same period.
4. Great titles speak to your readers and address them personally
We have discussed how Ogilvy carefully analyzed his audience. He learned about their needs and used their language to address their needs.
Your titles should speak to a specific audience and use a language they can relate with. Address them personally to reduce the gap between you and them.
5. Magnetic titles sell benefits, not the product.
The reason why I emphasize that your title should address the need is because your readers are selfish. Readers are looking for things that benefit them and they don’t care about you.
Ogilvy knew this long before google was born and he capitalized on it. He knew that people buy things because of the benefits they will get from the products.
Otherwise, no one (not even you) will buy a product just for the sake of buying. He must feel that he is getting value for the money spent.
Related: 7 Simple Copywriting Tips For A Magnetic Sales Copy That Will Make Your Marketing Super Successful
You must have realized that you will be doing a great deal of research work to get to know your customers better.
You must know exactly what your customers are looking for; the phrases they are using to look for the information.
You will need to have a better understanding of SEO. That is why I am going to list a few research tools that you can use to find the exact words your readers are searching.
Due to the stiff competition that exists over the internet, it is better to go for the specifics rather than the general. You will need a keyword research tool that gives you long-tailed keyword variations of the target keyword you are targeting.
I believe we are now shoulder-to-shoulder on the features of a great headline. Let us now look at a few tools you can use to craft better headlines that sell.7 tools you should use to improve your blog headlines #blogmarketing #contentmarketing #landingpages Click To Tweet
7 tools you should use to write better headlines for your copy
I found this tool very useful in finding long tail keywords that people are actually searching.
It is not only helpful in searching words that rank in google but in 10 other search engines, including Amazon and Alibaba.
It also has the option of using other versions of the English language, which makes it super specific.
This is another tool that you can use freely to conduct the research for your keyword. You get a variety of long-tailed variations of your target keyword.
It gives you the option of searching five search engines, uses different versions of the English language, and a host of other different languages as well.
Serpstat is simply amazing. It has an amazing user interface that invites you to continue working.
It integrates with Google databases in different parts of the world and features a multilingual capability.
Their analytics are just out of this world and the long-tailed keyword suggestions will definitely be handy in writing better headlines.
4. LSI Graph
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is important in SEO because it enables you to target an alternative of the target keyword.
This will enable you to use other words other than the keyword in your write-up to avoid keyword over-saturation.
Better headlines and copies have a variation of the main keyword to ease indexing of the closely related words.
Your keyword density should not exceed 2%.
The Google Keyword Planner not only offers you the opportunity to search long-tailed keywords but also provide you with the industry’s best analytical tools.
To harness the full potential of this tool, you will need to be a paying client. However, even the free version is still just powerful enough.
Your headline should have a mix of powerful, emotional, common, and uncommon words in the right proportions.
Co-schedule’s Headline Analyzer is very handy in determining the right proportion of the mix to deliver an A+ headline that will convert well.
You have the opportunity to tweak the headline until you finally get the one that ticks. If you have to write better headlines, you must have this tool.
The other handy tool you can use to analyze your headlines is Sharethrough.
Better headlines are worthless if they are not presentable. You don’t want something as little as title capitalization to spoil the game for you.
In this copywriting game, little is definitely much. Make your better headlines presentable as well and you have a winning combination.
This list is by no means exhaustive. You will find a ton of other lists out there that may end up making you more confused than enlightened.
The trick to remaining productive is to always figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Major on those that magnify your strengths and cut down on those that don’t.
Do you need a copy that will send your competitors back to the drawing board?
I’ve got you covered. With my services, you not only get better headlines but also a clean copy that will set you ahead of the competition.
Look at this awesome infographic I picked from Make a Website Hub. I believe it will help you re-ignite your blog idea generation. They also have a Keyword suggestion tool.
You can also checkout Site Beginner for tips on how to build your first blog. your website