Approximately 50 percent of visitors to landing pages bail in eight seconds. And while that amount of time might be the length of a decent first kiss, it’s hardly enough time for strong conversion rates—but it can be done.
A headline is the first impression on a prospective customer, and sometimes, a headline is the only impression. The fact is there is a lot riding on writing the perfect headline to grab attention, communicate a full message, and bait the reader into staying. To add even more pressure, the best headlines range from 8 to 14 words.
So what are the best ways to write a compelling headline? Here is a list of six different headline categories that encourage readers to stay longer than eight seconds.
- Reason Why Headline. Most readers like to skim an article, post, or landing page. With a ‘reason why’ technique, most people expect bulleted lists for product features or tips. An example is 3 Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques.
- Direct Headline. This type of headline may not be clever but it showcases the benefit upfront. A direct headline is simple and succinct and the reader knows exactly what they are in for, such as Free Guide to Social Media Marketing.
- Indirect Headline. Opposite of a direct headline, an indirect headline is more subtle and sparks curiosity. Using a double meaning in an indirect headline is usually creative and catchy. Consider the title Kill a Killer, and although the post has nothing to do with any actual crime, the post is about conversion killers in your content.
- Question Headline. A lot of the time readers are searching for a solution. A question headline lures people in who expect the post or landing page to provide an answer. A word to the wise, the question in the headline has to be more than just that, it has to connect with the reader. A decent question headline might be Is Your Toothpaste Strong Enough?
- Testimonial Headline. Testimonials offer proof to prospective customers that what you have to give is of value. “These Headline Techniques Revolutionize Marketing,” said Mark Zuckerberg. Using actual feedback in a headline can give your post immediate and needed credibility.
- How to Headline. A simple how to headline works wonders. This type of headline also offers a benefit upfront like a direct headline. An example would be the title of this post.
By no means is this an extensive list of headline formulas. However, these six techniques have proven effective time and time again. Evaluate the purpose of your post, landing page, or other content marketing needs and craft a sure-fire headline that works to your advantage. The better the headline, the better your odds at conversion.