Did you know that the traffic to your ad can vary by 500% based solely on the headline?
You read that right. It can vary by 500%.
That means something you already knew is true: when it comes to increasing traffic to your site, the headline you write is essential. So where do snappy headlines reign supreme? Facebook and Google. Users of these sites are inundated with ads day in and day out, so only the ‘fittest’ survive.
Still, writing a great headline can be a daunting task. How can you come up with one that grabs attention while providing valuable information at the same time? They are not mutually exclusive; you can indeed compile components of a clickable, linkable, and informative headline – in 90 characters or less.
A good headline should do three things:
- First, it should draw in a particular audience. You’re not going to get everyone. Instead, your headline should be directed towards the group who will actually click the link, read the ad, and, eventually, convert.
- Next, you’ve got to tell your reader what’s in it for her. She’s never going to click on your headline if she doesn’t like your promise, whether it’s a great deal or invaluable advice for her everyday life. And she’s never going to click if the promise isn’t even there.
- Finally, you want your headline to serve as an introduction to the rest of the article. That means what the headline is really doing is selling the content in the rest of the ad.
Successful ad writers use different kinds of ad formulas, as well, all of which can be effective if you keep the three goals of a good headline in mind.
- You could go with a direct headline. A direct headline tells you what they’re about upfront. An example of a direct headline is “Sweaters: 10% off, today only.” No mystery here, but your audience is likely to appreciate your honesty.
- Or you could write an indirect headline. An indirect headline is designed to make your audience curious. Indirect could include mysterious phrases like “Life can be simpler than you think” or “This doesn’t take a genius.” These headlines draw a reader’s attention because he doesn’t know immediately know what the headline – or the rest of the ad – is about.
- Other headline types include a news headline, which, you guessed it, talks about an event that recently happened. These could be used to announce your new product or a new application for your service.
- You could also use a popular how-to headline, which tells someone how to use a product in an expected or unexpected way, or a command headline, which tells them they must do something. This type of headline often starts with the words “Grab”, “Act fast” or “Don’t miss out on…”.
Tips For Writing Good Ad Headlines
OK, so we’ve gone over some of the most common headline types. Now it’s time to talk about how to get writing. If you’re stuck try these tips.
- Make sure you’re including keywords in your headline. If you’re selling sweaters, then make sure your headline includes the word “sweaters.” This might sound basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget.
- Include numbers or statistics in your headlines. Have some compelling evidence about how effective your product is. Or, if your prices were lower than your competitors’, you may want to include that as well.
- Try writing a headline based on contemporary social media trends. Head over to Twitter and see what hashtags are trending there. Then you can base your headline on popular topics.
The most important tip we can give you is this: practice writing headlines. Write a bunch of them. If you think a command headline works best with your company, write five down – fast. If you think your customers would be more swayed by a direct headline, write out a couple to see which one you like. The only way to write a great headline is to do it – and then tweak and rewrite until you’ve got something great.
Want more tips for creating clickworthy headlines? Check out these six amazing free tools for writing better headlines and copy that encourage ad clicks and engage your readership. We’re pretty sure we’ve compiled your complete copywriting toolkit right here.
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