Arizona Internet Marketing Firm, Thrive Marketing, believes that your first step in web marketing should be one of your best steps. Nothing can substitute for an effective headline at inviting a potential customer into your marketing efforts. There are numerous opportunities and methods for creating effective headlines and getting the most out of that first, big step.
We Do Headlines!
An Arizona internet marketing firm can make a lot of difference to the effectiveness of your web message to your Arizona audience. With creativity, combined with knowledgeable purpose, an Arizona internet marketing firm such as ThriveMarketing can show you ways to convey your message more effectively and lead your potential customers to a sale. Of first and foremost importance to your message, the use of effective headlines is one area that can change the effectiveness of your website investment.
Headlines must reflect and make interesting the story
The old story of “Dog Bites Man” is that a headline like that will not attract attention; however, the headline, “Man Bites Dog” will. The reason? It is unusual and interesting. It doesn’t matter what services or goods you are providing and promoting, effective headlines are one of the most important parts of your written message. Without an effective headline, the chance a potential customer will proceed into your message is greatly diminished.
Internet headlines have more structure
Headlines on the internet take multiple forms. Think of your headline not only as the first prominent line of copy on your landing page, but also the meta description tag, the meta title tag, and the subheads that introduce the body copy in your web page. Even the subject line of your email is a headline opportunity, You only have about 50 characters to make your first impression. (The headline on this article, by the way, was 49 characters.) Why only 50? That is roughly the maximum number of characters in a subject line and it is also the attention limit of a webpage headline. That can make subject lines and headlines a challenging to write. You need to make the best impression you can, including the most interesting invitation to your copy as you can, and do it in about a half a line of copy.
On websites, you get 3 headline opportunities
Three places you can take advantage of the power of strong headlines. First, the webpage the header (H1) is the most important. Not only is it the first thing the reader’s eye falls on, it is specifically searched for by the search engines in classifying the site as the one most favored to show first in the search results. Not only is this your big chance to invite the reader into your site for further influence and persuasion, but it is a huge Search Engine Optimization opportunity that many forget. To be effective, the header should be short and to the point, probably not more than about six to eight words. If your objective is to introduce your reader to the fact that you write headlines, for example, then perhaps your most direct headline would be: “We Do Headlines!”
The Forgotten Headline Opportunity
Second is the often forgotten metatitle. What ever is written in the HTML metatitle is what will appear in the browser tab or border. Your message in the metatitle can only be about eight words and should lead with your search keyword(s). What message do you want in this prominent message space? Not only is this a billboard to the reader, it, too, is searched for by the search engines when deciding what to list first. The metatitle increases the search word density of your website. It is surprising how many web builders and web page writers forget this important spot as a promotional message or headline. The metatitle should be written with the relevant keyword(s) and the closer to the beginning of the title as this gives the keyword the greatest density on the webpage. The metatile should not be the same for all pages of your site and the keyword should not be repeated more than twice.
Your First Contact with your Customer
Third, the HTML meta description is a great opportunity for first selling efforts. Again, this spot is often forgotten because it never appears on the web page; it appears as the description presented by the search engine. Even more importantly, it is also examined by the search engines in determining best sites to list first in the search results. You have a maximum of just 155 characters, including spaces, to compose the message your potential customers will see in the search listing under your company’s link. Google, and other search engines, will cut off anything over the maximum number of characters (155). Try to limit your meta description to not more than 25 to 30 words in no more than two sentences.
Email Subject lines are headline opportunities, too!
The point of promotional email is clickthrough. If you do not get clickthrough, you do not win a conversion (sale). The maximum limit of a subject line is 50 characters. You have only that long to move your reader to open the email. Then, it is up to the content of the email to prompt a clickthrough. This is a multistep process and your first step has to be a strong one.
5 Tips to More Effective Headlines
If you would like some intellectual practice on sharpening your skills in identifying what makes effective headlines, pay more attention to what you read in newspaper headlines, on billboards and even on matchbook covers. People in advertising will tell you that some of the most challenging copywriting is that done on matchbook covers, billboards and in newspaper headlines. It will not take you very long to begin to recognize what makes an effective headline and what does not.
- First, meet your primary objective; in other words, put your meat upon the table, first! What is the objective of your website or email? Can you write it into 50 characters? Is your objective to get people to buy something the simply must have? Analyze your website and see what triggers the greatest number of conversions. That is the item on which you want to focus.
- Second, identify what your key focus is and convey that first; using the header and subheads, construct a path for your readers to follow—from persuasion to sale. If you do not think that attention spans have not shrunk, try engaging a teenager in a lengthy, thoughtful conversation! The way our culture has evolved, your audience demands you to “get to the point” and do it quickly. If you can figure out a faster, shorter way of saying what you want to say, that is your new edit.
- Third, wherever you can, personalize; speak as if you are talking directly to your reader. What do you want to say to him or her in a couple of seconds?
- Fourth, construct sentences in active voice; nothing gets more tedious and uninteresting to read through than passive voice. The difference in passive and active voices is the difference between: “It has been decided . . .” and “We decided . . .” or “It is necessary to buy our product” and “Buy our product.” The subject of the sentence should be what is doing the action.
- Fifth, lead your reader to your service or sale, but do not mislead; it is fine to say things that are attention getting, but if it is unbelievable or untrue, you have lost your reader.