Ask anyone how to write great converting headlines, and chances are, they’ll have one of three answers: Always put keywords first; Make sure your headline has emotion etc. And they’re absolutely right. These do make for great headlines, but they’re not always effective and they’re not the only considerations for a great headline. For example, some headlines might increase click-through rates, but not signups, buys, shares, or comments. Now, I’m not saying that the right headline is the only element needed to boost conversions, but it’s definitely a good start.
The Value of Good Converting Headlines
You know how they say you don’t understand or appreciate the true value of something until it’s gone? Headlines are the same way. Considering a test involving headlines and main page headline VS no headline. Which page do you think had a higher conversion? Needless to say, the difference was staggering. Does this mean the result was because there was a headline VS no headline? Absolutely not. I firmly believe that what the headline said to the reader had a lot to do with it, but it’s something important to consider the next time you create a page.
Curiosity Killed the Cat, But Wins the Clicks
Sometimes, a great headline is not what it says, but what it makes you think. Here’s a great example: two friends you know and like equally post the same link on Facebook with ‘Whoa! Is this ever cool!’ as the headline for one and ‘dog video’ on the second. Chances are you’ll click the ‘Whoa!’ link before the other simply because you want to see what was so cool. Even better, you’ll probably watch the entire video all the way through to see this cool thing, even if there isn’t anything amazing in it. Of course, you’d be disappointed at the end, and may even give your friend a rough time, but you still watched it. In this case, that was probably the conversion. The same thing happens on corporate pages and in marketing.
Simple Is Often Better
The purpose of a headline is to introduce the content, right? This leads to the assumption that more detailed headlines would convert better because people are more aware of what they’ll find on the page, right? While a page may hold a ton of priceless information nuggets and be a gold mine for readers, revealing it all might actually do your page more harm than good. Testing has shown over and over again that it’s better to lure readers in and then impress them with all the goodies.
Keep in mind, however, that this doesn’t mean you can get away without fulfilling the promise of the headline. This is often a good way of guaranteeing readers won’t return.
Sometimes, It’s Not the Headline, But Its Surroundings
Poorly placed information, a badly designed page, or an ugly font can defeat even the best headlines. Giminee learned this quickly during a test of its signup page. Their problem was nothing more than having too much content. It looked like it belonged, and seemed helpful, but in reality, it cut down on the number of conversions. Testimonials are an important element for any conversion, but like the Nominee test, too much of a good thing is like not enough. These testimonials might have helped if they were elsewhere on the page, in a list, but under the headline, it made the page look clunky and took away from the power of the headline. Of course, the most important rule to remember is to always test to ensure you’re getting the best possible results.
What kind of conversion headline tips have you discovered? You are free to share them in the comment space further below.