“Extra, Extra… Read all about it!!!”
All headlines. All effective.
The goal of a traditional headline, any headline, is to grab your attention.
The goal of a headline for a business website is to grab attention, and then direct a person to spend time on the website.
Notice the slight difference, and what it means?
Look, I’m going to give you the TL;DR for this whole article, and writing headlines in general.
Believe it or not, this is the most condensed scale you will have ever when it comes to finding a copywriter or writer in general that can make headlines for you – including yourself.
Good headline writing means that you write with someone understanding you. This is most basic communication, of course. You say something, I understand what you say.
Better headline writing means that people see and acknowledge that their attention should be focused on what you are saying. Better headline writers can charge $500 to $5000 for a single, simple headline in an advertising campaign or an article. Seriously, it is that important.
The best, the top rung of the ladder, the ‘almost a god’ types of headline writers are people who actually train and mentor the ‘better’ headline writers. If your copy gets into this realm, you can make anyone buy, ask about, contact you, etc., ANY product or service.
What is the most famous headline, ever? And likely one of the best?
They Laughed When I Sat Down At the Piano. But Then, I Started to Play…
The above is probably one of the best, most successful and most cited ad headlines ever. It builds anticipation, uses storytelling and compels people reading it to read more.
Here’s the full ad…
Today, I’m going to help you walk closer to “good”, even with no writing ability. Then, I’ll show you a few secrets that you can use to connect to people to become ‘better’. Finally, we’ll look at those ad copy and writing gods that have become known as the best at writing headlines.
Ready to go?
What is a headline? Where do headlines get used by business’s like yours?
Headlines are the attention grabbers of the world.
We see headlines in print in newspapers and magazines. We see them on television. We see them online, EVERYWHERE.
We also see them all over the web. Your website’s title is a headline, your link is a headline, every page has a headline, every ad, every landing page, every email newsletter – all of it.
This is the biggest reason why attention-grabbing headlines are important: THE ARE EVERYWHERE.
You might even be reading this article right now because of the headline (the article’s title). Either in part from a link on a website or social media, or from running a search, the headline is as important as the information.
Well, everything is connected.
So, let’s say you need a new roof. You need your chimney repointed, the flashing around it is failing and your gutters are old and ripping from off their mounts.
Your need is “roof”.
Two things happen…
First, your need is on your mind. This means in humans, that we become more sensitive to that type of information. In fact, even subconscious cues can be overwhelming when we are sensitive to these needs.
That need is there, and it’s lurking.
The second thing that happens is we go looking for the solution.
Thirty or forty years ago, looking for a new roof or roof repair meant asking close family and friends. Then, when this didn’t work, we looked in the phone book (you remember those, right?). Finally, at wits end, we would look in the local newspaper.
Today, in 2021, we look online for solutions. We ask ‘family and friends’ that are digital on Facebook. We use our phone book, which is now Google Search. And, that’s it!
Problem leads to need leads to search leads to solutions.
Headlines notify that person, either consciously or unconsciously, that your solution fits them.
Everything is connected. And headlines help to facilitates that last step where that person knows that their solution is you.
Headlines serve one purpose for a business website (but there might be a catch!)
A business website does one thing – makes more business.
Some people think that your business website is an online brochure. Others use their site for lead generation. Some just use it as a point of contact housing info, contact details and branding.
How you use your website is up to you.
However, this article is about using headlines on your business website for some growth. So, that is what we are going to focus on.
I’m going to assume a few things.. I hope you don’t mind. First, I’m going to assume that you have a website. Second, I’m going to assume that you understand that headlines grab in more traffic from other sources. Third, I’m going to assume that you likely have a blog or are ready to make new pages on your website. Also, I’m going to assume that you are service business, not an e-commerce or product/goods company. Finally, I’m going to assume that you looking to understand headlines and how then to move a user through the traffic funnel into them becoming clients and customers.
Okay, so here’s the catch when it comes to using your website to get more customers…
You have to make the website fit the goal that you have, but make it subtle for the user.
Most businesses that are service-based, so plumbers, electricians, landscapers, dog walkers, roofer, etc., they do not use a website for e-commerce. In other words, there is usually no checkout options, nor shopping cart and the like. Instead, visitors turn to these websites for information and to contact that business.
Whether the website is created to extend the brand or provide information, it’s actual goal is lead generation.
So, for these sites, you want to avoid certain words, like:
Now, with the above said, you also don’t have to fully avoid them. But, the psychology of people reading those words turns them from ordering a service into buying a product. Makes sense, right?
Let’s start diving into good headlines.
Using the right business marketing to create the right headlines for your website (let’s get you GOOD)
You own a business that deals with HVAC issues – furnaces, air conditioning units, plumbing, etc.
A good headline for a page or an article would not be Why you need a new furnace. In a lot of ways this headline points blame at the visitor, and almost makes guilt a new feeling they associate with your brand. Not good.
Instead, create some intrigue, as well as a solution:
- Ways to know that a new furnace should be your next purchase
- How to make your old furnace last into 2030 and beyond
- What the Mars landing taught all of us about the need for a new furnace
- Why Mr. Claudette said ‘NO’ to a new furnace, before she called begging for one
Ok, so some of these headlines might not be dead-on for your needs, or even for your audience, but they work. They take what you do, your need to sell the person on the service, and then convert them, in some way, into believers in your business. You turn traffic and intrigue, into a website visit and then, hopefully, into a sale.
Even though these headlines are good, we can make them a lot better.
How two small tweaks can turn a ‘good’ headline for your business website into a ‘better’ one!
Now you have ‘good’ headlines. But, they need to be better, right?
Here are the two dead-simple tweaks to do it:
- Use the word “TOP”
- Use a number (3, 5, 7, etc)
Sounds too simple, right?
Let’s use the example of a roofer, ok? (BTW, I’ve talked about some of this in “HOW TO LOVE (AND WIN) NEW CASTLE ROOF REPAIR MARKETING“)
The not-so-good headline for an article might be “why you need a new roof”, right? The good headline might be “Way to know why 2021 might be the time for a new roof”. But, we need better.
So, let’s add both of these new, simple terms to the headline…
“Top 5 ways to know 2021 definitely is your best year for your new roof”
See what happened there?
First, we added ‘top’. When you read it, what does that say to you? ‘It must be most informative reason in this article.’ Or maybe it says, ‘I need not go any further than this information’.
Next, we added the number 5. Listicles (list posts and list articles) work very, very well. People love the sorting and opinion, and seeing how their order compares.
Now, I’m sure that you could like find 7, 10 or even 20 reasons why someone needs a new roof, right? But, we stick with 5 because it’s an odd number, it’s a smaller number and we can focus in on the main pain-points of the reader.
Finally, we put these together as “Top 5”. What does do in your mind when you read it?
Well, it tells us that this information is “the best”.
But, it also does one other thing… it build interest, right? It might make you think ‘well, what are those reasons?” or “are they what I think they might be?” or “are they reasons that I’m experiencing right now?”.
Next, we need to take our evolution from good to better, finally, into best.
Here’s how to do it.
Who is writing the BEST headlines online? What can you do to write nearly the ‘best’ headlines for your website?
What are the “best” headlines?
Let’s define this one.
The best headlines do the following: they build irresistible interest in a subject that compels a person in need of that information to visit the web page or blog posts or website itself.
Headlines are possible website visits. Good headlines lead to visits. Better headlines gives people solutions to their issues and leads to visits to your website. The best headlines compel people to visit your website – they almost ‘have to’ visit.
What words can compel people to visit your website based on headlines? Here are a few…
Let’s go back to our ‘better’ headline…
“Top 5 ways to know why 2021 might be the time for a new roof”
We can use a few trigger words to change the article. Here might be a few different ways to change this headline for the better.
- Top 5 proven ways to know 2021 might be best time for an affordable, new roof
- Top 5 guaranteed reasons that a new roof in 2021 doesn’t have to be disgusting or infuriating
- Fast roof replacement: The affordable solution to a dull, shabby home
- A much simpler way to replace your roof without the expensive issues
- New roof dream? Make it a reality in 3 simple steps today
Triggers in headlines work very well. So, use them!
Final steps for you to write better headlines: Template for speed and profit
Templates can make your writing go a lot faster. In fact with a headline template, you can write smarter.
Because of these reasons, let’s check out a few headline templates that you can use on your business website.
With a transformation headline, we are looking at showing someone how to take a fault, problem or issue and turn it around.
- Here is how to go from [[ problem ]] to [[ solution ]]
- How to go from [[ issue ]] to [[ solution ]] in 2021
- The best way to make [[ issue ]] into a [[ solution ]]
Listicle (List Article)
People like to see lists of “top” and “most”. Ordered lists work by creating opinion and discussion.
- Top X Reasons Why You Should Use [[ service ]]
- X Best [[ service ]] For [[ PROBLEM ]]
- X ways to [[ service ]]
Every person in the world has questions. I’m sure many of your customers have had questions about your services. This is a good way to answer them for that person AND for everyone else that you service.
- How do you [[ service ]]?
- Are you ready for [[ service ]]?
- How much does it really cost you by not getting [[ service ]]?
Wrapping up writing by writing more
Headlines grab attention…that simple.
Using headlines on your business website means grabbing attention. The extension of this is creating a path, or a funnel, for that traffic to result in a sale.
You’ve learned how headlines work. You’ve likely discovered how they are built, why good headlines work for attention and traffic, and finally, I’ve shown you how experts create and use headlines.