This is a guest post by Michelle Deery from Heroic Search Tulsa. Over to you Michelle!
Stuck on 2.35% conversion rates or … worse?
We’re all here because we want higher conversion rates.
10% would be great (awesome, actually).
But 11.45% is what I like to call The Sweet Spot.
Is it the impossible dream? Absolutely not. But to get such high conversion rates, there are a few things you need to get right. And creating compelling headlines is one of them.
There are some frankly insane stats milling around about an audience’s relationship with content. Only 20% of Internet users who like your headline will actually read your content.
And even less than that will convert.
Check this one out: Your headline can cause a 500% swing in traffic. Yikes.
And the problem is that the more articles there are that are vying for someone’s attention, the more you have to up your headline game. Create killer headlines that are compelling, eye-catching, include numbers, and which are – yes – a bit sexy.
It’s all about standing out from the crowd and setting things up for the article. And your sweet-talking and romancing of the customer doesn’t begin with the content of your article – it begins with your headline. Whether you have an eCommerce site that has been beautifully built to sell your products, a blog or an affiliate site, your headline is key to getting those conversions up from the doldrums.
The good news? Creating a compelling headline isn’t actually all that difficult. Here is what compelling headlines tend to do differently:
Compelling headlines don’t use too many words
Just like your copy should always be tight and to-the-point, you should also employ brevity when working on your headline.
People on the Internet just don’t have long attention spans. Thanks to Smartphones, our attention span is getting shorter all the time.
To improve click-through rates and get those conversions up, it’s important to use no more than nine words in your headline.
George A. Miller originally carried out research into the psychology behind how we process information back in the 1950’s, and as he points out that the human brain has limits and adopts a flight response when presented with too much info.
In other words, our brains have a processing issue when it comes to reading text. Just knowing this can help you improve your conversion rates with your headlines.
It all relates to the concept of the Magical Number Seven, as explained here:
Internet users tend to scan information. They tend not to read everything. As this post from Kissmetrics shows, directional cues are so important when it comes to headlines. If an Internet user is only going to read the last three words of your headline, make sure you manage to get them there first – and make damn sure that it’s a short trip.
Compelling headlines present solutions and benefits
I first realized I was creating the wrong types of headlines when I read Write To Sell. Instead of outlining benefits and solutions to readers, I was teasing them with headlines such as “Read This And Find Out About The X Features of…”
But as that book, this article, and pretty much any pro copywriter will tell you, a high-converting headline needs to include a benefit or solution for the customer.
Remember, the customer is always asking what’s in it for them. What problem do they have that you can solve? If you can squeeze the problem, a solution and a benefit into a headline, you’ve scored a perfect hat-trick.
Compelling headlines use power words
Power words are emotive words that – you guessed it – appeal to our emotions.
Words like “Free” and “Cash” are guaranteed winners because they appeal to our innate desires, and they make us feel a certain way.
Power words play on our emotions. When you write car reviews, you shouldn’t simply write “Review of the Ford Mustang.”
Try “The Ultimate Review of the Ford Mustang” instead.
Compelling headlines are can be direct and let customers know exactly what they’re getting
Take a look at this image: The headline is short and shoots from the hip. We know what we’re getting here.
And how does a 90% increase in conversion rate sound? That’s what this startup managed. And part of the reason they managed it was because they got direct with their headlines by telling people exactly what they were going to get from their content.
You can either provide a solution or you can be direct. Being direct would look something like this:
“Create An Awesome Landing Page And Get Found Right Now.”
It lets the customer know exactly what’s in for them if they click the headline, and it boosts conversion rates. It’s not exactly creative. But guess what? You don’t always need to be so creative. Sometimes a more obvious approach works best.
As mentioned, creating a compelling headline shouldn’t be too much hard work. Just think about what makes you want to click on something.