Producing A Killer Headline: Writing Stellar Website Copy, Part 3

Producing A Killer Headline: Writing Stellar Website Copy, Part 3

This article is an excerpt from “The 8-Part Guide To Writing Stellar Website Copy”—you can download the full guide here. (It’s free!)

“These people get me!”

“That’s what I’ve been telling my boss forever!”

“This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!”

If your persona silently thinks one of these thoughts while reading a headline on your website, you have won the battle. The second your persona connects with your headline, you’ve become their advocate! You’re no longer trying to sell them something—you’ve already identified their issue. If you can write your copy in this way, you won’t have to convince someone to buy your product or service. They’ll simply agree. When you acknowledge what your persona already knows, they’ll be open to learning more.

Here are five general tips and helpful bits of advice for writing your headlines.

1. Make sure your headline is clear about the page’s topic.

Be clever, but don’t be so clever that your persona is confused or can’t nod their head in agreement because they don’t understand it.

2. Try to get the most important keyword or keyword phrase in headline.

This will be helpful for SEO.

3. Don’t fall so in love with metaphor that you need to take another step to explain what’s going on.

If your metaphors make things complicated, you need to refine your headline. Your headline should be easy for a visitor to understand. (If your persona isn’t new to the industry, it’s fine to use industry language. Every time you try to use obscure metaphors, you’re putting one more barrier between your website visitor and a sale.

4. Don’t use sliders or banners.

We hate sliders because they dilute your message. With sliding banners, your web visitor has to sift through multiple messages (that may not even pertain to them) rather than read one primary message that’s written with them in mind.

5. Remember who you’re talking to when you’re crafting your homepage headline.

Your homepage headline needs to be a broad statement that covers the majority of your services while also getting your persona to nod their head in agreement.

  • Write to specific people. The challenge of a homepage headline is that you may be offering multiple services to multiple personas. Don’t let your headline can become watered down and unrecognizable, or it won’t cause anyone to nod their head.
  • Find a common denominator. As long as you’re intentional about only having 2-3 personas, you should be able to find a “common denominator” headline that includes information each persona can identify and agree with. (If you have 15 personas, the battle needs to be fought elsewhere. If that’s the case, you don’t need to write a headline—you need to figure out your company’s focus and structure.)

When you visit our homepage, here’s what you’ll see:

Producing A Killer Headline: Writing Stellar Website Copy, Part 3

The headline speaks to a problem each of our personas wrestle with—and we wrote the headline as if we were going to get to talk with those personas.

Resources & Tips

  • “The purpose of the headline is to pick out people you can interest. You wish to talk to someone in a crowd, so the first thing you say is, ‘Hey there, Bill Jones’ to get the right person’s attention.” (Scientific Advertising)
  • Write headlines rhythmically. (KissMetrics)
  • Make your headlines urgent, unique, useful, and ultra-specific. (Writtent)

Download Now: The 8-Part Guide To Writing Stellar Website Copy

Producing a killer headline is just one of eight critical best practices for writing great web copy. Want to see them all? Download the free guide below—it will help you hone in on what’s important so you can write copy (for any industry) that gets results.

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