Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hook 'em With Headlines

You may have noticed this blog, while professing to “simplify the internet” for SMEs, has mostly dwelled on internet marketing and web sites.  The former to encourage you to use the power of the internet to promote your company and generate web site traffic, and the latter to make sure that, when you do the former, your web site converts as many visitors as possible.

Our previous post on landing pages outlined the importance of confirming for your visitors that they are on the right path to a solution.  You have lit the path well when people choose to visit your site.

Following the advice from the previous post, when they do, they would land on a page that made it clear they are still on the right path.  In most cases, you have a few seconds to do so before your visitor loses the path and clicks away.  While the look of your page and images are important, you also need to confirm quickly in writing that the page has the information they seek.  But, they will not read very much, if at all.

Now what? 

Hook them with your headlines.  A visit to your landing page begins with certain visual clues, your company or product logo, perhaps an image of the product, but the real confirmation that the content is what your customer seeks must be in the headlines – that is, the main headline and a sub-head. 

We don’t have the space to get into the how-tos of great headline writing – as this blog matures, we will go into detail – but it is important to understand the importance of your landing page headlines.

If there is one overall direction that your headline, sub-head and indeed all your web copy should follow, it is to do everything possible to get your customers to stay on your path and take the next step.  In other words, reading your headline should lead them to the sub-head, and reading your sub-head should lead to rest of your copy.

If you want to learn more about web copy, but have limited time, start with headline writing.  

Sometimes that is all you will need.

By Stephen Da Cambra

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