Writing Website Content Headlines

Today is Day Four in our Writing Website Content series. We’ve covered whether you should specialize in website content writing, questions to ask your buyers and how to be a great website tour guide. Now let’s take a look at writing website headlines:

Quick; open up a web page – any web page. Where do your eyes look first?

If you’ve chosen a fairly normal website to look at (and if you’re a fairly normal person), your eyes should be aiming somewhere on the left-hand side, about two inches down from the top of your monitor and one or two inches to the left.

(Now that I’ve shared that information with you, would you freakin’ pull up that web page and try it? Don’t lie; I know you didn’t open a page the first time around.)

That location, that two-inches-down-and-one-inch-to-the-right pinpoint is prime real estate on the web. It’s the sweet spot.

And if you’re a website content writer, the words you put in that spot had better damned well be good and catchy. You have a split second to grab your reader and shake him or her by the shoulders.

There’s a very good reason why authorities like Copyblogger write tons of content to teach people how to write catchy headlines. Headlines rule the virtual world, from email subject line to blog post title to website page intro. A great headline is the bait and hook that keeps people reading.

Screw it up, and you just cost your client a visitor who probably won’t ever come back.

Focus on Benefits

One of the best ways to write a good headline is to find the main benefit to the reader. The website is just a gateway, and the sale is just an action a visitor takes to accomplish bigger goals.

What are those goals? What does the reader hope to accomplish? What problem does he or she want resolved? What solution does the visitor seek?

Benefits are what a client gets if they buy this product or service: a changed life, faster speed, improved productivity, less suffering and pain, greater joy, more free time…

People buy benefits, not features – never features. How much RAM a computer has isn’t important to a consumer. How much faster the consumer can work or play on his or her computer is what really counts.

Put your benefits in the headline and give the reader a glimpse into the future of a better life.

The Fewer Words, The Better

Website content writers have to pack a punch in a headline, and the shorter the headline, the better. Less than 10 words is a must, and if you can keep it to seven words or less, that’s even better.

Challenging? You betcha.

Let’s say a buyer asks you to write a website about email marketing. His benefit is an email marketing campaign that gets emails noticed, even when the recipient has a busy life and an overloaded inbox.

Pack that into just a few words. Your headline might be, “Standing Out in Crowded Inboxes.” That’s the hook to get visitors interested in signing up for the services.

How about a plumber who wants a website he can start to advertise. There are four other plumbers in town, but this plumber was smart. He promotes the fact that he’s faster than the competition.

Your headline might be, “Unblocking the Flow Faster.” The plumber’s website promises speedy service to unplug drains quickly.

The tone you use also makes a huge difference in how well your website content reads. Choose the wrong words, and you’ll shadow the site with negativity.

Stay tuned in our next post on website content to learn how to keep your content positive for positive results.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.