While every element that goes into the creation of your landing page is important, there is perhaps no section more essential than the landing page headline.
As others have pointed out, headlines are “the most important part of any piece of writing”—and that applies just as much to your landing page as it does to a blog post or email. As advertising great David Ogilvy notably stated, “Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.”
More often than not, people use the headline—and the headline alone—to determine if the rest of your content is worth their time. So how do you grab the interest of your landing page visitors during those few seconds? How do you write a headline that will convince them to look at the rest of your landing page content and (hopefully) turn into leads or sales?
The following tips will help you craft headlines that actually get the job done.
For most landing pages, the majority of your site visitors arrive as the result of a targeted ad. It doesn’t really matter what type of ad it was—social media, AdWords, etc. That ad had a message. A message that was interesting enough to the user that they decided your landing page was worth checking out.
So when they arrive at your landing page, what are they going to see? Does your landing page headline match the ad content that lured them to click in the first place? Does it relate to the rest of your landing page content?
If someone clicks on a display ad only to be shown a headline that appears to have little in common with the original message, they’ll bounce pretty quickly. In other words, if your ads highlight “marketing automation,” you’d better include that in your landing page headline.
You’ve already convinced someone to click through and visit your landing page. Depending on the type of ad you used, you may have worked in some clever metaphors or marketing slogans. Your message may have even been slightly mysterious to pique a user’s interest.
But now that they’ve actually arrived at your landing page, none of that should have any place in your headline. Your landing page headline needs to tell users exactly what to expect. There’s no beating around the bush, no flowery language. Make your message short, sweet, and to the point, because people won’t stick around to decipher something that feels overly wordy or confusing.
You funnel a big chunk of your marketing budget into keyword research for SEO and relevant buys for your AdWords campaigns—so why would you ignore keywords when crafting your headline?
Relevant keywords should be organically interspersed throughout your entire landing page, but their inclusion in the headline is especially important. When you insert relevant keywords into your headline and subheadings, this sends a message to search engines regarding your content.
By utilizing your target audience’s search preferences, you can give your landing page a major SEO boost. When done right, using keywords can even help you increase organic traffic to your landing page.
It’s All About the Benefits
Another popular advertising mantra is that you need to sell your benefits, not your features. This is especially true of your landing page headline. It is essential that your headline focuses on the benefits that actually matter to your audience—the things they worry about, the things they wish to achieve.
At the end of the day, you’ll need to answer the age-old question of “What’s in it for me?” Whether that’s improving the bottom line by X percent for business clients who use your software or helping homeowners save time on yard care, focusing on the true benefits of your product or service will make a big difference for your landing page headline.
Make it Pop
Okay, so this last tip may not be entirely focused on writing headlines. But even the best-written landing page headline won’t be much use if it doesn’t stand out from the rest of your content.
As such, you should always make sure that your headline is positioned in a way that viewers will immediately focus on it when they arrive at your landing page. Headlines should be big and bold, and surrounded by white space so the text doesn’t get lost in clutter. Your font should be easily readable (both its style and color).
By positioning your headline appropriately, your message will stand out and your visitors won’t get confused.
While your landing page headline may only be a few words, that short phrase is the most important piece of writing you’ll do for any landing page. By following the best practices for writing persuasive headline copy, you’ll put yourself in a much better position to engage your landing page visitors and ultimately generate the leads and sales you desire.
Nicholas is a growth marketing consultant and the founder of Earnworthy and Landing Page School. He specializes in landing page design, testing, and optimization.