5 ways to write better headlines now
Headlines are arguably the most important element of any written piece in terms of capturing an audience’s attention. Those big, bold letters are key to drawing in readers, which can often be the hardest part for brands looking to ramp up client engagement through copy and content.
From blog posts to ads, headlines are everywhere, shouting about the benefits of a product, the latest industry developments or your company’s big news – but if you’re not making those few words count, your headlines could be hurting your business.
Advertising legend David Ogilvy famously stated that the number of people who read headlines is five times greater than the number who read the body copy. For businesses, the power of effective headlines is clear, and if you haven’t got the expertise to craft compelling headlines, you should seriously consider hiring a copywriter who does.
EVE’s put together some top tips for honing headlines, based on ten years’ experience (that’s A LOT of headlines) – and a dash of common sense.
Know your audience
Writing headlines that appeal to your audience is only possible if you know your readers, which means doing your research. Certain words, phrases and trend references resonate better with some demographics than others; likewise, you’ll need to know what your audience likes and dislikes to appeal to them effectively and avoid sending them over to your clued-up competition.
Use persuasive words
Some words work harder than others when it comes to conversions. If you want your copy to engage readers, try weaving in words like ‘you’ or ‘your’, ‘new’, ‘discover’ and ‘save’, which appear again and again in lists of the best-converting words to use in advertising. Proceed with caution when using ‘free’; so overused is the term that brands should be wary of using it, especially when followed by an asterisk highlighting how the goods are, in fact, not free.
Focus on problem solving
If you’re writing about your latest product or service, tell readers how it will solve their problems – a good copywriter knows how vital it is to put themselves in the reader’s seat and consider just how the product or service will help them. Will your latest offering help your audience get fit, feel better, look better or make life easier? How?
To grab your audience’s attention, use copy that dares the reader to engage. Invite them to ‘learn’, ‘discover’ or ‘find out’, use trigger words like ‘why’ or ‘how’. Including numbers can help add interest too, especially in list-type blog posts – if a reader isn’t that interested in point number one, they can scan down the list until they find something that catches their eye.
Call to action
Nothing calls for action like a command, so try incorporating this into your written work by using words that encourage the reader to engage. Words and phrases like ‘try this’ or ‘do this’, followed by a sense of urgency like ‘now’ or ‘fast’, are immediately attention grabbing and incite the audience to continue reading to find out more.
See how EVE can hone your headlines to better effect by finding out more about our freelance copywriting services – contact us for a consultation.