11 Tips for Great Landing Page Headlines

Published on: September 24, 2013

The headline on your landing page is what your visitor will notice first, and it’ll be the last thing they notice if it doesn’t catch their attention and appeal to their needs. Write your own great headlines using the following 11 tips:

1. Keep it short and sweet.

A short headline will grab your visitor’s attention, but won’t distract them from your product. A new visitor has a very short attention span, and if they have to start off with heavy reading, they’ll bounce immediately. By keeping your headline short, you’ll instantly set a tone for what the rest of the page will be about with little work on your visitor’s part (and really, you want them to work as little as possible).
Short, to the point, and powerful.

2. Be specific and clear.

Your visitor needs to know that they’ve arrived on the right page that will meet their needs. Even if they’ve come from an ad, your visitor needs to know that what they’re looking for is definitely included on your landing page, and they don’t need to travel elsewhere to find it. The homepage is often a poor landing page for this reason – it’s a very general page with lots of navigation, and the visitor can’t find what they’re looking for.

screenshot10They’re not just glasses, they’re designer reading glasses.

3. Don’t just tell them – pitch them.

Because it’s far too easy for a visitor to click the back button and “shop around”, you need to keep the romance going beyond your ad to entice them into staying on your page. Not pitching a visitor will give your site an informational feel instead of a buying one. By telling a visitor how they’ll benefit from converting (and not just that your product exists), they’re more likely to feel like it’s worthwhile to do so.

screenshot 2They’re not just investing; they’re feeling proud of themselves.

4. Focus on one main benefit.

While your product or service could have many features to offer, highlighting only one will prevent your headline from getting bogged down and sounding overly pitchy. A headline with too many benefits may dilute your overall message and sound more like a list than a headline. Additionally, it’s quite difficult to keep your headline short and clear when you’re trying to fit as many benefits in as possible.

ScreenShot005Many services are offered in banking, but one stands out the most.

5. Stay consistent with your message.

Customers often need your message repeated to them several times before they decide to convert, and your message needs to stay consistent to be effective. The message starts with your ad or another link off of your website, and continues after the purchase. Think of it like you think of brand messaging – consistent messaging creates a stronger brand, and in this case, it will create a stronger headline.

screenshot 07A great headline will be consistent with your branding, like the clean feeling of Samsung.

6. Make it stand out.

Position and format your headline so it’s one of the first things your visitors focus on when they land on your page. It should be at or follow smoothly from the natural center of your landing page, which is usually about 1/3 down the page. Additionally, it should be large enough so your visitors see it as a title for the rest of your content, and not just as another part of a paragraph.

screenshot 03Headlines can be part of the art.

7. Stay away from the cliché.

There are some headlines that may sound good at first, but they’ve been overused so much that they could potentially cheapen or decrease the impact of your message. “Why not buy this?” or “This is what you need” sound like strong messages, but are not very specific and instead of providing benefit to your visitor, they sound almost patronizing. Avoid telling your visitor what they need; instead, show them why they need it through your product’s benefits.

screenshot 06Do you think this headline works, or do you find it too overused?

8. Double check your spelling!

This tip may seem like it goes without saying, but spelling errors still appear, and that’s a one-way trip to an immediate bounce from the visitor. Double-check everything, especially for errors that don’t come up on spellcheck (like missing the “a” in “read” changes it to the color red). Spelling errors can impact not just the product, but your business image as well, as visitors will see your page as unprofessional.

screenshot 08Also, don’t forget to have a headline – even basic product pages will benefit greatly from one.

9. Always be closing.

Write your headline with the intention of closing every visitor that arrives. You want your visitor to make a purchase, not just enjoy your page. Position and write your headline so your call-to-action naturally follows. Generally, bigger brands will sometimes miss this tip – they get so caught up in design and brand image that they forget to tell their visitors to actually buy!

screenshot 1Good deals are harder to pass up, and is a good strategy for brands with less presence.

10. Follow up on your headline.

A great headline provides a great punch, and following up on that will keep the visitor’s eyes naturally flowing down the page. The headline is only the beginning of your landing page experience, and while it’s a significant part, don’t let it take over the whole page. Be sure that the rest of your content matches in tone with your headline so you’re having more of a conversation with the visitor instead of giving one bold statement and then trickling off.

ScreenShot004Super short and sweet, but wouldn’t work without the sub-headline.

11. Test new variations.

There’s no perfect headline, and testing is required to find the headline that gets as close to perfect as possible. Create a test that sends some of your visitors to one version of your headline, and the others to a different version. The new version could be worded differently, or contain a different benefit. Don’t trust your gut feeling on which headline is the best, and use the numbers provided by the testing to determine what direction your headline will take to improve your conversion rate.

ScreenShot011Great headlines are nurtured to life.

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