Are You Making These 3 Costly Headline Mistakes?

Discover the power of a good headline and why you need them. Along with tips on what to avoid when it comes to writing a headline for your business.

Read On To Discover Why They Are Costing You Money And Exactly How To Fix Them

Every successful marketer knows the value of a good headline. And the cost of a bad one. The importance of the headline on any of your marketing materials cannot be overstated. It’s so important that it can literally make or break your marketing results. This includes sales pages, homepages, product pages, leaflets, brochures and even emails. And yes, you can even try a headline at the start of your emails. It can work wonders. You need strong, persuasive headlines on all your marketing and you’re about to learn why. In the words of advertising legend David Ogilvy of Ogilvy and Mather

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”


David Ogilvy – Advertising Legend

This is not some made-up scare tactic slick marketers use to get you to hire them to write for you. It’s been proven categorically through countless tests over the last 100 years of marketing. Good headlines attract attention. Headlines draw the eyes of your prospects into your page and if they like what your headline promises, they’ll read on. We are conditioned to notice headlines. When you read a newspaper, how do you decide which stories to read? Headlines. They are the ad for the ad, and you need to make them count.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 3 of the biggest headline mistakes and of course, how to fix them to guarantee great headlines:

1: Not Making Your Headline Persuasive

The Problem: ‘Welcome To Our Website’ ‘Nice To Meet You’ ‘You’re In The Right Place’. No. No. Nope.

Please stop. This type of headline means nothing and offers zero to your visitors. You have seconds to grab your prospects attention, so don’t waste them.

You might think that the above examples are polite and ‘non-aggressive’, so would work perfectly as an introduction.

Sorry, but no. This is no time for manners, this is time for persuasion.

If you don’t get your prospects attention immediately, you’ll lose them. Especially online, as a simple ‘Click’ means they are gone forever. So you must ensure you persuade people to look closer at your offer, with your well thought out headline.

Remember, with most prospects, you get one shot at this.

The Fix: Firstly, you need to use your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in your headline. This is simply the thing that makes you stand out in the marketplace.

Why Should Someone Buy From You And Not Your Competitors?

Also, be sure to mention the benefits of using your product or service. No one is interested in your company, other than knowing you’re honest and will treat them with respect. All they are interested in is what you can do for them.

Tell them your offer in brief, in your headline:

  • What are you going to do for them? (Benefit)
  • Are they going to save time, money, effort? (Benefit)
  • Are you going to reduce their stress levels? (Benefit)
  • Are you particularly fast at what you do? (Benefit)
  • Why you and not a competitor? (USP)

These are just examples of things you can use, but anything beneficial is fine. Whether it’s your quality, guarantee, skills, experience, awards, price or something else, tell them straight away. You don’t have to include all the above in your headline, you just need to get across why people should buy from you. And do not worry about headlines being a set length; I have used longer headlines and included a subhead and they convert great, as long as the headline is beneficial and interesting to your audience.

Good Headline Examples

Tell people exactly what you’re offering and if they are interested they’ll keep reading. As you can see, these examples get straight to the point and explain what’s on offer immediately:

Stunning, ‘Ready To Go’ 7.5-Tonne Luxury Horsebox For Sale

Amazon Account Suspended? Our Amazon Appeal Service

Will Get Your Account Back Quickly

Fully Managed Letting Service For 66% Cheaper Than The Average High Street Letting Agent

Finally, Take Control And Get Rid Of Your Debt With An IVA And Debt Consolidation Plan

Save Time and Improve Your Results With Our Automated Financial Planning Software

Get An Ultra-Reliable, Efficient Boiler Professionally Installed In 2 Days

With Subheadings

You can use a subhead to get more of your message across if needed. This is especially useful when you have numerous points you want to get across:

Forget Cold Calling And Enjoy Easy UK B2B Lead Generation On LinkedIn. Start prospecting like a pro on the world’s largest B2B platform with our 7-day FREE trial

35 Years’ Experience Means You Get Expert Roofing Services Guaranteed. Get NESBA-registered, Quality-Assured Roofing At Competitive Prices Within 50 Miles of Aberdeen

Fast-Response Commercial Kitchen Equipment Repairs In Houston, Texas. With 7 Year’s Experience, You’ll Get Your Kitchen Back To Full Capacity Quickly And Stress-Free

Geographically Targeted Headlines

If you only operate in a specific geographical area, no problem. You can specify in your headline. When someone reads your page they need to know this quickly, as it’s pointless getting them to read the whole page only to find out they aren’t in your area.

Domestic Or Industrial, Get Fast, Reliable Concrete Pumping Anywhere, Within A 50-Mile Radius Of Southampton.

Get Expert Help With Your Property Maintenance, Within A 20-Mile Radius Of Central Manchester

Reliable, Set And Forget Office Cleaning Service In The SE London area

Loving Pet Care For When You Can’t Be There Fully Insured Personalised Pet Services In Belper.

UPVC Or Composite Door Emergency?  No Problem. Call York’s Fast And Friendly 24 Hour Locksmith

Subhead With Geographical Targeting

Once again the subhead can add more essential info and in this case, they include geographical targeting:

When You Need Your RV Repaired Quickly And Efficiently, Call Us Our RVIA qualified technicians are ready to help you anywhere within 80 miles of Belton, Texas

Lost Or Broken Your Transponder Car Key In The Auckland Area? Don’t panic as we can replace or re-programme it within 2 hours

Scrapping Your Old Car, Van Or Truck? We Will Not Be Beaten On Price! Get a FREE competitive quote for your scrap vehicle within a 15-mile radius of Cambridge

As you can see from the above examples, they are all straight to the point and include various benefits to attract attention and build desire immediately.

2: Squeezing Your Whole Pitch Into Your Headline

The Problem: Your headline is the ad for the ad, so to speak. It’s not THE ad, so don’t try and stuff your entire sales pitch in there. Your headline should grab attention and encourage people to keep reading your message. Many people try to fit their entire pitch in their headline, rather than just one or two main benefits or qualifiers. It can end up looking hurried, confusing and desperate, so stick to the fix.

The Fix: As in the above examples, try and get across the main point regarding what you offer and add a geo qualifier or more benefits. Use a subhead if you want to add more essential info.

Make sure your headlines are specific, simple, build curiosity and interest and add urgency if possible. You can add a cut off date or time, or mention low stock levels or slow manufacturer lead time to add urgency.

Here Are Some Popular And Proven Headline Formulas, So You Never Get Stuck Writing A Powerful Headline.

 Just change out the words in the brackets for your benefits and so on:

Get the [Powerful Adjective] Power of [What Your Product Does] Without [Pain]

[Adjective] & [Adjective] [What You Are / SEO Keyword Phrase] That Will

[Highly Desirable Promise of Results]

We Promise You This: [Highly Desirable Promise of Results]

[Known Competitor] [Does This Undesirable or Unimpressive Thing], and [Your Brand Name] [Does This Highly Desirable or Impressive Thing]

The Only [SEO Keyword Phrase] Made Exclusively to [Highly Desirable Outcome or Benefit]

3: Not Making Your Headline Stand Out

The Problem: Don’t be shy. What’s the point of a headline you can’t see immediately? Headlines are meant to grab your reader by the eyeballs and drag them into your message. So they need to be big, bold and easy to both read and understand. Keep in mind your headline is the most important part of your page as it leads prospects into your pitch far more effectively than without a headline. Remember, this has been tested 1000’s of times over decades. A page with a headline almost always outperforms and converts pages without a headline.

The Fix: Follow the above, learn to write hard-hitting headlines and don’t be afraid of full-on self-promotion. Make your headline bold so it’s instantly noticeable.

  • Do not use a font the same size as the rest of the content. Go big.
  • You need to capitalise the first letter of each word, but don’t have the whole headline in capitals, as it looks ‘shouty’ and is harder to read.
  • Leave white space around your headline and subhead, to ensure it’s easy to see and read.

Here Are A Few Examples Of Headlines On Landing Pages:

Example of a landing page to show good headlines, headline is; In-Home Hearing Services At A Price You'll Like The Sound Of.

Immediately explains the offer – Fully guaranteed, fast hearing services that come to your home –  and includes the benefit of clarity back in your life.

Example of a landing page to show good headlines, headline is; Don't Panic! If You Need A 24 Hour Call-Out Locksmith In The Doncaster Area, We're Ready To Roll.

Straight to the point as this is exactly what people who are locked outside their home need right now.

Example of a landing page to show good headlines, headline is; Earn Extra Income In The London Area Selling Flawless Makeup Products You Can Be Proud Of. this also includes and image on a girls face with makeup on to the right of the headline.

Covers the fact you can earn money, in London, what you’ll be selling, and that you set your own hours. Where do I sign up?

You Now Have The Formula For High Converting Headlines.

This really isn’t difficult. The principle is simple . . . make your headlines count. You get one chance to attract people to your page and draw them into your offer. A headline is proven to dramatically help that. Stop thinking about ‘welcoming’ people to your site and focus on hitting them right between the eyes with exactly what you’re offering. This principle is proven to work. If you ignore it and don’t learn to apply this principle, you will definitely be throwing money away.

Still Struggling To Write Strong, Attention-Grabbing Headlines? Adzooma Is Here To Help

At Adzooma, we have an in-house content team that are experts in their field of writing highly converting copy; designed to attract readers and convert into leads for your business. We have a Business Web Page solution where we’d build you a landing page, without the price tag that comes with web design agencies. These web pages are built for the sole purpose of showcasing your business to potential prospects and generating more customers for you!

To find out how Adzooma can help you with our Business Web Pages, click the button below:

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Phil Coleman
As a Copywriter with 25 years experience I have written squillions of words, writing for all sizes of business, both online and off including The Chamber of Commerce, the NHS and of course Adzooma. I'm a not so secret UFC fan, I live in the heart of Sherwood Forest and I have 2 pet cats called Copy and Spooky Dave.