A comprehensive headline shows visitors what sets you apart from others. Although it often consists of six to twelve words, it can easily be the difference between a lower bounce rate and a website losing leads left and right.
Writing a savvy headline on your homepage can help you achieve a higher task completion rate, higher click-through rate, and even a higher conversion rate. Despite that, new content creators don’t know how to write crisp, impactful headlines, and grab the attention of their visitors instantly.
They often try to get cute and instead of grabbing their visitors' attention, they confuse them.
In this article, I'll guide you on how to write a good headline for your home page.
Are All Headlines the Same?
The headlines you write for our blog posts and other editorial content are different from the headlines on your homepage. Although these cosmopolitan headlines work for personal blogs, they often don’t fare well when you plaster them across your website’s homepage.
Many copywriters go for headlines such as “Who Else Wants to Cook Like Gordon Ramsey?” While these headlines may have looked good a few years ago, readers have now become immune to such salesy and promotional taglines.
People yearn for authenticity.
If your headline doesn’t promise readers value with authentic assurance, it’s highly unlikely that they will believe in what you are saying. As people have short attention spans, you have to catch your reader’s attention instantly and appeal to their needs. So, if you want conversions, it’s best to forego scandalous blog headlines on a business website.
For instance, the Slack homepage design provides a simple, yet creative tagline. “Where Work Happens” encapsulates the software’s purpose. It shows you that this tool can help you achieve better by collaborating with others.
7 Steps to Write a Good Headline
Writing a great home page headline is not simple, but by following a straightforward process, you write headlines that grab your readers’ attention and convey what your business is about. Just follow the steps below:
Step 1: Stop Mixing Headline Writing with Traditional Writing
Our traditional view of writing is shaped by what our high school English teachers have told us about. We are encouraged to be creative, be grammatically correct, and write things that flow well with the context.
However, when you are writing headlines, these things don’t usually work. It isn’t necessary to become a writer to write good headlines for your homepage. In fact, the more creative you try to be, the harder it will be for you to write a compelling homepage headline.
That's typically when you confuse everyone…
Step 2: Write a Headline Suited for Visitors That Are Already Interested in Your Product
As a website owner, you need to be realistic.
It is both impractical and inefficient to write for 100% of your traffic. Trying to write content for all your traffic makes it less impactful.
It decreases your conversion rate.
Your message needs to be directed at a specific audience. You must determine which target audience is most suited for your service or product, whether they are small businesses owners, teenage gamers, mid-aged women, or single men in their 20s.
There are countless tools available online that can help you with this, including comprehensive tools like Google Console and Google Analytics. Once you identify different audience groups within your online traffic, which group you should dedicate the headline to.
In most cases, this description rounds up to the audience that are:
- Relatively easy to be attracted by your website
- Willing to give your product a chance
- Highly likely to find value in your product or service
- Eager to tell their friends about your service
Step 3: Highlight Your Unique Benefit
After learning who your main target audience is. It’s time to convey what makes your product or service unique compared to others. You should appeal to the needs of your audience and include benefits highly desirable to your target visitors.
These benefits need to the core of your headline and the majority of your time needs to be spent on perfecting it. This means you have to include your strongest benefits, show your unique value proposition.
Remember that this ‘benefit’ can be more than just functionality of your product or a key aspect of your service. Choose one that sets you apart from others and present it in a way that appeals to your target visitors.
Don’t try to use fancy words.
Just convey your value using simple words and phrases. Some of the best headline examples on the internet are worded in an authentic manner.
For instance, Green Mountain Energy showcases how a business can use simple language to give a unique and intriguing value proposition to its readers.
They provide services for installing solar panels and helping people use clean, reusable energy. By tying their services with an eco-friendly cause, they appeal to consumers who want to minimize carbon emissions through clean energy.
However, they didn’t need fanciful wording to get their message across. You can do the same with your headline. Remember that your headline needs to highlight the feature that makes your business unique. Once you understand which feature follows that definition, fit it into a simple, yet a compelling sentence.
Step 4: Write Multiple Headline Options without Deleting Any of Them
Your first try may not be as good as you initially think. This is why it’s best to write down multiple variants until you perfect what you wrote first. Experiment by varying its length. You should write more than twenty variants, but the important thing is not to delete either of them.
Don’t hold yourself back or set a limit on the number of words you use. You can use the following techniques to write 25 variations on a single phrase:
Changing Dull Words Into Words That Stick
When you write your first headline, you’re going to use a lot of boring words. You can use the resources like Thesaurus.com, Merriam Webster, and other websites to find more compelling variants of those words.
For instance, many website owners grind their readers with overused headlines like “save time and money.” Instead of using boring words like “save”, it’s better to use more powerful synonyms such as “shield”, “seize”, or “unshackle”.
Develop Word Pictures
Many writers use a concept called word pictures to make their content more compelling. They write sentences that translate into mental imagery. It can be as simple as using an analogy, metaphor, or simile.
In other cases,, it may complement powerful images, like a national flag, a picture of a refugee in need of humanitarian aid, or a simple image of a puppy. Adding relevant images creates a sharp visual and helps in making your message stick.
See Other Writers and Bloggers
Journalists and bloggers often use succinct language and write sharp and biting headlines. You can follow what they do in media and get to the point quickly. All you have to do is to use memorable yet simple words and power them with witty analogies. However, make sure that these analogies don’t come out as weird.
Look for Studies That Help You Optimize Content
Backing up your claims with numbers can do a lot for your business. So, if you reinforce your headline with a statistic, it naturally makes you seem a lot more authentic. Write numbers in numerals (i.e., 99% instead of ninety nine percent), as it will catch their attention more effectively. However, you must make sure that wherever you take your data is authentic and reliable.
Only a rare few have the art to be funny instead of coming off as awkward. However, if you can pull it off, then you should definitely go for it.
Step 5: Delete Headlines That Aren’t Good
You can learn a lot from the bad work you do. This is why you shouldn’t delete bad headlines in the beginning. However, it’s different once you’re done with your list, there’s no longer any need to keep those headlines.
Don’t flinch while crossing off those headlines from your list. Highlight the headlines that start with pronouns, such as “We” or “Our.” Remember that your headline needs to be about your visitor; so, adding these pronouns and other similar words isn’t a good practice to follow.
Likewise, it’s best to avoid headlines that are too long, as well as unnecessarily short headlines. Don’t try to be too cheeky with your headlines and use simple words to convey your message. Once you are done with options you don’t need, leave the 10 best headlines.
Step 6: Write In the Context Of The Page
At this point, you will start to see headlines that stand out from the others. Take those headlines and put them on your website’s wireframe. See which of those headlines fit neatly to the context of the page or the design.
You have to decide which spot will be the best for the headline. Just put yourself in the shoes of the target visitor who’s arriving for the first time. See if the headline stands out in its position. You can also ask other whether the headline is interesting enough to keep them around or is it barely noticeable amongst the context of the design.
It’s possible that the headline may seem a bit out of place, too long, too short, or ill-fitted with the design. Whatever’s the case, it’s best to edit them into a more succinct version of themselves. At this point, you may end up with at least 5 potential headlines. However, you must make sure that these five are not identical to each other.
Step 7: A/B Test to Find a Winning Headline
A/B Testing those headlines is necessary.
Remember that your man’s goal is to create a headline that uniquely presents your value proposition. However, launching your headline without substantial testing is criminally ignorant.
Several A/B testing tools in the market allow users to evaluate whether a headline is good enough to generate enough traffic. The best way to gage a headline’s effectiveness is to perform an A/B test.
In other words, if your website sales has seen an improvement after changing your headline, it’s probably working well for you.
Only your live visitors are qualified to tell you whether a headline is working or not.
And those visitors will tell you this by showing how your headlines are making them more willing to spend money on your products and services.