Do You Make These 5 Headline Writing Mistakes?

Writing headlines isn’t some mystery that’s impossible to understand. In fact, it’s easy to write effective headlines when you avoid these 5 common mistakes.
• Mistake #1: Not communicating a benefit—If you want people to read your copy, you need to immediately let them know what’s in it for them. Buyers are selfish. If you don’t quickly communicate a benefit that they care about, they’ll leave your website for another. So, identify a key benefit of your products or services, and drive that point home in your headline. For example, if you’re selling a weight loss product, your headline could be something along the lines of “How to Safely Lose 10 Pounds in 30 Days or Less.”
• Mistake #2: Being unclear—Clarity is a key component of a successful headline. If people don’t understand the point you’re trying to make, the chances of them reading beyond the headline are slim. An easy way to determine if your headline is clear enough is to have someone outside of your company read only the headline. After they read the headline, ask them if they know what the rest of your copy is about. If they’re unable to identify the message, it’s probably time to rewrite your headline.
• Mistake #3: Trying to be clever— Puns and inside jokes almost never work because they’re unclear, and they can make you sound condescending. Don’t try to be cute. Don’t try to be funnier than you are. Like the previous tip on this list says, it’s all about the clarity of your headline. Clever headlines usually aren’t clear.
• Mistake #4: Sounding gimmicky—We’ve all come across headlines that sound a little too good to be true. Here’s an example: Make $10,000,000 a year working 4 Hours a Week! Headlines that sound too gimmicky will cause you to lose credibility, and as a result, it won’t perform up to par. Statistics and How-to’s can be an effective way to make your claims seem more legitimate.
• Mistake #5: Ignoring SEO—When writing headlines for the web, it’s important to try to include your main keyword whenever possible. Optimizing your headline for the search engines improves that page’s relevance for the targeted keyword. Additionally, it can help to increase the clarity of your headline as the keyword clearly describes what the web copy is about. Just be careful that the keyword doesn’t cause your headline to become clunky and difficult to read.


Which headline mistakes would you add to this list? Leave a comment in the replies.

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