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How To Create Effective Headlines

Jun 24, 2008
You have less than five seconds to capture the interest of your visitor. Unlike face to face sales where a prospect will stand poor salesmanship for etiquette sake, online the back button beckons. It is said people do not get bored in print. If a page does not deserve their attention they just flip over. Online, they click the back button; alternatively they go to the next link. When this happens, your chances of a conversion have just gone up in smokes, many times, for good.

With such a short yet critical time available to make an impression on your web visitors, effective headlines play a major role in getting results.

AIDAS, a common sales acronym that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action and Satisfaction outlines key points in the sales process. The more visitors you can squeeze through this process the better your conversion rates. This far we know that prospecting involves grabbing the attention of a specific customer profile by using keywords. But as mentioned, the reason for prospecting is not just to increase web traffic, turning heads so to speak. Rather it is to successfully lead them through a persuasion process and make conversions; sales or otherwise. As such, in the short time you have a prospects attention you need to quickly turn it into interest. Gaining their interest allows you to engage them. Engagement means that the prospect is opening up for persuasion. The visitor will be thinking, let me see what they have to say.

An effective headline should be able to get attention and translate it into interest. This is done by creating a rapport. A rapport engages your prospect by harping on their immediate interest. You achieve perfect rapport when your headline identifies spot on with what your visitor is thinking when searching for the specific keyword.

For example, if a visitor is searching for a Samsung hands free accessory, the keywords "Samsung" and "hands-free" in headlines would demand their attention. The exact keyword phrase "Samsung hands-free" on the other hand would grab their attention in a snap. This is the power of keywords in a headline.

If the visitor was unsure of how exactly to go about choosing the best accessory, the headline "The Cheapest Samsung Hands-Free" may demand their attention but will only translate to reserved interest if there is no option. However the headline "How to choose the best Samsung Hand-Free" would resonate with the problem the visitor is trying to solve and consequently create a basis for a strong interest. Keywords and resonating headlines that allow engagement (rapport) create effective headlines.
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