Copywriting

Want clicks and conversions? Spend all your time on a compelling headline

laptop on desk showing headline on screen
I'm Laura

Picture this: Toronto, 2021. We're sunken in a velvet sofa surrounded by fresh flowers. Over coffee and 70% cocoa dark chocolate, we're chatting all things copy and marketing. Enjoy!

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A compelling headline – on a landing page, website, social media post – anywhere you’re marketing your business – is the most critical asset for capturing attention. 

So it has to be good. 

It has to speak to your audience directly, taking into account the emotion it stirs up, the benefits it promises, and the problem it solves.

You likely clicked on this blog post because you want to increase your clicks and, most importantly, your conversions (hello iOS15!) You also probably thought, all my time on the headline?

Well, maybe not all your time but the majority of it, for sure. 

A good headline is hard to come by and even harder to write (cut to me after many hours of tapping away on my iMac and pulling out my highlights strand by strand.)

Read on to discover a few ways to make it go a little smoother, and know you’ve nailed it.

WRITE THE HEADLINE LAST!

There’s nothing worse than starting a document with the most crucial line. When you are writing landing pages, especially sales pages, do yourself a favor and start with the straightforward stuff.

Write the rest of the page first, stating the facts (course modules, dates, price, etc.), and paint a picture with details (your life before and after the product/service) before you even attempt to write your headline options.

The beauty of writing the supporting copy first is that something is likely to jump out at you once you’ve finished. A compelling headline should represent what’s to come, a lead-in to make the reader want to learn more about the topic.

When you can capture the essence of the marketing message succinctly in a headline, you’re well on your way to delivering on the promise.

USE PROMPTS TO CRAFT A COMPELLING HEADLINE

Coming up with a headline is the hardest part of the writing process, and sometimes you need a little help. 

While there are many “convert like crazy” templates out there, qualified leads (ones who will purchase from you over time) are drawn to specific words that speak only and directly to them. It’s not as much about the impact as it is about the nuance.

Your customers’ words and phrases are the keys to writing a headline that makes them want to read on. When they can see themselves in the copy, and instantly think, she’s talking to me, they are likely to read on. Then, you have the opportunity to take them through your sales process through the copy.

When you’ve landed the headline, you know it deep down. It hits. It sits. That’s why it’s so important to write at least 50 for a single piece of work. 

Yes, I said 50. 

SETTLE IN AND EXPERIMENT 

When you’ve written everything you need for your landing page, web page, Facebook ad, blog post – whatever it is that you’re writing – I want you to take a deep breath and scan the work.

Look for any phrases or keywords within the copy that sticks out to you. 

Then, start writing. Don’t hold back or judge yourself. Just keep brainstorming line after line, thinking about your goal with the copy and your audience’s primary goal in searching out a product or service.

As you write, the ideas will flow. You’ll likely pick and choose sections from each line and mix and match.

As you go back and edit yourself, new word pairings or sentence structures will emerge, and after you dedicate yourself to writing at least 50 variations, choose the best one.

Walk away from it. Come back and re-read it.

Most importantly, make sure it doesn’t just get the job done. Ideally, a compelling headline should have you scrolling, eager to read more.

That can be hard when you’ve spent hours looking at the same words, so my next piece of advice is to find an editor.

FIND AN EDITOR – ALIVE OR ONLINE!

There’s nothing better than a bit of distance from the screen and another pair of eyes. When you’ve done the work, send your top 10 to a friend, fellow entrepreneur, or editor. 

No editor? Use Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer to get an assessment of how it will land. 

Are you getting my weekly copy-love notes? Sign up here for the goods. 

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Former luxury goods pr director, mama, coffee-obsessed lover of the longread

Hi, I'm Laura.
Your new trusted copywriter & marketing strategist.

I've worked with entrepreneurs and corporate brands to sell their offers and communicate their value for over 15 years.

When you hire me, you benefit from my experience working with the the best marketing minds in the game (Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Michael Kors), because I've learned all I know from working with them.

If you're looking for a seasoned copywriter to capture your voice and the attention of your audience, you've discovered the numbers-obsessed, detail-possessed copywriter you need.

Learn more

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LAURA GATSOS YOUNG

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