How to Create Compelling Headlines

How to Create Compelling Headlines

Great Headline

This article comes from a webinar by the Convert Academy held by Carlos Del Rio, the Director of Conversion, Analysis and Data Strategy at Unbounce. The presentation is on how you can create awesome landing pages and the various factors you need to consider. To see Del Rio’s entire presentation, here’s the link to the webinar

Del Rio has also authored a book titled ‘User Driven Change. Give Them What They Want’ which talks about picking web traffic data and what visitors try to accomplish on your site. What makes a good headline? This is a large enough topic by its own and this article will try to break it down based on what was highlighted by the conversion optimization doyens at Unbounce.

Constructing a Good Headline

So, what does constitute a good headline? According to Del Rio, the answer is simple – adding value. Here are four useful questions you should ask yourself when putting together a headline:

  1. What is the visitor going to get on your site which they are not going to get someplace else?
  2. Is it going to be a story they never heard before stumbling on your page?
  3. Is it a better price for the goods and services they are looking for?
  4. Is it better customer service you are promising to deliver?

Great Headline

Three Sides to a Coin

The secret here is if they feel like they are headed in the right direction, they will be very patient with you. Let’s take an example that was used in the webinar.

There are two slides featuring black and white images. One image is a man’s, and the other a woman’s. Both are looking directly at the viewer and it is a case of which is more effective at portraying the intended message. This is where testing comes in handy. One of the images shows a man smiling, peacefully done. The other on the right takes a more business-like look – a professional lady. Now these are the two issues to think about when you’re communicating. There is certainly a big difference and the effect on the viewer isn’t guaranteed to be the same.

The thing you should think about when including such images on any of your pages is the kind of feeling you want people to have when they are thinking about your brand and products. Would you want them to feel that you are cool and professional (like the lady in our example) or do you want them to get the feeling that you’re warm and approachable (like the gentleman on the left). Herein lies the secret: whenever you are including such images, you need to make sure their eyes are pointing toward the action.

[Tweet “Your headlines need to be attractive. They need to evoke a feeling that makes one feel like, ‘Yes! this is what I want!”]

Avoiding Distractions

When images are directly looking at the viewers, people are wont to think about the person rather than your products and services. As such, whenever you are using people as your major image elements, make sure that you are establishing that line directly proportional to their eyes – with their bodies that is. In addition, ensure they are facing the object you want the viewer to take an action upon.

Recommended Resource:  Best Pricing Practices or Conventional Wisdom?

By doing this, you are having them visualize themselves holding the product, for example. Think about which approach might be the right answer for your particular clients. Test them against each other to know which converts better. Test products in action or the result of a service versus a product by itself or representation of the service. Click here to view the presentation in its entirety.

Originally published October 27, 2014 - Updated August 08, 2019
Dennis van der Heijden
Co-founder and CEO of passionate in building communities that care. Trying to make that happen inside and outside Convert. I love working with my team to make our A/B testing software better for agencies and e-commerce clients.
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