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Website Writing Tips - Headlines

Why Copywriting Contenders Need Knockout Headlines

By Simon Hillier

There is a reason why few boxers make good web copywriters, and most internet copywriters make pathetic pugilists. We’re complete oxymorons (no pun intended). During a world title fight the other night one of the corner men told his boxer to, “Kill the body and the head will fall”.

As web copywriters, we are always being reminded to keep our keyword phrases and fresh content up. This constant brainwashing can often result in too much time being spent giving the body copy a good working over. We forget that those short sharp sentences and booming verbs won't make an impact on our readers if we don't land a knockout headline upfront.

In other words, before stepping in the ring with that business website, sales letter, blog post or article a copywriter needs to turn things around and remember, “Kill the headline, or the body will fall”.

5 questions to ask yourself about your headline:

1. Does it reveal the main idea behind the page?
2. Does it relate to the content?
3. Will it make your audience eager to find out more?
4. Are the words short, common, colourful, powerful and specific? If they are vague or too clever you will lose your reader.
5. Would you read the body copy if you saw this headline?

Your headline needs to:

  • Focus on the key benefit of your product/service
  • Promote a solution to a problem
  • Grab your readers attention straight away
  • Encourage them to read the sub heads
  • Use an active voice
  • Be in both upper and lower case rather than shouting in capitals
  • Include your main keyword  

Use these combinations every time you step into the writing ring and your audience will soon be up on their feet shouting "Copywriter bombaye!"  You'll also grab the attention of those powerful promoters Google, Yahoo and MSN and their millions of potential viewers - in other words, your page copy becomes far more search engine optimised (SEO). As Don King would say, "Only on the Internet!". 

Simon Hillier is a copywriting specialist based in Sydney, Australia. His company, Get There Writing Services can help turn your ideas into words for the web, print copy, e-newsletters, articles, ebooks and scripts that speak to your target audience and make you shine on Google. For more articles and further information visit his website http://www.getthere.com.au