Sunday, October 20, 2013

How to Create Headlines That Increase Website Traffic and Website Conversion Rates

By Karen Cioffi

Marketing research from MarketingExperiements.com shows that headlines are the most important factor if you are striving to increase website traffic and website conversion rates.

In an experiment, in which various elements of a website were tweaked to determine which would have the greatest impact on conversion, having an effective headline was more important than changing elements of the landing page or shopping cart process. In fact, changing a headline generated 29 percent more leads. That’s close to one-third more leads.

Let me pause a moment though. For those of you who aren’t sure what the term ‘website conversion rates’ is, it’s the ratio of visitors to buyers on your site. So, if you have 100 visitors and only 1 person buys, you have a 1% conversion rate.

Okay, back on track.

While quality and informative content is a must, the headline is kind-of-like the magnet for your website. It’s what will attract the surfer/browser to stop, pay attention, follow what’s going on, and follow the process to opt-in or buy.

As a writer/marketer, you need to have your message focused on what the customer’s interests are. This is especially critical for the headline. You need to craft a headline that will (1) quickly grab a surfer or visitor’s attention and (2) clearly define the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) or the value. If the visitor knows what the benefits are, he’ll be more receptive to ‘following the yellow brick road’ you have in place for conversion.

To increase website traffic and conversion rates, the most effective headlines are ‘value-centric.’ This relates to number one and two above. You need to ‘hit’ the target customer’s interests and you need to convey the value of opting-in to your mailing list or buying what you’re offering. And, you need to let the visitor know just how significant the benefit/s will be.

An effective title might be: Get Paid to Guest Blog.

In five simple words you’re telling the reader what the benefit is and what’s involved.

“The Value Litmus Test,” an article at ValueCentricSelling.com, explains that along with having the value front and center, you should also provide the ‘timeline.’ This is another factor that will help increase website traffic.

The timeline is the length of time it will take the customer to achieve the benefits. This may not always be applicable to your product or service, but when it is it’s important to include it.

Examples of this timeline strategy are:

Write an Ebook in 7 Days
Get Website Traffic in One Day
Lose 5 Pounds in 7 Days

Finally, the headline and offered value must be credible, in other words realistic and actually doable.

The example headlines/titles above each have a value proposition. They’re each promising a benefit and a specific timeline. The writer or marketer must be sure the promises/claims stated are realistic. But, even more than realistic, the value proposition must be believable. If the visitor wonders if it’s really possible, you’ve lost him.

So, breaking it all down, there are four elements to an effective headline that will increase a site’s traffic and conversion rates:

1. Grab the reader’s attention by focusing on his interests
2. Convey the value or benefit of what you’re offering
3. Provide a timeline, if applicable
4. Make sure the headline ‘promise’ is believable and doable

Add these elements to your headlines to generate and increase website traffic that will be receptive to your offers. It will also go a long way in boosting website conversion rates.

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18 comments:

  1. Thank you, Karen, for sharing this important info! Good to know that something as simple as the headline can make a difference enabling writers to reach our target audience.

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  2. Suzanne, you're very welcome. I'm so glad you found the post helpful. Titles are the initial grabbing factor.

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  3. Interesting and valuable information. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Good information to remember. Thank you, Karen.

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  5. Hi, Karen. Great information. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

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    1. Susanne, glad you found the post informative!

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  6. Great info, Karen. For one who blogs once every week, this is thought-provoking. I'll go back & check my titles & traffic to compare. Thank you.

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    1. Janet, sometimes it's a very simple change or tweak that will make a big difference. You can post about your findings!

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  7. Great information! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Thanks for a great read ! I love it. I love it so much, that the greedy visual-data gnome in me wants more !

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