Discover how small changes in your approach to copywriting can make for much strong headlines when you write for the web. Web copywriting expert Nick Usborne shares some of his closely guarded secrets.
Why Writing Headlines for the Web is Different
By Nick Usborne
Writing for the Web is different than writing for any other mediums. Advertisements on TV, on the radio, through direct mail, or in a magazine all have one thing in common. They all interrupt what you are doing and vie for your attention against whatever task was already engaging you.
But the Web is different. And so writing for the Web is different, too.
People find Web pages through search engines… at least most of the time. That’s significant. It means that a visitor to your site found you… and they found you because they were looking for you. They had an objective, they did a search based on that objective and your site came up.
That’s why we have SEO copywriters-they understand the differences between Web copy and print copy, and they know how to tailor copy to reach both search engines and human visitors. They provide the link, so to speak, between the search engine, the site, and the visitor. And they do that through the proper use of keywords.
When it comes to SEO copywriting and writing effective web copy, the headline is critical. Because your visitors have sought you out, the first thing they do when they arrive at your page from a search engine is check that they are in the right place. Are you really what they were looking for?
Your headline has to address that question right away. You want the visitor to say, “Great! This is just what I was looking for!”
The main objective of a headline on the Web is to assure visitors they’re come to the right place.
If I were to write a headline for AWAI’s Ultimate Travel Writer’s program in a print promotion, it might read…
“How to travel the world free and grow your bank account while doing it.”
But on the Web, my approach is a bit different …
“The Ultimate Travel Writer’s program – Your ticket to free travel and a fast growing bank account.”
By including “The Ultimate Travel Writer’s program” right up front in my headline, I signal visitors exactly what the page is about. Anyone who searched for “travel writers program” or a similar phrase will feel know they’ve found what they are looking for. I’ll get that magic response: “Great! This is just what I was looking for!”