Unfortunately, getting the headline right can be difficult. A boring headline may just be the downfall of a well-constructed and well-conceptualised campaign. On the other hand, a good headline can make all the difference in the world and may be capable of dragging a flawed campaign into the upper echelons of success.
It’s an art, really. To represent your entire brand in less than 10 words is not an easy task. And no matter how gregarious your business is with customers, a headline demands a more concise approach.
As the research has shown, 54% of all advertisers found that they had substantial trouble with crafting headlines. But there may be a solution. After scanning and analysing the most popular ads on Google AdWords, we’ve formulated a list of 5 essential headline formulas. Putting one or more of them to use could prove to be the boost your campaign needed. So, let’s take a dive into the art of headlines.
- K.I.S.S – Keep It Super Simple
Your headlines serve a certain purpose. That purpose is not to boast about your marketing genius, but to attract as many people as possible to click on your ad. Therefore, simplicity is the way to go. Simplicity doesn’t tire the brain nor does it require much time or effort to comprehend. The best way to accomplish this is to use action verbs and a maximum number of two adjectives around the given keyword.
Action verbs entice your customers into clicking on the ad, whereas descriptive adjectives play the role of taking the customer’s mind for a trip. The imperative voice is also a good way to start forming the headline. See how “Indulge in delicious pancakes” sounds better than just “Delicious pancakes”.
- Keep it local
Okay, picture this. You’re a resident of Los Angeles and you either have a problem with your deceased uncle’s will, wrinkles on your face or you have bugs in your penthouse apartment. What will you type into the Google search bar? It will probably be something like – Good lawyers LA, plastic surgeon LA or pest control LA. What do these businesses have in common then? They all work strictly on a local basis.
That’s right. The local facet of online advertising is perhaps the slipperiest slope of them all. Not all advertising is done for big, global brands. If your company works on a local level, emphasize it as much as you can! The best way of doing so would be to put the location name in both the headline and in the site link as well as in other extensions. By doing so, you get the best mix of both keyword and location, which will help skyrocket your CTR.
- A question perhaps?
Information is the most valuable thing in the world. However, it’s not necessarily the most efficient way for one to stir up curiosity among potential customers. As such, a question may prove more effective when it comes to this. That’s because questions spark interest. Their role is to entice customers to click on the ad because they want to know the answer to the question asked.
The best ways to use questions in a headline would be to introduce power words into the mix. For instance, a potential headline could be: ‘Last minute party invitation? Get your hands on a fresh and stylish shirt!’ This simple trick will easily make potential customers want to see what kind of shirts you’re offering.
- A number that is too specific to be fake
Research has shown that people put their trust in numbers. Estimates, vague promises or claims don’t usually generate a lot of trust in a business offer, but numbers do. In fact, utilising an exact number in your headline has a great psychological effect on people and the way they perceive what is being offered to them.
Additionally, numbers signal simplicity in our minds. For example, if your tax preparation services save people $48,393 every month, including that number in your headline removes the need for people to think about how useful your services will be for their business. It creates a sense of security and calmness within the minds of your customers. Another strange but nonetheless true fact is that odd numbers tend to outperform even ones by about 30%. One theory is that they’re a noticeable eyesore for people who see them.
Keeping that in mind, the magical formula for the best possible headline would then be – number + location + keywords. For instance: ‘Over 783 hotels in Budapest from $35’. You would literally know everything from the headline alone.
- Negative claims and emphasizing the lack of loss
Robert Cialdini, a renowned psychologist has established a theory which proves that people put more importance on the pain of loss than the potential gain. Meaning that, when we buy new shoes, we tend to think about how much we’re going to spend instead of how comfortable the shoes are going to be.
For example, if you have a book-selling website, state what expenses aren’t included. This dispels negative thoughts and will help to attract more customers.