You might be a terrific copywriter, but if you can’t write great headlines, no one is ever going to know. Why? Because it is a headline that stands out that leads to content being read. Boring headlines that blend are almost always skimmed over, whereas great headlines get the reader's attention, and they stop to find out more by reading the content.
Think about this for a minute. Which of these are you more likely to read? “Man jumps from 20 storey building.” Or “Man launches himself from a 20 storey building and survives through ingenuity.” The second one right? That’s because the first headline is boring and mundane. There’s nothing that makes you want to read further, whereas the second heading grabs your attention – he launches himself – what does that mean? And ingenuity – what does he do to survive – you want to know.
This isn’t news – those who have been writing sales copy have long known the power of a heading and that making their heading work for them was tied directly to the success of the sales copy. This applies to all writing actually. Give it a good heading and the reader will appear.
One technique to making a good headline is to use keywords in the heading that are relevant to what the content will be about. That will help your writing place better in the search engines and that means readers interested in your specific topic will have a much easier time finding what you have written.
You can be an amazing copywriter but if your writing is not placing well in the search engines, no one is going to be able to find you and so your writing will not get read. That’s definitely not what you want to happen. So not ony should you tweak that headline with your keyword, make sure you have about a 2% keyword density throughout your content to help you place well in the search engines.
While our example used an overly long headline, it is actually best if you can keep your headline on the shorter side. That’s because shorter headlines are easier to read and easier to grasp, especially online where readers are spending most of their time skimming and spot reading.
A career as a copywriter can be very rewarding, and pay well, but the competition is high so you are going to need to be ‘the best of the best.’ Remember it all begins with a good headline – well at least that’s a good place to start.