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« Type, Audio, and Video | Main | What You See ISN'T Always What You Get . . . »

Words with Pizzazz and Razzle Dazzle . . .

During a recent visit to a local shopping mall I ran across this intriguing advertisement:
Flavor-Infused All Beef Delicacy Complemented by a Hand-Crafted Golden Brown Crust.” That is one heck of a way to describe a plan old corn dog.  A few moments later I thought to myself “I wonder if the advertisement would actually entice anyone.” 50 feet later I had my answer, there was a gentleman consuming a “Flavor-Infused All Beef Delicacy.”

Words make a world of difference in how consumers interpret your product or service online.  Aside from the actual copy itself, which is tremendously important, two places everyone should pay close attention to are headlines and link titles. Headlines and link titles represent your first salvo of user enticement.

Are you hooking your reader's interest?


Headlines Provide a Hook
Users and consumers interpret headlines to determine their next course of action with numerous items: web pages, newspapers, magazines, books, etc.  I can’t recall the source, but I do remember one case study that indicated 70% of what people consider reading in a magazine is determined by article headlines.  Consider all the article headlines you find on the cover of your favorite magazine.  Why are they there?

The headline scenario is analogous with the online world.  A great example of powerful headlines can be found on the Yahoo home page.  The links of various articles come in the form of text headlines on the home page.  The more compelling the headline the more likely someone will click on a web page.

Other Important Places of Consideration
Another place where words and supporting copy are critically important is with pay per click campaigns.  Ad position is an important consideration, but the largest differentiator in ad performance is the words you use.  The best performing ads are those with the most compelling copy targeted to a specific niche market.

You should always be thinking of creative ways to draw your user into your product or service.  The first place to start is with a well thought out headline or link title.  Just remember that good copy extends well beyond just the title or headline.

Some Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Do my headlines entice my users to read more or click on your link?
  • After the headline or link title, is rest of the content equal in quality?
  • Have headlines and link titles been tested to determine their effectiveness?
  • If headlines and link titles have been tested, was something done with the data?

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