It certainly is no secret that when browsing through both online and print reading material, we have a tendency to dive-in with much interest to some articles, and quickly pass over others. It is also very clear that as a business owner, we most definitely want any content related to our business promotion to be heartily devoured and always recommended.
The articles that we, and everyone else, choses to read are not selected by chance. The copywriting involved in successful articles is quite carefully crafted, filled with compelling content, aimed at specific audiences, and worded very intently. Content read most often is clear and concise, direct, and factual.
The most important aspect of successful copywriting is the craft of a compelling headline. Eight of 10 readers will simply view a headline and continue browsing, while only 20% of readers will actually delve into the article’s content. Without a headline to secure a reader’s attention, 80% of potential eyes are already long gone. Thus, the title of an article determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.
Items to keep in mind when crafting an excellent title or headline:
- Naming Keywords – Your headline MUST contain keywords related to your business, the article, and the message you are conveying. You want to speak the language of the intended audience. Doing so will attract more readers, tweets, likes, and links. This will all lead to more traffic right back to you and your business.
- Expressing Benefits – In the split second that potential readers are deciding whether or not to read your article, they is asking themselves, “how will reading this benefit me?” What, specifically, is the information contained in your article going to do for the readers? Terms like “Reasons for…” “Secrets to…” “Types of…” “Ways to…” “How to…” draw a reader’s attention immediately.
- Bulleting – Breaking up your content into visually appealing pieces is much more inviting to a reader pressed for time, rather than one large page of prose. Too much on the page is simply overwhelming for average readers who are most assuredly pressed for time.
- Being Concise – The ideal length of an online article is approximately 300-500 words. Simply said, “get your point across.” Anything less than 300 words leaves a feeling of incompletion. Anything more than 500 risks lost viewers. Readers and customers are looking for beneficial information, fast. Novels and recreational reading are for another time.
Each and every element of compelling copy has but one purpose: to successfully compel the reader to complete the next sentence. Ensure your success:
- Capture attention with an excellent headline using keywords
- Fulfill the promise promoted in the title
- Convey your message clearly
- Follow up with a summary of the most important parts of the message
Ashley Kipp is an accomplished writer whose work has been featured in several national publications, including Bicycling Magazine, Inside Tri, Backpacker, and HerSportsFitness. Currently, she is a Project Specialist on the Propel team. Learn more about her here!