7 Tips on Homepage headlines

6-12 words are that stand between you and a higher click-thru rate. These words are your Homepage headline, and are arguably the most important words on your site. That’s because five times more people read the headline as the body copy.

Below are 8 steps to writing a great Homepage headline:

1. Write the headline last

First write the body copy, assuring you convey all the key messages required. When you feel you’ve written copy that will lure visitors further, then tackle the headline.

2. Write for only 25% of traffic

Don’t try write for 100% of your traffic. If you try to make everyone happy, you’ll make no one happy. Figure out for which people your product or service is best. Write for those likely to give your product a chance and spread the word.

3. Describe your most desired & unique feature or benefit

Once you know who you’re speaking to, you then need to know what to say. Find the one thing that is both unique to your business and desirable to your target audience. Then write it down. This is the basis for your Homepage.

4. Write 10-15 headline options

Take the line you just wrote and play with it. Shorten it. Lengthen it. Elevate the benefit. Try to come up with variations on it. You’re turning it into the ultimate headline. Don’t hold back. Don’t limit yourself. And don’t delete any.

5. Delete the stinkers

There’s a lot to be learned from bad work, it’s often the seed for a great idea. But sometimes bad is bad. Go through your list and delete the worst ones. Especially those that start with “We” or “Our”.

6. Experiment on the page

At this point a few of the headlines should begin to stand out. Look at these in context of the page. Imagine you’re a visitor. Does the headline grab you? Ask others if the headline is interesting enough to grab their attention. A few will fail. Let them go. Save the best 5.

7. Use SEO keywords like a pro

SEO is your last consideration in this process. That’s because you want a winning website that keeps traffic, instead of a lot of random traffic. Find the winning headline first and then plug-in your primary SEO keywords. Now make sure it still reads well and makes clear sense to human readers.