Every element on your landing page performs a unique function for your visitor. For example:
- The headline captures their attention and entices them to stay on the page
- The copy acquaints them with your offer
- The testimonial reassures them of the success of your product or service
- The lead capture form collects visitor information
- The call-to-action button gets you the conversion
Collecting a lead and getting a conversion seems like the most vital function on this list, don't they?
None of these functions are possible without convincing the visitor to stay on your page in the first place — i.e., your landing page headline's purpose.
Why are landing page headlines so important?
The great David Ogilvy said this about headlines.
"On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."
Your headline is the first thing your visitor sees when they land on the page. Make a great first impression with your headline, and the visitor stays; make a bad one, and they bounce. It's as simple as that.
So, what types of headlines make great impressions?
This is the million-dollar question we sought to answer and why we analyzed countless landing page headlines.
Our analysis shows that all effective headlines share a few essential characteristics and that some perform better than others.
Here's the game plan for today: First, we'll discuss the common characteristics all great headlines share. Then, we'll show examples of headlines that will help your landing pages convert.
Three characteristics of effective landing page headlines
There are many other things to consider when writing compelling headlines. But, regardless of whether your landing page is promoting a free trial for your SaaS, or a discount coupon for your nail salon, the headline will only be compelling if it possesses the following three characteristics:
A headline should never be ambiguous, vague, or beat around the bush with metaphors. It gets right to the point and connects with the visitor as soon as they land on the page.
How did your visitor come to your landing page? Was it a display ad they clicked or a Google search ad? Your headline and the ad connected to it must have a message match and be relevant to each other. If your ad says "free trial" and your landing page headline doesn't mention a trial, you can bet your visitors will bounce.
All great headlines empathize with the visitor's problem. Headlines demonstrate the product's benefits and reassure visitors that their problem can be solved.
When you craft great headlines, your visitors will likely stay on the page and convert on your offer. If your headline fails to impress, your visitors will abandon the page.
The best headlines don't rely on clickbait. They shouldn't purposefully withhold information. Instead, they offer visitors something promising that they go through the rest of the landing page and eventually click the call to action button.
This is what Disruptive Advertising does with its PPC services landing page. Technically, it's a service page, but the agency uses it for many of its Google Ads and PPC campaigns. Although we disagree with having so many distractions (links) on the page, the headline includes the right mix of emotions and statistical proof.
First, they entice the visitor with this display ad headline:
"68% of AdWords budgets are wasted." This statistic is something anyone investing in pay-per-click campaigns will want to know so that they don't make the same mistake. Therefore, they click the ad, just like we did.
The landing page connected with the ad offers visitors another horrifying statistic:
"61% of PPC ad spend fails to produce a single conversion" shows prospects that Disruptive Advertising has done the research and implies they know what they're doing with PPC account management.
Furthermore, the subheadline perfectly complements the headline here.
The main headline was pretty clear by itself. However, saying "you deserve better" in Disruptive Advertising establishes empathy with the visitor. Plus, both the ad and landing page headline mention failed PPC stats. That's the headline trifecta: a clear headline, message matching, and numerical proof.
It would be best if you aimed to do this with your landing page headlines.
Effective headlines must also link clearly between the ad and the page. They shouldn't make the mistake Clever Zebo makes with their landing page.
This is a Clever Zebo ad we came across while doing research:
The ad headline is enticing because Clever Zebo promises they can solve your LinkedIn advertising problem.
However, when you click the ad, this is where you land:
This is not a dedicated landing page. Instead, it's a testimonial page that links to user case studies. This is not what we expected, and I'm sure neither did other visitors who clicked the ad.
You can achieve the headline trifecta with these 3 most effective landing page headlines:
1. The "to the point" headline
This type of headline is direct, comes right out, and says what it's all about without being clever.
To the point, headlines work great if your target audience doesn't have the time to appreciate humorous headlines. In this case, analyze your buyer personas and craft your headlines accordingly
Having this type of headline on your webinar landing page is a good idea because it easily conveys your subject matter to your target audience.
Uberflip's webinar landing page headline is a good example:
"Secrets of B2B Content Marketing Success with Influencers" is a crystal clear headline. It explains everything the webinar has to offer in a single line. Even if you don't read the rest of the copy, you'll still know what the webinar is about. So, you can decide whether you want to click the call-to-action button simply by reading the headline.
Your headline should address your visitor and not commit the cardinal sin of talking about your company.
This is the mistake TopRank Marketing makes with their page headline:
" Let TopRank Marketing's Approach to Content Marketing Take Your Audience From Prospects to Customers" is not going to do this landing page any favors.
Don't forget your landing page is where you talk about your customers. There is no "our and we" in the headline; that's what your website is for. Your landing page headline should only talk about your customers.
The headline could be better if it just read "Learn how to take your audience from prospects to customers," because then it would be talking about the customer and not boasting about the company.
2. The "how to" headline
This type of headline provides an answer to a particular problem that your visitors are experiencing. It establishes empathy with your visitors by telling them how to eliminate something that pains them.
The "how to" headline doesn't necessarily have to include this phrase in the headline; however, it should provide a workable solution to the visitors' problem.
For example, when someone doing a Google search for "how to set up a secure shopping cart" sees a Shopify ad and clicks it, they will be directed to the landing page below. Once on the page, they're instantly provided with an answer to their "how to" question:
3. The "number" headline
A "number or statistical" headline attaches a number value to your value proposition. Sure, narrative headlines work, but numbered headlines get your prospects to visualize exactly what they'll be getting from your product or service.
Salesforce showcases the success of its service with this number headline:
4. The "action" headline
An "action" headline commands your visitors to do a specific action, a deed that will benefit them or prevent them from some loss. This authoritative approach has been known to work wonders for conversions.
The SumoMe headline does this:
So does the Moz headline:
Both headlines are action-packed because they tell the visitor to perform a specific task by telling them to click the call to action button.
Use AI to write your headlines
There are a few reasons why you might want to let an AI write your landing page headline. First, AI can help you to create headlines that are more likely to grab attention and convert readers into customers. Second, AI can help you to create headlines that are more likely to be remembered.
Click here to use Jounce AI to help you write winning headlines for your landing pages.
Your headline is the most important part of your landing page because it will make people want to stay on your page and learn more about your product or service.
The four most effective headlines you can use are:
- The "to the point" headline
- The "how to" headline
- The "number" headline
- The "action" headline