Landing Page Conversion Optimization Checklist: Headlines

This checklist was originally created for a popular Internet Marketing forum in early 2012 and has since received 4000+ views and 150+ positive reviews. Many of the people that have stumbled upon it have let me know that they don’t think it gets the attention it deserves, and I agree.

Over the next couple months I’ll be rereleasing a section of the checklist each week with updated tips and more in-depth explanations of why each item on the checklist will help you increase conversions.

Get notified of new posts by using the form in the sidebar, or subscribe directly using your favorite RSS reader. At the end of the series you’ll be able to download them all together in a printer-friendly pdf.

If you have any questions or would like to debate the validity of a particular point, I encourage you to leave a comment here or in the comments sections of the corresponding post.

Part 1: Getting Started
Part 2: Headlines
Part 3: Call-to-Action
Part 4: Social Proof
Part 5: The Guarantee
Part 6: Lead Generation
Part 7: The Copy
Part 8: Landing Page Design
Part 9: Prelaunch

Headline and Subheadlines

It’s no secret that a strong headline is essential to the success of your campaign. So important that I often spend more time on the headline than I do on all the rest of the copy. Your headline is your only opportunity to draw prospective clients into reading the rest of your pitch, and ultimately take action on your offer, so you better make sure it’s a good one. The following checklist should help.

_____ Is your landing page’s headline relevant to the ad/source they arrived from?

You want to make sure there’s a smooth transition between the ad and your landing page. Don’t entice them with a story about a 34 year old mother of two that lost 40 lbs., and then direct link them to the diet offer. At best they’ll be confused, at worst they’ll feel deceived. Neither are good options.

_____ Does the headline include your product’s primary benefit?

Your headline needs to instantly convey the value to your customer. It can be tempting to try and be witty with your headline, but prospects are interested in what you can do for them, not how well you can spin a web of words. Be clear, focus on value, and guiding your reader through the rest of the copy will be much easier.

_____ Does the headline tie into the first paragraph of the main body of copy?

Most of the hard work is drawing the reader in with your headline. Don’t waste it all by throwing them off at the very beginning with some irrelevant point.

_____ Does your headline arouse curiosity?

Your headline should make it clear that there’s something in it for the reader, but you don’t want to give everything away in your headline. Otherwise there may not be any reason for them to continue on. The key is to balance clarity with a little mystery.

_____ Do your subheadlines help the reader transition between paragraphs/ideas?

Your subheadlines should help the reader flow through your copy, pick up the points that are relevant to them, and keep them moving to your call to action.

_____ Reading through the headline and subheadlines, from start to finish, does the offer/pitch still make sense?

This is very closely tied to the previous point. Many visitors will skim through your landing page, paying attention only to headlines, and largely ignoring the copy in between. This is especially true of long form sales letters. Copy that can be basically understood, with the headlines/subheadlines alone, will help keep skimmers engaged through to the final call-to-action.

The post Landing Page Conversion Optimization Checklist: Headlines appeared first on Landing Page Copywriter.

Nathan Prescott

Author Nathan Prescott

Technologist, Search Experience Optimizer, Internet Marketer and Conversion Ninja with experience in Finance, Consulting and Media Buying.

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