Any sales copywriter will tell you the headline is the most important element on the page.
If you don’t get the headline right, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of the page is, because nobody will read it.
Copywriters know this. And online content writers need to understand it too.
David Ogilvy, one of the greatest copywriters of the last century, used to say that once you have written the headline you have spent about 80 cents of every dollar your client will spend on that ad.
Put another way… 80% of your visitors read the headline, but only 20% will read the body of the page.
He made his observation about writing ads.
But you can say the same – and do the same math – when you look at the creation of content online.
If your headline fails to grab attention and make people want to keep reading, watching or listening… then that entire piece of content just failed.
This makes content headlines the single greatest point failure for all the content companies create.
Until you think of the flipside to that.
Headlines are also the greatest single point of opportunity for every page or screen of content.
Imagine if you could get more than just 20% of visitors to keep reading or viewing the content below the headline.
Move the dial a little. To 25% or 30%. More even.
Now do the math and see what that means in terms of additional revenues over the next 12 months.
That number is going to vary from company to company. But for any company that invests seriously in content marketing, even the 5% move from 20% to 25% is going to be a very, very big deal.
And, of course, the content writer who delivers that kind of improvement is going to be a huge hero.
Think about that.
If you write online content, this is a quick win for you.
Just improve your headlines a little, and you get an outsized improvement to the results from every page you create. And an outsized increase in your value to that client and any others you work with.
As I say in the headline to this post… Master the headline, and you master the page.
I can’t think of any other way in which an online writer can increase his or her value so quickly, and in such a clear and measurable way.
Which is why I invested several months in putting together a short-form course that teaches the craft of headline-writing for online content.
The course is called How to Write Better Headlines – For Content, Email and Social Media.
If you found this post helpful, sign up for my e-newsletter and get a free copy of my 35-page guide…
Writing For The Web #1 — 7 Challenges every Writer and Copywriter faces when writing for the Web.
Sign up and I’ll send you the link for the download, and then you’ll receive my most recent post as part of my e-newsletter every Tuesday morning.
(Your email address will be used only for the purpose of sending you this newsletter, and you’ll be free to unsubscribe at any time.)