How To Create Standout Headlines

standout headlines - golf balls

We all want stand out headlines, right?

Assume I visited your home. How would I enter? Through the window, or the backdoor. Surely you’ve reserved the chimney for good ol’ Santa. So where do I enter?

Why through the door, right?

And when you write copy, what’s your door? Why the headline. So think about it. How many obstacles would you put in the way, if you wanted me to enter? What a silly question, eh? You’d make darned sure you freed up the entry to the doorway, so I could get in quickly.

Not true.

Most websites seem to do just the opposite. They put in barriers. They put in dozens of distractions. And if by chance their customers do get to the door, they’re now confused. Are they standing at the door, or was there a door before?

Your doorway is your headline

So if you want the world to see your headline, what should you do? Why, you’d do what any sensible homeowner would do.

1) You’d make your doorway prominent.
2) You’d make your doorway different, somehow.
3) You’d make your doorway free of obstructions.

1) Making the doorway prominent

So how does this translate to websites, for instance? If you look at headlines, you’ll find that most websites have headlines that are weak and wimpy. Look at the headline in this article. You’ll find that it’s kinda Arnold Schwarzwhateverhisnameis.

And you’ll find that your eye went to the headline in a fraction of a second. That I didn’t need to put flashing lights and dancing girls around the headline for you to take notice. I just had to make it bold. And prominent. So that you can instantly see the ‘door’ and know that hey, this is a headline.

2) You’d have to make your doorway different
When I say different, you’re probably confused. Yes, you can see the boldness of the headline, but won’t that be enough? No, no, no, no, no. That ain’t enough. A headline needs to be different. As in, different font. Or different colour. Or different size. Not just bold, but different. A boring doorway doesn’t get noticed. And an overdone doorway is laughed at.

But a doorway that’s elegant and stands out, is one that’s starting to get (and keep) your customer’s attention. So yes, notice how the font is ‘serif’ vs. the copy that’s ‘sans-serif’ (Georgia vs. Verdana). Notice how the colour is red vs. the text being black. Notice that the point size is 18 while the text point size is 12. It’s the little things that make it a headline. It’s the itsy-bitsy fundamentals that make it prominent and say, “Hey, you, the welcome mat’s here!”

3) You’d have to remove the darn obstructions
Don’t give me ten lines to read. I don’t want to read that stuff. I want to read your headline. I want to know if I qualify. Don’t put your testimonials in front of your headline (unless the testimonial ‘is’ the headline). Don’t put twenty billion links and stupid photos.

Sit down. And count the hoops that customers have to jump through to get to your headline and remove those hoops. Chop anything that’s getting in the way of your doorway, ruthlessly. Yes, chop, chop, chop.

Your headline is your main attractor
It’s what most of your customers read. It’s what gets them to read the next fifty words, that then slides them down into the next fifty words, and so on. Make your doorway bold, and different, and without obstructions.

Us mortals have to find your doorway. Santa on the other hand, can manage quite well, thank you 🙂

About the author

Sean D'Souza

Sean D'Souza is a writer, marketing guru and expert on sales psychology. Read more by Sean on