by J. R. Beach
long does it take to make a first impression? On the fast-paced internet
you're likely to get less than 15 seconds. That's all they'll spend on your
opening page unless you grab visitors with something that interests them.
And if you've spent effort and dollars to attract visitors, you don't want to lose them in the time it takes to back out of the driveway. After all, if you've got something to sell, you're not looking for "hits", you're looking for sales. The only item someone will buy in fifteen seconds is a face-value ticket to the Super Bowl.
With the advent of simpler, fast-loading sites with fewer graphics, headlines and text may be the most important tools you have during those 15 seconds.
The objective of a headline is to interest the visitor in reading the text. Plain and simple. Without a well-written headline, visitors will never go far enough to investigate the details of what you've got to offer. You don't sell with a headline. That's the job of your text. All you want to do is get the reader to desire more information.
--Choose the right words
First, certain subjects create more interest than others.
Among the most effective are money, wealth, love, health and safety. Practice writing three or four headlines using those subjects.
There are also words that seem to attract greater interest than others.
Here are some of those words:
Now re-write your headlines incorporating those words.
And, of course, many effective headlines start with "How to." or "How you can."
--Use a question
Here are some other ways to incorporate a question into your headline:
--Experiment with your headlines
--Put a tracking system in place
Writing Effective Website Text
W T M T Y I
A technique I've used for years to help turn features into benefits, WTMTYI is an abbreviation for "what that means to you is.". For every feature your product has, think "what that means to you is." and complete the sentence. You'll have a benefit. "This quality vehicle has a turbo-charged six that generates 280 horsepower (and what that means to you is) You'll have plenty of power to maneuver in traffic and enough acceleration to feel comfortable motoring onto the expressway, and that's important, don't you think?"
--Quality over quantity
--Appeal to emotion rather than logic
--Don't use hype
If they're smart enough to navigate the web, assume they're smart enough to see through hype (and they've likely seen enough of it). If your product or service is worthy, it doesn't need hype. Besides, to make repeat or referral sales, you want to deliver more than you've promised. You can't do that if you've promised the world.
--Avoid incorporating incomprehensible vernacular to persuade your constituents
--Use proper grammar
-Use a spell check program. Let it do the work for you.
There are numerous sources of additional help on website selling. One of the top sources is http://www.sitesell.com/ operated by Ken Evoy, M.D.