Headlines That Increase Website Traffic and Conversion Rates


 Marketing research from MarketingExperiements.com shows that headlines are the most important factor if you are striving to increase website traffic and website conversion rates.

In an experiment, in which various elements of a website were tweaked to determine which would have the greatest impact on conversion, having an effective headline was more important than changing elements of the landing page or shopping cart process. In fact, changing a headline generated 29 percent more leads. That’s close to one-third more leads.

Let me pause a moment though. For those of you who aren’t sure what the term ‘website conversion rates’ is, it’s the ratio of visitors to buyers on your site. So, if you have 100 visitors and only 1 person buys, you have a 1% conversion rate.

Okay, back on track.

While quality and informative content is a must, the headline is kind-of-like the magnet for your website. It’s what will attract the surfer/browser to stop, pay attention, follow what’s going on, and follow the process to opt-in or buy.

As a writer/marketer, you need to have your message focused on what the customer’s interests are. This is especially critical for the headline. You need to craft a headline that will (1) quickly grab a surfer or visitor’s attention and (2) clearly define the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) or the value. If the visitor knows what the benefits are, he’ll be more receptive to ‘following the yellow brick road’ you have in place for conversion.

To increase website traffic and website conversion rates, the most effective headlines are ‘value-centric.’ This relates to number one and two above. You need to ‘hit’ the target customer’s interests and you need to convey the value of opting-in to your mailing list or buying what you’re offering. And, you need to let the visitor know just how significant the benefit/s will be.

An effective title might be: Get Paid to Guest Blog.

In five simple words you’re telling the reader what the benefit is and what’s involved.

“The Value Litmus Test,” an article at ValueCentricSelling.com, explains that along with having the value front and center, you should also provide the ‘timeline.’ This is another factor that will help increase website traffic.

The timeline is the length of time it will take the customer to achieve the benefits. This may not always be applicable to your product or service, but when it is it’s important to include it.

Finally, the headline and offered value must be credible, in other words realistic and actually doable.

Here are two headline examples:

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How to Get Increased Traffic to Your Website in One Day

The example headlines/titles above each have a value proposition. They’re each promising a benefit and a specific timeline. The writer or marketer must be sure the promises/claims stated are realistic. But, even more than realistic, the value proposition must be believable. If the visitor wonders if it’s really possible, you’ve lost him.

So, breaking it all down, there are four elements to an effective headline that will increase website traffic and increase website conversion rates:

1. Grab the reader’s attention by focusing on his interests
2. Convey the value or benefit of what you’re offering
3. Provide a timeline, if applicable
4. Make sure the headline ‘promise’ is believable and doable

Add these elements to your headlines to generate and increase website traffic that will be receptive to your offers. It will also go a long way in boosting website conversion rates.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and successful children’s ghostwriter/rewriter. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move and an author online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

If you need help with your author platform, check out Karen's e-classes through WOW:



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Margaret Fieland said...

Karen, thanks for the informative article.

Heidiwriter said...

Good one! I understand there are certain "buzzwords" that catch the attention of the on-line search engines.

Karen Cioffi said...

Peggy, glad you found the article informative!

Karen Cioffi said...

Heidi, I would think that 'buzzwords' are 'keywords.' The more searches for a particular keyword the more search engine juice it has (it will be quickly picked up by the search engines).

As an example, the keywords or tags for this article are: article headlines, marketing research, online marketing, website conversion rates, website traffic.

I do research on which keywords are getting substantial searches and will use those in my online marketing.

I hope this helps.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

And let's not forget to apply Karen's techniques to e-mail subject lines, too! (-: Especially the ones that head up query letters and media releases.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Excited about how much the new edition of the Frugal Book Promoter (expanded! updated!) can help writers with the tried and true and the new media, too. Now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) it the original edition was also a Reader Views winner and an Irwin Award winner.

Karen Cioffi said...

Carolyn, thanks for the great reminder!

I was on a recent webinar and the presenter explained that almost everything has a title that should be optimized, including blog posts, videos, ebooks/books, the list goes on and on.

Magdalena Ball said...

How many of us just put in our headlines as an after thought. Thanks for the reminder Karen of how important they are.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

A great post Karen that makes the concept understandable. I don't often think about timeline as a part of the headline.

Karen Cioffi said...

Maggie, that's been the purpose of some of my articles, to make writers (and we're all now marketers too) aware of the importance of optimization.

Karen Cioffi said...

Mary Jo, most of us don't think about adding a time frame into our titles, including me. But it is a proven strategy to grab a reader.

Karen Cioffi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne Duguid Knol said...

Another useful article as always Karen. You break everything down step by step so well and make the idea easy to follow.
Many thanks,

Karen Cioffi said...

Annie, thanks so much. I'm glad my posts are easy to understand!

Unknown said...

I found few of website but this website very unique and so many interesting information in here. I have come to know lots from this blog. Looking forward for more.

Increase conversion

Karen Cioffi said...

Jessie, thanks for stopping by. To be honest, I'm not sure if your comment is simply a lead back to the site you're promoting. You didn't mention any specifics about the post itself.

But, since I'm not sure, I'll leave the comment.

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