One of the simplest ways to boost your conversion rate is by tweaking your headline copy. If you don’t believe me, just look at KISSmetrics.com, I was able to boost my conversion rate by 40% by simply adjusting the headline copy.
So, what was the original headline? It was: KISSmetrics helps you get actionable metrics for your business.
And the new one is: Google Analytics tells you what happened, KISSmetrics tells you who did it.
So, how can you boost your conversion rate through headlines? Well, there are a few simple strategies you can test:
Test #1: Solution selling
People are looking for your product or service because you are offering a solution to their problem. If you can clearly identify what their problem is and represent the solution as well as the benefit in the headline, you are likely to increase your conversion rate.
MarketingProfs did a headline test in which they tried solution selling. As a result, they were able to boost their conversion rate by 28%.
Solution selling only works if you know phrases and key words that resonate most closely with your customers. The easiest way to figure out what words your customers like is to survey them. Here are a few questions you can ask them:
- What’s the biggest problem we can help you solve?
- What are you looking for in your ideal solution?
Test #2: Use the word “free”
Who doesn’t like free stuff? For that reason, you should consider using the word “free” in your headlines, assuming you are offering something for free such as a “free trial”.
Highrise did a test in which they added the phrase “free trial” to their headline and boosted their conversion rate by 30%.
If your product or service doesn’t offer a free trial, you can also use pricing phrases within your headline. For example, on Crazy Egg, we found that having the phrase “without the high costs” in our headline converts better than using the phrase “free trial”.
People don’t want to commit to anything they aren’t too familiar with. By reducing their commitment through free trials, reduced prices or even money back guarantees, you can increase your conversion rates. Consider using any one of these three tactics within your headline copy.
Test #3: Create a comparison
We used this tactic with KISSmetrics to boost our conversion rate by 40%. We related our product to Google Analytics, a product with which all of our potential customers are very familiar.
By comparing ourselves to a product our potential customers use, we helped them figure out what we do within seconds. This is the main reason our conversion rate increased.
We also tested a few other headline variations, but the “Google Analytics tells you what happened, KISSmetrics tells you who did it” variation won by 40%.
When you are creating your headline copy, consider testing a version that compares your company against others in your market place.
Test #4: Does your headline match your advertising?
If you create a deceiving headline in hopes to boost your conversion rate, it can potentially hurt.
Your headline shouldn’t just match your body copy, but it should also match your advertising. If the majority of your traffic comes from paid advertising, test unique headlines that are related to specific adverts.
California Closets did a test with their headline, in which they decided to create a variation that was more related to their advertisements.
Can you guess what the end result was? A 115% increase in conversions! That’s huge.
In an ideal world, each of your advertisements should be pointing to a landing page that has a specific headline tailored to your ad.
Test #5: Make your headline a testimonial
This may sound a bit unconventional, but turning your headline into a testimonial could boost your conversion rate.
LKR Social Media did an A/B test in which they turned their headline into a testimonial. This resulted in a 24.31% increase in their conversion rate.
Here is what the original headline looked liked:
And here is the testimonial version:
By changing the headline to “Yours is the only newsletter I actually read”, the company made people feel like they were missing out if they didn’t subscribe to the LKR newsletter.
If you are going to test this approach, make sure you don’t use a really long testimonial as your headline. A headline is supposed to gain someone’s attention and make him or her want to learn more… you can’t do this by having a headline that is a paragraph long.
Test #6: Tell them what they get
Sometimes the straightforward approach is the best one. CityCliq decided to take this approach versus the solution selling approach.
They tested multiple headlines such as:
- Businesses grow faster online!
- Create a webpage for your business.
- Get found faster!
- Online advertising that works!
They found that the straightforward headline of “create a webpage for your business” works better than the solution of “get found faster”. The end result was an 89% increase in signups.
You don’t always have to come up with a creative headline to boost your conversion rate. All you have to do is to tell people what you do in a straightforward and simple fashion.
Test #7: Sequence your headlines
It’s very rare that your conversion funnel only consists of one page. Typically you’ll have a few pages… For example, Crazy Egg has a homepage, pricing page, signup page, and a thank-you page.
In other words, the Crazy Egg funnel consists of four steps, which means there are at least four headlines on that site… one headline per page. By making sure your headlines flow with each other, you are more likely to increase your conversion rates.
The Obama Administration tested sequential headlines during their campaign in which the headline in the second step of their funnel was highly relevant to the headline in step one.
The end result was a 21% increase in conversions. What you should learn from this is that the headlines on each step of your funnel should flow together.
Test #8: Don’t forget sub-headings
Jumpbox did a test with their ads to see if having an ad with a headline converted better or worse than an ad with a headline and sub-heading.
Here is the original version of the ad:
And here is the variation:
Can you guess which version converted better? The version with the sub-heading boosted click-through rates by 88%.
When you are A/B testing, don’t forget to test having a sub-heading versus not having one. In addition to that, test multiple variations of a sub-heading because some may work better than others.
Test #9: Curiosity sells
On my Quick Sprout Traffic System, I used to use a free trial based headline that converted well. The headline was: “Learn how to double your traffic in 30 days for free”, and I couldn’t come up with a variation that would beat it.
My buddy suggested I try this headline instead: “When Amazon, Viacom and NBC need more traffic to their website this is who they call”. Can you guess what the result was?
31.7% increase in conversions. I was shocked considering my original headline made a promise and stated it was “free”. But it didn’t convert as well as the headline that evoked curiosity.
Just because something is working well for you doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement.
Test #10: Time-based headlines
People don’t want to go through a lengthy signup process. And they don’t want to use a product or service that’s complicated and time-consuming.
Within your headlines, you can convey that your signup process is short and that your product it easy to use.
With Crazy Egg, we tested a time based sub-heading that told you our product is easy to use and the signup process is short.
The sub-heading “View your heatmap & get started in less than 60 seconds” boosted our signup conversion rate by 16.2% compared to the sub-heading “You’re just 1 step away from viewing your heatmap”.
Some of the headline ideas I showed you above may boost your conversion rate, while others may not. Don’t just assume that what works for one site will work for you even if that site is in the same space.
You need to continually A/B- test your headlines, and you need to do it in a logical way. The last thing you want to do is to pull headline ideas out of your butt and test them. If you do, you’ll just end up with a lot of losing tests. Instead, you need to survey your visitors, get an understanding of what they want to see and then show it to them.
Before I even run a headline A/B test, I create a fake landing page with the new headline variation and a call-to-action. The call-to-action doesn’t go anywhere because I am simply tracking how many people click on it. I then buy Google AdWords traffic to that junk landing page to see if people resonate with the new headline by clicking on the call-to-action. If they do, I then start an A/B test.
What other ways can you create high converting headlines?