Your website content has a job to do: keep people reading until they take action. And that job begins — and hinges upon — your headline.
Your headline is by far the most important element on your page. It has to cut through the clutter, entice people to click, and then convince them to continue reading. And that’s the key, because on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.*
That’s why every single page of your website needs to have strong headlines and subheads. But what does a strong headline look like — and how do you write one? Read on.
General Headline Writing Tips
In our article 13 Expert-Proven Tips for Writing the Ultimate Blog Headline, we round up our favorite tactical advice (so definitely check it out). But here are the high-level tips:
- Create a swipe file to keep track of headlines you like, and refer back to it for inspiration.
- Spend half of your time writing on the headline.
- Be specific. No vague language. Promote the facts.
- Make an audacious promise of something valuable.
- Make sure it stands alone, and can be understood out of context.
- Avoid crafting titles at the expense of clarity. Don’t try too hard to be clever or cute.
- Try different styles that have proven to be successful, such as the list headline (“Top 10…), the why headline (“Why Our School?…), the “How To…” headline, etc.
Headlines for School Website Pages
Your school website headlines need to do a few things:
- Let the reader know where they are within your website
- Demonstrate the value the reader will get from exploring that specific page
- Entice them to read on for further information
I find that headlines that make a promise or prompt some type of action are the most successful. For example, focusing on the outcome of a certain program or service is much more effective than simply offering the program name.
This shows how a program name can be paired with a subhead or explanation text that makes a promise. On their own, the program/page names may not be enough to hook the reader.
This style leads with the outcome in order to capture attention, and then links to the specific program for more information. This works well as part of a home page design.
The question style opens the conversation and tells readers that they will get an immediate answer. This style also incorporates both the program and the university name, which is great for SEO purposes.
Headlines for School Blog Posts
Blog headlines are a little different than website pages because they really need to capture attention outside of the context of a website. Your blog posts may be competing with cat videos and family photos on Facebook, or clamoring for attention in a crowded email inbox, so they have to make an impact.
When crafting your school’s blog post titles, think about your own habits as an online consumer and reader — what types of headlines stand out in your social media feeds? These are the styles that work well for blog posts. Here are some interesting examples for your own swipe file:
(Read it at Sewickley Academy’s Private School Blog)
(Read it at Cheshire Academy’s The ScratchUp Blog)
(Read it at Gould Academy’s Blog)
So those are just a few tips and examples to make your headlines stand out and suck people in.
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