Online product descriptions are one of the most important features of your e-commerce arsenal. They have the power to hook in prospective customers and answer any questions they might have, differentiate you from other companies selling the same or similar items, and they can bolster your SEO performance. Think of them as your digital salesperson, whose charm, knowledge and helpfulness might give potential customers the final push they need into purchasing.
Using generic, bland descriptions just doesn't cut it in today's competitive e-commerce marketplace, so follow our top tips on how to write the perfect product descriptions and see increased sales success.
If you're short on time or resource, lack the experience in-house, or maybe just don't know where to start with your product-description writing, a copywriting agency can help. Writing persuasive descriptions designed to sell the product benefits and drive people to purchase will be second nature to their staff. Plus they'll have years of experience across multiple sectors, giving them the ability to get under the skin of your customers with wording that's memorable and compelling.
If you're tackling product descriptions yourself, put yourself in your customers' shoes. Who are they? What are they looking for? How can your description help them, enlighten them and persuade them to buy? Try working with your colleagues and using your customer data to develop personas of your customer base. This will help you tailor your product content so it resonates with the people who matter most to your business. 71% of companies who outperform their revenue and lead goals have documented personas, so it's a great place to start.
If you use duplicated or similar product descriptions on your website, search engines will not be happy when they come to index your website. It can confuse them and disrupt your rankings. Make sure that both descriptions and product titles are different for every product you sell. If you've got lots of products and not much time to write unique descriptions, you can add a no-index tag to your page to tell the search engines to skip the content for now.
Including keywords in your product description is important, especially for search engines. When your prospective customers search online for your products, you need your pages to rise up against your competitors with high rankings. Avoid keyword stuffing in the body copy but be sure to include any keywords in your page title, headlines and sub-headings. Getting your on-page SEO right can be easy to accomplish, and it's well worth investing the time and effort into doing so.
Do not underestimate the power of your product descriptions. As you can see from these top tips, they can be your key to converting customers and increasing your search-engine visibility, helping grow your brand awareness and prospective customer base. They might seem a simple, throwaway feature of your product landing pages, but the more you refine and perfect them, the higher your sale conversion rates will be.
Get in touch with WooContent today to find out how we can support you with writing the perfect product description.
Communicating your brand, proposition and key messages to your audience has never been so important. People are inundated with marketing messages on a daily basis and choice between brands is more competitive than ever, so making your content stand out with fantastic copywriting is key to winning brand preference – and, ultimately, new and repeat business.
You also have to make sure that your copywriting combines creative, engaging writing with SEO best practice. This ensures that when your potential customers search for your products, services and brand online, your web pages will rise above the ranks to beat the competition and generate valuable web traffic that could convert to leads and sales.
Follow our five killer SEO copywriting tricks to make sure that your content is searchable, visible and engaging enough to drive business growth.
Working with a copywriting agency is a surefire way to create first-class content with an SEO twist, especially if you don't have the resource or experience in-house. Agencies combine years of experience with talent, creative flair and technical know-how, plus they know how to get under the skin of your audience to craft content that will resonate and provide value. Plus they'll be up-to-date with emerging SEO trends and algorithm updates, giving you a competitive advantage over your competitors.
If you're taking matters into your own hands, make sure your website content is as search-engine-friendly as possible. This includes knowing your target keywords and ensuring they flow throughout your body copy and page tags. SEO guru Moz has a really useful resource to help you check off all the key on-page elements.
Three key KPIs for your copywriting should be engagement, shareability and search-engine rankings. All of these will be impacted by whether you display your content in a mobile-friendly manner. Plus research shows that 61% of local searches will contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly website. As page-load times increase from one second to five, the probability of someone leaving your website without going any further increases by 90%. Is your website mobile responsive? Does your copy load quickly, without being slowed down by clunky images and videos? Deliver your content quickly and simply on mobile, and both your customers and search engines will take your work much more seriously.
You might have crafted your most engaging, optimised piece of content yet, but if your headline is weak, people will not click though to view it. This is true for your search-engine listing, social media posts, paid media and email campaigns. Research suggests that including numbers and making them unequivocally clear can vastly improve click-through rates.
Every audience is looking for the same thing: a clear, simple experience that is useful, answers their questions and adds relevant value. Google uses copy readability as a ranking factor, meaning that your copywriting has to combine compelling creativity with a clear narrative that leads to a call-to-action. Headlines, sub-headings, bullet points and consistent formatting can all help your audience and search-engine bots consume and understand your copywriting easily.
These five killer SEO copywriting tricks are by no means exhaustive, but they are a great starting point for any brand with an online presence. Don't underestimate the power of combining great copywriting with search engine optimisation – get started today and watch success against your key SEO, engagement and conversion metrics soar.
Get in touch with WooContent today to find out more about our SEO copywriting services.
Writing a blog might seem pretty simple and in theory, it is, unless you want it to become one of the most read examples on the internet. That takes certain skills and excellent copywriting ability, so which are the most popular as of 2019 and how do they keep their readers’ attention?
Despite the name, it’s not only business that's written about on this all-encompassing blog. Covering tech, finance, politics and general-interest stories, Business Insider aims to offer a no-nonsense overview of what's happening in the world and the formatting further amplifies its unfluffy approach to current affairs.
2017 was a record year for views for owner Henry Blodget and his team and the success of the blog is intrinsically connected to a comprehensive complementary social media presence. Using Facebook and Instagram to showcase interesting new articles, followers click through to the blog in their droves and fellow bloggers regularly link to the site as well, creating new traffic streams.
Covering the full spectrum of human interest, The Verge was founded in 2011 in a bid to bring technology news to the masses, with easy-to-read and enjoyable articles that demonstrated how new innovations impact on everyday life. In order to stand out from the crowd in a saturated blogosphere, The Verge has been a multimedia project from the start, featuring editorial pieces alongside video content and podcasts.
Having branched out into entertainment reporting, the easy-to-navigate blog has become a daily favourite with an enormous audience that doesn’t want to scour numerous sites to find out everything that’s happening. The straightforward article titles are a breath of fresh air in a pun-driven online world as well.
It’s a digital world, and TechCrunch has leapt at the opportunity to report on all things technology based. While there are a number of simplistic articles included, those with technological know-how benefit most from TechCrunch's blog and keep coming back for informative reviews, editorials and announcements.
Founded in 2005, this was one of the first blogs to talk in detail, about tech start-ups and where they sourced their funding from, leading to a niche place in the blogosphere and interest from AOL, which eventually purchased TechCrunch in 2010 for US$25 million. It continues to build its audience through reliable daily reporting and the popular TechCrunch Disrupt annual conference.
Still touting itself as a ‘men’s fashion, lifestyle and fitness’ publication, the GQ blog enjoys popularity across the board, thanks to its forward-thinking approach to traffic-inducing editorials. The popularity of the blog stems from the sleek look of the magazine, originally founded in the 1930s and enjoying a considerable legacy on high-street shelves, being available daily and via any electronic device.
Alongside light-hearted interest pieces such as 'The 100 albums you need to own', readers can also find good old-fashioned hard-hitting journalism and surprising editorials. Just this year, the GQ Awards, which traditionally recognise men who have accomplished excellence, named Greta Thunberg, the teenage, female, Swedish activist as ‘Game Changer of the Year’. Gone are the scantily clad model pictures – in their place are engaging editorials, men’s fashion and grooming tips for skincare-savvy gentlemen.
Targeting a young female audience, Refinery29 was founded with a mission to educate and inspire in equal measure, while delivering exceptional editorials and inspiring storytelling. It’s a high mantle but the blog has cornered the market thanks to an inclusive vibe and a desire to be truly diverse, all since 2005.
Offering colourful fashion stories, uplifting life editorials and beauty-myth debunker, Refinery29 has become both a little slice of daily escapism and a reliable source of female-relevant news. It also uses social media to further bolster its loyal reader numbers; a quick look at its Instagram page reveals a cacophony of colours, body shapes and empowering slogans.
At one time, there might have been a clearer gender divide between the most-read blogs, with ‘mum blogs’ proving exceptionally popular, but today, business, tech and general lifestyle sites are reigning supreme. Perhaps this represents a shift in gender roles and attitudes or even the ages of audiences, but whatever the reason, there’s something oddly satisfying about tech blogs being the most read, on the internet, via electronic devices. How meta.
Good content is a powerful weapon that has the ability to make extensive audiences engage with you and your business, while keeping you at the forefront of potential customers’ minds. Bad content, on the other hand, will make you a permanent fixture in the minds of discerning readers for all the wrong reasons.
Read on to find out which cardinal sins of editorial creation make for the worst content, and, most importantly, what you can do to avoid them harming a carefully crafted outreach strategy.
A shockingly prevalent issue, poor readability can make the most fascinating article slip by totally unnoticed. You'll see extraneous pauses and sentences that go on forever, leaving you out of breath when you’re only reading in your head. This isn’t a spelling and grammar issue, either, just a simple case of a writer not expressing themselves in a fluid and natural way.
The solution: use a readability checker. There are numerous free-to-use sites online that will assess a piece of content and give it a readability score, to let you know you’re on the right track. Think of it as a spellcheck with extra gusto.
It’s easy to assume the best content is content that reaches the biggest audience, but if you alienate the actual target demographic chasing meaningless numbers, the quality of the piece will be compromised. Better to be read, shared and engaged with by relevant people than skimmed, clicked off or ignored by the masses.
The solution: think carefully about content placement. Niche blogs might see less traffic, but it will be meaningful. Plus, a slow burn in terms of shares, reposts and backlinks can prove infinitely more beneficial than trending for 30 minutes.
No content writer can be an expert in every single subject, regardless of how much they claim to be a master of all trades. Ignorance shows. No award-winning content has ever been created after a perfunctory skim of a Wikipedia page, so don’t think you’ll be the first to get away with putting in minimum research and zero effort.
The solution: factor in research time for every piece of content so it can be written with genuine knowledge and interest at its core. Key audiences will be able to tell the difference and are more likely to share something that resonates with their own experiences.
Have you ever noticed that everybody seems to be a writer these days? While most people can cobble something legible together, it takes a particular set of skills to craft succinct, powerful copy – and for that, you have to pay. Using budgets as an excuse for amateur material just doesn't cut it in today’s competitive content market.
The solution: hire a professional. It might cost you more, but you’ll have to deal with fewer rewrites and will usually have assurances of getting a piece of work you're happy with.
Rule number one of content writing has to be never to rely on spellcheck software. There are a host of things that could trip you up, from predictive text settings through to the wrong dictionary being active on your publishing software – who hasn’t been caught out by US English?
The solution: get in the habit of properly proofreading any and all content. By taking the time to read through an article more than once, you’ll get a feel for the rhythm, flow and tone of the piece, allowing any ‘sore thumb’ words and phrases to be deleted. You’ll also get to recognise which words you frequently misspell and recurrent grammar issues.
When is a cliché not a cliché? When it’s a universal truth. The adage of ‘quality over quantity’ can be applied to countless aspects of life, but especially content creation. Don’t use 1,000 words when 100 will do, and never chase word counts, as it will dilute your words and undermine their value.
The solution: get your key points written down and fleshed out, then go back and see if you can embellish a little more. If you’ve made your point, have great readability and your grammar is on point, why try to fix what isn’t broken?
The crux of the matter here is to create with intuition. Write as though you’re having a discussion with an expert on your subject matter and you want to impress them. Forget word counts and jargon and concentrate on producing honest, good content that resonates with the right people.
Looking to improve your content? Get in touch with WooContent today to find out how we can help you.
One man’s trash is another’s treasure, which is why there have been some seriously odd insurance policies taken out in the past. Talking about the weird and wonderful types of insurance helps to put the more everyday policies into perspective. Plus, they’re a little bit of fun – how many of these have you heard before?
From particularly fine moustaches to unofficial trademark chest hair, people have been insuring their follicles for plenty of money for decades. Perhaps the most insane policy was that of Tom Jones, who covered his chest hair for a whopping $7,000,000. It didn’t help his singing, but it played enough of a role in his persona to warrant a premium.
Certain celebrities are known for their fantastic bodies and Jennifer Lopez was the original ‘curvy-bottomed’ superstar. Protecting her main asset, she took out an insurance policy for $27,000,000 to ensure that any loss of earnings incurred by a change to her derriere, not as a result of her own doing, would be covered.
They don’t get much weirder than this. Alien abduction insurance, which pays out $1 a year, for a million years, has not only been taken out, but at least two successful claims have been made as well. We assume it’s to cover the space and time difference, or maybe the aftermath of any tests that are carried out…?
Babies are a blessing, but more than one appears to be a nightmare for some expectant mothers, who take out multiple-birth insurance. Yes, that’s right. If a mother has been told that she’s having just one baby by a medical professional, and more pop out, she can claim on her policy, ensuring some money to cover the extra costs. Is it paid per child, we wonder?
As of 2019, the average cost of a wedding in London is nearly £25,000, which is why an increasing number of brides and grooms to be are taking out ‘jilted’ insurance. The weird part about these policies is that many policyholders don’t tell their betrothed about the premium, even of the day goes ahead. What a great way to start a marriage, with a huge secret and a lack of faith!
Confidence in one’s abilities is great, but a UK comedy troupe took things a bit far when they got themselves insured against ‘death by laughter’. They were genuinely convinced that they were so funny that an audience member could die from laughing too hard and they didn’t want to be sued if it happened. What a joke.
Winning the lottery is a dream held by many a work syndicate, but employers have seen the potential pitfalls of a mass resignation and taken out lottery win insurance. The premium is designed to cover the costs of hiring replacement staff and temporary team members in the event of a win.
Actually, it’s more like legs $2.2 million in Heidi Klum’s case. As a world-famous supermodel, she insured her pins against damage and mutilation in case she couldn’t work again, but the really weird part is that one is insured for more than the other – the reason is that her left leg already has a small scar on it.
If a food critic loses the ability to taste, they are, essentially, out of a job, which is why the late Egon Ronay had his taste buds insured for $400,000. The premium would pay out if he had accidentally eaten a dish so spicy that his tongue was irreversibly damaged, or harmed in any other way.
The Rolling Stones might be ageing rockers now, but Keith Richards hasn’t mellowed in his later years. Determined to always be able to use his middle finger to express his disdain for certain people and actions, he has insured it for $1.6 million. If at any point he can’t extend and accompany it with some choice words, he can make a claim.
Celebrities do seem to have cornered the market in bizarre insurance policies, but everybody can protect themselves from, near enough, anything. It all comes down to finding an insurance company with either a good sense of humour or the ability to gauge a genuine risk – regardless of how unusual.
E-commerce has become a necessary tool in the fight for market share and profitability, but not enough companies understand how this burgeoning shopping trend can boost physical sales. That’s all about to change, however – and here are 20 key E-commerce statistics you need to know.
1.18% of all purchases made in the UK in 2019 are expected to be via E.commerce.
Put into understandable terms, that means that almost a quarter of all sales will be made online, instead of in a physical store. It begs the question, will shops become obsolete?
2. The percentage of purchases made online is expected to rise to 95% by 2040.
Experts are predicting that in just 21 years, shopping in any way other than online will be all but a thing of the past. It’s true that we are a convenience-driven society, but that’s a huge shift in purchasing behaviour.
3. 67% of online shoppers acquaint themselves with returns policies before clicking ‘buy’.
If you think your Ts and Cs page isn’t important, think again. Shoppers like to know how easy it is to return an unsuitable purchase before taking the plunge.
4. 38% of people won’t buy from an ‘ugly’ website.
Design counts, so do your research and try to understand the aesthetics that your key demographics are drawn to. Investing in expert web design is an investment that you can expect to make a return on.
5. Two-thirds of online shoppers expect a 24-hour response to inquiries.
Actually, most will be disappointed to not receive a reply within the same business day, so either have enough support staff in place to handle demand or include a clear message about response times on your contact page.
6. 77% of adult shoppers have bought something online.
From car insurance to ski boots, there’s seemingly nothing that you can’t buy online – and UK adults are increasingly taking advantage of that fact.
7. 85% of online purchases are started on one device and finished on another.
The most likely scenario is that an advert on social media leads to a clickthrough, but larger pictures are needed, so the purchase is completed on a desktop or laptop computer. Mobile optimisation is crucial.
8. 71% of mobile purchases can be connected to electronic mailouts.
Retailer newsletters have a massive impact on a consumer’s decision to buy, or not. Knowledge is (spending) power.
9. 57% of mobile consumers leave slow-loading sites.
Patience is a virtue but not to mobile shoppers who want to click a couple of buttons and wait for their package to arrive. Slow sites are off-putting.
10. Up to 70% of shopping baskets are abandoned.
Whether shoppers get distracted, dislike shipping rates or simply change their mind, you need to find a way to turn an unsure customer into a repeat one.
11. 54% of abandoned baskets are seen through to purchase if a discount is offered.
Companies that email a discount code for the contents of ‘forgotten baskets’ see an impressive rate of sales conversions.
12. 23% of customers will abandon a basket if they have to create an account.
If there is no ‘checkout as guest’ option, almost a quarter of shoppers will go elsewhere for a faster and less invasive experience.
13. Welcome emails can lead to a 40% open rate.
Customers who are sent a personalised welcome email, after opening an account, are far more likely to open future email correspondence.
14. 80% of shoppers find email recommendations helpful.
Demonstrating an understanding of what customers will most likely enjoy helps to build brand trust and loyalty.
15. 20% of online marketing uses behavioural targeting.
This is a staggeringly small percentage, given how responsive shoppers are to a more personal approach. This is a prime opportunity to stand out for good reasons.
16. 93% of businesses have witnessed increased sales conversions through personalised marketing.
Something as innocuous as an email newsletter that is addressed to someone specifically could be the difference between a sale and an abandoned basket.
17. 50% of shoppers are more likely to shop with a company again if it sends targeted discounts.
This is particularly true when it comes to grocery shopping, with the increase in plant-based and specialist diets that aren’t usually covered by generic discount vouchers.
18. It costs seven times more to win a new customer than keeping an existing one.
This is worth thinking about when considering introductory offers for new customers only. Consider rewarding loyalty, too.
19. 18% of businesses dedicate time to customer retention.
A simple ‘checking your details’ or ‘we’d value your feedback’ email could go a long way to making a one-time customer a repeat one.
20. Millennials are leading the way by making 54% of their purchases online.
There’s most likely a correlation between social media adverts and online purchases here, giving you an idea of where to spend your marketing money.
There’s no escaping the fact that the E.commerce sector is growing stronger, but will you be enjoying a significant portion of it or ignoring these statistics and getting left behind? Using them as a jumping off point for a dedicated marketing strategy all but guarantees a significant upturn in your E.commerce fortune.
There’s no point having amazing content if no-one sees it – that’s where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can help. SEO is a way of getting your content ranked at the top of the page so more people are likely to visit.
Search engines look for indicators that your content is high quality and relevant to the subject. So, you just pack your content with certain keywords to send your site soaring to the top? No! It's not as simple as that. Search-engine algorithms are highly sophisticated now, and are very smart at detecting keyword-packed copy. Too many keywords and your site will be categorised as spam, and treated accordingly.
Using a copywriting agency should form part of your content strategy. Such agencies create killer content that search engines love, while still being relevant and valuable to human audiences. Here are some of the top SEO-friendly tips that will help you get the best results.
If you have a service or product that you want to promote, the idea is for your content to rank highly when someone enters a keyword into a search engine. This involves having a strategy based around all important keywords.
You may know some of the most common keywords, but to get maximum visibility, don’t just rely on your instincts, but do some research. There are a number of tools, both free and premium, that find the full spectrum of keywords that are entered into search engines.
As mentioned above, it’s essential not to stuff your content full of keywords. As a rough rule of thumb, aim for keyword content of around 2%.
A page full of text with no subheadings (known as H2s) is an instant turn-off for most audiences, so it’s good writing practice to break down your text into bite-sized chunks. Using subheadings also helps with SEO, too.
Use important keywords for your headings (H1s) and subheadings and it will enable bots from search engines to identify the important parts of your content more easily. This will make you rank higher for relevant search terms, as well as being better for human audiences.
Writing for online audiences is very different to publishing in a printed medium. You’ll only have a fleeting chance to grab readers' attention before they click onto something else. This means not only laying out content in an attractive way but getting the length of your content spot on.
There’s no right or wrong answer, because the length of your article depends on your target audience. For some brands, it may be appropriate to write 1,500 words or more, but for others, this would be a huge turn-off to their demographic.
That said, Google regards content under 300 words as 'thin'. It also likes high-quality content, and in recent years has prioritised content that is longer and more in-depth.
You’ll need to strike a good balance between what your target audience enjoys alongside getting recognition from Google. In most cases, aim for a minimum of 600-700 words.
This is such an obvious tip but it’s one that’s often overlooked and it really does matter. Search engines like Google check the basics, and if your content is found wanting, you’ll be penalised.
Spelling mistakes ('typos') will steadily destroy your ranking even if the content is relevant and informative. Have a quick look at the sites that appear at the top of Google searches; you’ll never find glaring errors.
Of course, the quality of the content matters, too. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to write about and convey it in a way that’s easy to understand for the best SEO results. If you need help with your content writing, it's good idea to get the help of an experienced copywriting agency, especially one that is knowledgable about SEO and can incorporate this into any content they write for you.
Your goal is to get your content seen by as many people as possible, so you must consider social media your friend. People like to share articles, blogs and content they find interesting, and social media is the perfect vehicle for them to do this.
There are online tools you can draw on, such as Add This, which enable you to add social-media buttons to your content.
Aside from reaching a wider audience, the other benefit is that search engines value content that is regularly shared. Therefore, simply by making it shareable, you’ll be gaining valuable SEO kudos – that’s a win-win!
These tips for writing SEO-friendly content may seem remarkably simple, but they deliver excellent results. While you may want to rank on search engines, it’s essential to keep your human audience in mind at all times, and not simply write for the bots.
If you produce good-quality content and have an in-depth understanding of your subject, you will be well on the way to ranking at the top of those all-important search engines.
Clothing website ASOS uploads 5,000 new products every day. Fashion retailer Next has enjoyed better-than-expected sales at high-street stores this summer. And bastion of cheap super-fast fashion, Primark, reported a rise in half-year profits of 25%. But despite this, and our seemingly never-ending love of quick fashion fixes, could the fast fashion industry be about to hit troubled times? We take a closer look to find out if fast fashion is losing its allure.
Although first launched in England in 1973, it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that fast-fashion stalwart Primark took over the UK high street, leaving other stores quaking in their kitten heels. As a nation we shopped and didn’t stop. Never before had we seen clothes so cheap, and suddenly we could afford to switch up our wardrobe just like that – with a new outfit for every night out.
But with the rise of awareness about sustainability, climate change, and the continuing trend for shopping vintage, could Primark – and others – be looking at tricky times ahead? Back in the mid-Noughties, no one thought twice about the ethical issues surrounding a T-shirt that cost £2.50. But then we woke up.
The tiny black wording on clothing labels tucked inside your leggings might reveal which washing setting to use, but they also point a finger as to where the item was made. China. India. Bangladesh. And questions continue to be asked about wages and working conditions in the places where our clothes are made.
Despite this, UK shoppers continue to buy clothes like they're going out of fashion, and even with documentaries highlighting the effect fast fashion has on the environment, we continue to buy, buy, buy.
If the planet is going to survive, we can’t keep on producing, buying and binning at the current rate. The climate is in crisis and young activist Greta Thunberg is making sure we all know about it. As part of this, the way we buy clothes has to change. In a London Sustainability Exchange article, Mathilde Batelier said:
'It is estimated that between 80 and 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced each year. In 2016, Britons bought 1.13 million tones of clothing, which generated a total amount of 26.2 million tones of CO2. The UK sent 235 million items of clothing to landfill. This is quite an outrage, especially when we know that almost 100% of clothing items are recyclable.'
As consumers, we can do our bit. We can buy less, we can reuse, repurpose and recycle. We can buy clothes made from eco-friendly fabrics such as linen, hemp and bamboo. What’s more, we can make sure we buy from sources that produce clothes as ethically and environmentally friendly as possible.
The Independent sites brands such as Monkee Genes, People Tree, and Punks and Chancers as labels doing their best to provide the most sustainable fashion possible. In high street terms, well-known names such as H&M, Marks & Spencer, and John Lewis are all also doing their bit to meet ethical standards.
In 2019, fast fashion might not have had its day, but we don't think it will be long. As a country – and a planet – we are only just waking up to the environmental crisis we’re facing. Fast fashion and our consumer culture is a huge part of this, so what matters now is that we think carefully about our buying habits, the materials our clothes are made from, where they’re made, and how our old clothes are reused or disposed of.
Like the death of the plastic carrier bag, it can only be a certain amount of time before the scales shift in favour of sustainable fashion, and fast fashion becomes a thing of the distant past.
Question: how do you decide whether to read a piece of content? The answer, almost without exception, is the headline. The headline tells us what the text is about and tempts us to read on.
You can craft the most compelling piece of content in the world, but without an attention-grabbing headline it's nigh-on pointless. As a copywriting agency, we understand the importance of getting the headline right – but just like the rest of your content, it takes skill, talent and thought.
Although every piece of writing should be approached individually, there are some universal rules which help to create a memorable headline. Here are a few ideas, along with some examples, to get you started.
This may sound obvious but before you write your headline, you need to establish the main point of your piece. Your writing may cover various topics but there should be a central theme which links everything.
If you don’t understand the main thrust of your content, you risk writing a headline which will confuse your audience. A headline tells the audience what to expect; if the content doesn’t deliver on what’s promised, the reader will spend most of their time wondering when you’re going to get to the point!
For more complex articles, start with the main facts that refer to the headline before delving deeper. This creates the clear connection with the headline that the reader will be searching for, allowing them to concentrate fully on the rest of the text.
Headlines should be clear and concise, providing a punchy introduction that speaks to the reader without distraction. Waffly headlines that are vague and ill-defined will almost certainly have your target audience scrolling past without pausing.
Every word in the headline should be carefully placed for maximum effect – and you should always consider shortening the headline for more impact.
For example, How to Lose Five Inches of Flab From Your Waistline In One Month is a headline that many will be interested in. However, it becomes infinitely more powerful when you remove the first two unnecessary words, changing it to Lose Five Inches of Flab From Your Waistline In One Month. The latter is much stronger and commands greater attention.
Your readers may be intelligent and informed individuals, but if you join the dots for them, they’ll instantly be more attracted to your content.
Your content may describe a service or be a product description, or even just impart information, but what your reader really wants to know is how will it benefit them. Don’t be afraid to spell out the clear benefits in the headline, as it will help your audience see how your article relates to their own personal needs.
For example, 10 Strategies for Email Campaigns could sound interesting to some readers. By contrast, consider this: 10 Strategies to Achieve 142% More Subscriptions on Email Campaigns.
By including benefits that are clear, obvious and specific, your headline will instantly grab more attention, making it must-read content.
We’ve mentioned the need to grab attention during this article, but there’s a balance that should be struck. Although getting – and keeping – the attention of your audience is your goal, your headline must be authentic and believable.
Contorting the facts to create a sensationalist headline may certainly turn heads, but it will do so for all the wrong reasons. If your headline sounds too outrageous to be true, it will be dismissed as clickbait.
For example, When You Read These Disgusting Pollution Facts, You’ll Never Want to Breathe Again is a headline that’s clearly playing for clicks. A far preferable headline would be 10 Shocking Pollution Facts That Highlight Our Climate Emergency.
Compelling, Honest and Simple
The above information provides an easy-to-follow guide about creating a headline. Once you understand the basics, it’s straightforward to avoid the pitfalls that many writers fall into.
Using language that's descriptive but uncomplicated, your headline should be crisp, condensed and simple to understand, allowing your reader to be able to relate to your content instantly.
As you gain experience in writing, the quality of your headlines will develop and evolve naturally. And remember: some of the best headlines can be fun, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your own style!
Travel is the second-fastest growing industry in the world and has outpaced global GDP growth for the eighth year in a row. It doesn’t stop evolving, and brands are always on the lookout for new ways to market and target their audience. Unfortunately, adopting new technology or publishing high-quality travel content isn’t what most brands are opting for – instead, they’re turning to influencers.
Influencers are people who have considerable reach through their social-media accounts, and have access to a potential customer base that travel brands find very appealing. They bridge the gap between brands and target markets, offer quick ways to engage with large numbers of people, and can help improve social-media visibility. They can also help diversify your content strategy, especially if you’re lacking the reach, followers or ability to use social media. But (and that’s a big but), there are influencers who are slowly killing the travel industry.
Influencers are responsible for driving 'shallow travel', as I like to call it. This is where someone travels purely for the reason to post an image on social media. Influencers are promoting visiting historic and iconic landmarks, cities and countries just to take one photo to say 'I was here.' Gone are the days where someone wants to travel to a country to explore its culture, cuisine, arts, music and architecture. To make things worse, this isn’t just a wild assertion; a recent survey by Schofields Insurance found 40% of 1,000 millennials (18- to 33-year-olds) chose a travel spot based on its Instagrammability alone. Visit the Taj Mahal to experience one of The Seven Wonders of the World? Nah, I want a cool Insta photo!
Some influencers also promote irresponsible travel. From reckless driving in Iceland to dangling off of an infinity pool in Bali, there have been numerous incidents where influencers have set a bad example to other travellers. If behaviour like this continues, some of the world’s natural wonders may become off limits to tourists. Iceland could restrict access to some of its natural sights, which would impact travel to the country and in turn affect any travel brands with ties there.
Another unappealing trait of social media influencers in the travel industry is that they don’t have the right motivation. Some influencers are in it for the money, leading them to post unrealistic and highly-edited photos, rather than meaningful content. Influencer photos and posts are purely based on achieving as many likes, shares and favourites as possible which leads to large amounts of editing and shoot planning. Not only does this create unrealistic expectations of destinations, it doesn’t add value.
Furthermore, heavy airbrushing and image manipulation of these beautiful places gives a very artificial impression, rather than appreciating them in their natural form.
Let's compare the approach of a travel blogger against a travel influencer. If you want to publish realistic, useful, informative content, you would collaborate with bloggers and engage in blogger outreach. Travel bloggers create content that helps people enjoy travelling. They educate them on the place they’re visiting and improve the whole travel experience. Influencers don’t create anywhere near as useful content as bloggers, and it's a shame that both are viewed as the same.
Not only is travel marketing changing because of influencers, it is suffering a slow death as they appeal to millennials. This segment of people will be travelling for the next 40 years, so communicating with them is critical, and influencers are who they're turning to. One thing that can't be denied is that influencers offer easy access to millions of people – that’s positive, isn’t it?