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If your headline isn’t good enough, why would anyone read your copy? People are strapped for time, and with the internet at their fingertips they’re unlikely to stop for anything that doesn’t command attention from the off.
Whether you’re writing for a train station billboard or a website, an appealing heading is the most important part of the text, so it’s important to make sure it’s as good as it possibly can be.
Headings are generally big and eye-catching, but there’s no substitute for quality copywriting. We’ve listed five of our top tips for writing headings:
· Be direct. Ambiguous headings don’t tell the reader enough about what you’ve got to offer, and if you don’t seem to be offering anything they won’t waste their time reading on.
· Be active.Using the passive voice is rarely recommended in any form of copywriting. A passive headline, like ‘Quality clothes are sold here’ lacks pace or drive. ‘We sell quality clothes’ is stronger, and uses up less of the word count.
· Avoid capitalising every word.Unless a client tells you it’s necessary, using capital letters for every word isn’t a good idea. It can be confusing: ‘Affordable Cars In Bath’ evokes images of a tub, whereas ‘Affordable cars in Bath’ makes it clearer that ‘Bath’ is the location – an English city.
· Be wary of punctuation. It can make a heading seem laboured and contrived. Short, direct, simple headings rarely need to be punctuated.
· Summarise, but don’t just repeat yourself.A heading should succinctly explain the copy beneath it, but it shouldn’t be directly lifted from it. A first sentence of text that’s identical to the heading above it will seem unimaginative and repetitive.
Producing great headings time and again is an art in its own right, and one that a successful team of copywriters can help you to perfect. To find out more about getting your written communications up to scratch, get in touch with Stratton Craig today.