I am responsible for copywriting a lot of headlines. Sales pages, web copy subheads, newsletters…the list could go on like Bubba’s list of shrimp recipes in Forest Gump.
But I actually have a point.
And my point is that you have to know the what and who behind why you’re copywriting these opt in or blog headlines. Before we even dream of scribbling a single word, ask:
- Is this headline for search engines to find me?
- Do I want the maximum number of subscribers / open rates?
- What kind of topics appeal to my ideal audience?
Two Thoughts on Headlines; Numbers or Audience
Then what, Misiaszek? Easy. We develop a copywriting topic. And you have two frames of thought on this.
If you prefer a small, highly engaged audience, only write your SEO and opt-in headlines for them.
But what if, as a coach, you want to leverage the masses to attract a huge list? Then you need to shoot for topics that appeal to the largest common denominator.
So, if you’re a life coach who helps women in transition over the age of 50 you have the choice:
- Get Happy! 7 Guided Meditations to Make You Feel Awesome
- Moving on! Divorce After 50: A 100 Page Survivalist’s Guide with over 25 Psychologically Proven Tips & Tricks PLUS 3 Guided Meditations to Help you Feel Great FREE BONUS 10 Must Do Ready-for-Dating Ideas
In terms of an opt-in, especially if your list is starting from a very low number, you can easily see how option 1 is far less detailed than option 2.
Why would we want a big list that isn’t necessarily targeted to our niche?
- Leverage contacts for joint ventures
- Sell them something that does pertain to this list (even if it’s not in your niche)
- Par down big numbers to a loyal tribe
Grab your free blogging checklist, Is It SEO?:
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Theories on SEO Use in Headlines
Or how about SEO headlines for a travel website:
- Grab These 7 Awesome Irish Microbrews Today vs. Grab These 7 Awesome Irish Beers Today
- Top 10 Must Drink Irish Beers vs. Top 10 Must Drink Irish Microbrews
Arguably, there is a lot less search traffic for a specific word like microbrews. Is there harm in saying Irish beer instead?
Not at all. In fact:
- Microbrews are still beer, but saying beer will get you more traffic
- More website traffic increases opt-ins and search engine rankings
- It’s not a beer site, so the audience won’t be offended by the difference
Point: Aim for an SEO keyword that will get you a lot more page views instead of trying to be perfectly accurate with the blog title.
If you’re close to target, you won’t disillusion the viewers seeking info about the two (can you name them in comments?) giant conglomerate breweries in Ireland.
Being Authentic and Getting Website Traffic
I know what’ you’re thinking: Can’t I be my authentic self and still get a huge list of subscribers? Absolutely.
And some people do.
They get placed in the right guest posts, have a successful joint venture, a video goes viral that includes their opt-in information, and/or hit it big with a webinar.
But this also depends on your niche.
If you are trying to get a list of moms to save money using coupons, that’s a lot easier than finding divorced women over 50 with an income to spend on a life coach, yes?
So, this advice is more of a note that you should think through the goal of your marketing piece before you get started. What do you want your list to do for you?
And if you think you want to increase website traffic with SEO and/or get a large number of opt-ins with your freebie, well…now you’ve got a marketing theory to consider.
Elspeth Misiaszek uses her writing and online marketing skills to help vegan businesses, coaches and entrepreneurs increase sales on their websites and blogs. Is it SEO? Get our FREE blogging resource today.