How to write a winning header – From David Ogilvy

As ad men go, David Ogilvy was one of the first and best. And he said some brilliant things. One of my favourites is this: five times more of us read a headline than bother reading the body copy. Bear it in mind every time you write a headline and you stand a better chance of hooking readers hard enough to make them read on.

Boring headers pull poor response rates

An eyecatching, emotionally involving, entertaining, mysterious or contentious benefit-led headline always pulls more readers than a dull, sensible, factual or feature-led one.

Bring creative headers into play for harder working, better performing direct mail letters, email marketing campaigns, auto-responder messages, press releases, adverts, advertorials, articles and – of course – web pages. You’ll snag more attention, improve % response and increase sales.

Add SEO to the mix wherever appropriate and you’ll please search engines too. It’s best to put your key phrase at the start of your header so search engine bots and spiders can tell what the page is about up front. Here’s how some of my more SEO-aware clients like to lay out their web pages. Imagine I’m writing a page about SEO copywriting:

header: SEO copywriting – A potent blend of creativity and logic
subhead: SEO copywriting gives business a serious edge
(body copy para 1. goes here)
subhead: SEO copywriting = money-spinning marketing campaigns
(body copy para 2 goes here)
subhead: SEO copywriting – Get in touch now for an instant quote
(body copy para 3 goes here)