What’s Wrong with These Headlines?

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Image by Mat Honan via Flickr

I took these headlines randomly from Google News this morning.

Hunter Mahan wins Bridgestone Invitational with final-round 64

Rwandan president expected to win election handily

In the Gulf, scientific questions still lurk beneath the surface

The Other Guys’ Captures Audiences at Weekend Box Office

Any idea what’s wrong?

They tell the entire story in the headline. There’s no reason to click on the link or read more. You already know what happened.

Why headlines matter

The headline starts you thinking. A good headline is the flag that waves down passers-by and says, “pay attention, you’ll want to know more about this.”

Five times as many people read the headline as the body copy. Five times. A bad headline equals poor readership and poor results.

Got a headline? Not sure if it’s any good?

Submit it below for a free rewrite.

What’s Wrong With This Web Copy?

wrong wayYesterday, I posted some copy and asked what was wrong with it. The company is pure fiction, but the copy is adapted from an actual Web site. Names and details have been changed to protect the guilty.

Can you spot the problems?

Here it is again.

A badly designed web site can have a negative impact on your site’s effectiveness and the money you earn from it.

After the initial consultation phase of your project, Wow Wow Web Design will create your web site using professional design tools. There are people who will offer to produce graphics for you at highly discounted rates. However, the quality of their design may be poor.

Whether you need a big web site or a small one, we can provide all your design needs.

No work process

There’s a general statement about an initial consultation, but no indication what happens after that. Talking about your work process is good, but spell it all out. Take people through what you’ll do and when.

No differentiation

Why choose Wow Wow over any other company? Do they offer tools that let you easily make small updates yourself? A project dashboard?  They’re not remarkable in any way.

No trust/value

They point out that cheaper alternatives may lead to poor results, but give no proof that their services are better.

No tribe

What is their market? What kind of fish are they trying to catch?  Do they specialize in large companies? Plumbing suppliers? Artists? Can’t tell.  Who is their perfect client?

Image: sue_r_b