Website Testing: Writing Headlines that Produce Results

The Red Rocket Web Specialists have been discussing testing quite a bit in our office lately. In an attempt to “pracitce what we preach” we decided to look for things that we could test on our own site. A quick audit revealed that the conversion rate on our “Free Website Analysis” promotion could be improved. We saw this as a great opportunity to do some testing. We decided to use the main image area of our homepage to test three different messages to see which one resulted in more website analysis signups. Here are three (of the nine) image variations that we will be testing:

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1. What if you ranked #1 on Google?
The first message is meant to capture the reader’s imagination. Getting people to imagine your product (in our case it is SEO) is a proven way to get people to lower their defenses and start a conversation that leads to making a sale. The “power word” in this headline is “Google.” This word makes it through the audience’s lizard brain better than more confusing lingo like “search engine optimization” or “search rankings.”

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2. Is it time to FIRE your web design company?
The second message is the most aggressive of the three. It makes a bold claim that we can do a better job than our competitors. The “power word” in this headline is “Fire.” Of the three images, this word is has the most impact. Squint at the screen and you will notice that “FIRE” is the one word that stands out the most.

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3. Are you being punished by Google?
The third variation uses the oldest trick in the book, fear. People will only get moderately excited about improving their search engine rankings. However, if you tell them that they are being punished you trigger a different emotion. Fear of being punished is an emotion that causes people to take action, and that is exactly what we hope our image does.

The final think I want to point out about these three messages is that they all talk about you. So many headlines fail because they are too self-centered. The word “you” is the most powerful word in advertising for a reason. Stop talking about yourself and address the things that your potential customers actually care about.

So which message do you think will perform the best? Predict which headline will work best in the comments. We will reveal the results of our tests right here on this blog as we get them. And by the way, you might want to consider signing your site up for our website analysis while the offer is still active!

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