High Performance Online Headlines for B2B Copywriters


B2B copywriters should be careful about keeping headline character counts to approximately 50 characters.

Effective mobile-friendly headlines should average ~50 characters.

“Does this headline make me look fat?” This was my initial headline. It’s a clever headline, and at 7 words and 36 characters, it doesn’t look fat at all. However, it doesn’t tell me anything and probably won’t drive search results, clicks or conversions?

The challenge for today’s B2B copywriters is to write compelling headlines that include keywords and are also an average of approximately 50 characters long. When you write for technical and industrial audiences, often the search terms alone can encompass a significant portion of your headline. Here are a few B2B copywriting techniques for headlines that produce results.

  1. Keyword colon

    X-ray Microanalysis: Improve discovery faster (5 words; 45 characters)

    This B2B copywriting technique is effective when you have a technical search term that doesn’t quite fit into a compelling headline or includes a large number of characters. It’s also effective for SEO because the keyword is at the beginning of the headline.

  2. 2- to 3-word mobile-friendly acronym headline

    CIO-friendly BYOD (2 words; 17 characters)

    These headlines are especially useful for mobile search, where readers tend to type shorter search strings on their virtual keypads. It’s most effective for industries where acronyms are well-defined and commonly used. I would suggest spelling out the acronym at least one in the body copy.

  3. Short headline for long-tail keywords

    How X-ray Microanalysis Discovers Unexpected Elements (6 words; 53 characters)

    This could be a long-tail search term for materials scientists in need of the x-ray microanalysis system mentioned in the first example. Long-tail search terms are more effective at conversion. These are longer more specific search strings. Long tail search is often an indicator of greater intent to purchase, particularly in complex B2B buying cycles. In the future, as voice search becomes more effective, people will speak longer search strings than they are willing to type on a virtual keyboard. Often they’re looking for a solution. This technique will guide them to you.

It’s not always possible for B2B copywriters to keep their headlines to 50 characters. However, challenging yourself to do so will at least keep your copywriting effective for mobile-friendly websites, which are becoming the norm as more people conduct searches with devices instead of on their desktops.

By: Joan Damico

Additional copywriting tips for effective mobile headlines:

Your headline must be the story in 55 characters or less by Christopher Penn
Christopher takes a look at a number of New York Times mobile headlines that tell the story.

How to optimise headlines using the 65 character rule by Chris Lake

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