A mere 15 percent improved landing page headline can have a significant impact, considering the typical 3-6% median conversion rates online. This can be achieved simply by shortening the headlines, based on our sample study of the brands featured on Coupon Buffer.
Shorter Headlines = Better Comprehension ≈ Greater Conversion Rates
Researches going as far back as 2009 have shown how shorter sentences improve comprehension. This applies to headlines too.
Based on the American Press Institute study, eight-word sentences will deliver 100 percent reader comprehension. At 14 words, you can still get a good 90 percent comprehension. This rapidly falls to 10 percent with 43-words.
These findings are similar to other studies which compare reading ease to sentence length:
- 8 or fewer words: very easy to read (you probably already knew that)
- 11 words: easy to read
- 21 words: fairly difficult
- 25 words: difficult
- 29+ words: very difficult
You’ll definitely have an easier time selling your product, once people understand what it is. (Need I say more?)
The Study: 15 Percent Improvement of 25 Product Page Headlines
Product/ landing page headlines must condense an incredible amount of information in as few words as possible. Any extra and unnecessary word messes up everything.
So, we set out to see how well the brands featured on Coupon Buffer perform. We analyzed the headlines on 25 product overview/ landing pages of 25 brands out of the 60+ brands (62 on last count). This was done between 5th April 2017 and 7th April 2017 (there may be some changes on the sites since then).
What we found
Simply eliminating unnecessary words or coordinating conjunctions could produce as much as 50 percent shorter headlines. In all, there was a potential of producing an average of 15 percent shorter headlines.
Remember, fewer words – greater comprehension.
See for yourself:
(The x-axis represents the product pages; the left y-axis represents headline length (word count); and the right y-axis represents the percent difference between original and shortened headlines.)
As you can see, just because a headline is long doesn’t mean it’s too long (the longer headlines don’t feature as much “percent difference” as the medium ones). What matters is whether the words used are valuable and necessary.
Here’s an alternative graphical presentation, having ordered the “percent difference” from least to greatest:
Evidently, the surveyed brands were more likely to mess up with a 6+ word headline (not a single alteration for headlines 5 words or less).
In summary, this is what all those bars and lines mean:
|Headline length||Greatest percent difference||Overall percent difference|
|original word count (average)||shortened word count (average)|
Strangely though, some product pages had no headlines. Maybe the respective brands have a good reason to let people trudge through an entire page to find the key selling point.
Your first consideration shouldn’t be headline length, but the actual content. In fact, short headlines may perform worse than long ones.
So, once you’ve considered all other factors that can influence conversion rates, a shorter headline will give you that extra edge.