Hey! Look! Grabbing Web readers in 2 words

The first few words of Web headings and links determine whether or not readers will click to read the content.

It’s vital to get the first couple of words exactly right when writing effective Web headings and links.

The first two words have a huge impact on whether or not people will click on a link according to a study by Jakob Nielsen.

This basically confirms the findings of a 2004 Eyetrack study from the Poynter Institute that found that, “Most people just look at the first couple of words—and only read on if they are engaged by those words. For headings—especially longer ones—it would appear that the first couple of words need to be real attention-grabbers if you want to capture eyes.”

The Jakob Nielsen study tested 80 people and found that they typically see the first two words in a link. The study tested links from Web sites such as AT&T, Intel, Dell and UK Directgov.

The best links in the study:

The worst links in the study:

There is nothing worse on the Web than welcoming people, and telling them about how you’re so delighted to announce the launch of, or about how on your Web site they will be able to find, or about how it’s now even easier, or about how you’re introducing, launching, or already in an orbit of hot air.

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