Why Your Website Needs a Headline – Not a Welcome Sign


How many times have you searched for a company on Google and when you visited their website, the home page headline simply said, “Welcome”?

I see this time and time again online. And while “Welcome” is a nice sentiment, that precious real estate would serve your prospects better if it featured a headline, similar to what you would use in a direct mail advertisement for your product or service.

Why is this important?

Headlines Help Convince Website Visitors to Buy

According to author, copywriter, public speaker and direct marketing expert Ted Nicholas, 73% of all buying decisions are made at the point of the headline. That makes the headline the most important element in any promotion, online or off. Nicholson spoke yesterday at AWAI’s Fast Track to Copywriting Success Bootcamp, which I’m attending this week. He told the audience of copywriters that a headline has 5 major responsibilities:

1. Attracts attention
2. Communicates the strongest benefit
3. Appeals to a prospect’s self-interest
4. Sets the tone for the offer
5. Selects the right audience

Now that first point – attracts attention – is especially important online, since you only have about 5 seconds to grab someone’s attention. If your prospect doesn’t see right away why they should do business with you, they’re going to hit the back button and find someone else.

But there’s another reason why your website needs a proper headline, and not a “Welcome” sign.

Headlines Help Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking

When a search engine “spider” crawls through your website, it is looking for certain elements such as keywords and header tags. If you put keywords into your headline and include those words in a header tag or H1 tag, the “spider” will see that information, and reward you with a higher ranking on the search engine results page or SERP.

A keyword-rich headline, therefore, can help your website be found by a prospect AND help convince that prospect to do business with you. And isn’t that why you have a website in the first place?

If you’d like to replace the “welcome” sign on your website’s home page, email gloria@gloriarand.com today for a free SEO copywriting estimate.

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4 thoughts on “Why Your Website Needs a Headline – Not a Welcome Sign”

  1. Hi, to be honest, i am a bit unsatisfied with your post. After you name different aspects to keep in mind for writing headlines, especially mentioning conversion, the only tipp you give is to put keywords into the headline, which is something most of your readers already know. No offense though

    1. Hi Daniel,

      I’m sorry you were disappointed with my article. I suppose I could have added more suggestions in the article about how to craft a compelling headline. You’ve given me an idea for a new article. I hope you’ll stop back again and find more articles to your liking. Thanks for the feedback. I do not take offense!

  2. Great piece, Gloria!

    It’s vitally important that copywriting for headlines grab the readers — and search engines — attention. Like a webpage is for a company, the headline is the ‘public face’ to a search engine.

    A recent piece that appeared on this blog shows just how important headlines need to capture the target’s attention and give them a call to action.

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