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 firstname.lastname@example.org today for a free SEO copywriting estimate.