It is quite common for business websites to greet visitors with the headline ‘welcome to our website’. While it’s normal to want to greet visitors and make them feel welcome to the site, it is also important to bear in mind that a headline is an opportunity to engage visitors and draw them into a business offering. In this sense, the home page headline does the same job as a newspaper headline. It grabs attention.
The headline also does most of the work in keeping visitors on the page and enticing them along a particular navigation path. When you write ‘welcome to our website’ you are actually making the body copy of the page do more work than it should, because the reader glosses over the headline and, hopefully still being interested, glances at what is below. A good headline does a lot more than just say ‘hello, thanks taking the time to stop by’. It cuts visitors into the ‘chase’ of the content with an interesting, relevant and intriguing message or idea.
It is understandable to feel that a headline that appears too glib or over simple may be in danger of compromising the veracity of the message. This really doesn’t matter as long as the rest of the copy develops the business offering and paints more of a complete picture of the proposition.
The next challenge, of course is to write body copy that does this in a tight, punchy way, drawing the reader to an appropriate ‘call to action’.
This is not necessarily a ‘buy this now’ command. That’s your ultimate aim of course, but the call to action here is more likely to be about which bit of the site you want particular segments of your audience to head to next.
The other important thing to remember is that the headline may not appear in your head until you have finished drafting the page copy. This is how it often works for me. Either way, take another look at your headline and evaluate it in the light of what’s been said here. Perhaps you have an effective one already. If you’d like a second opinion, let me know and I’ll be happy to take a look.