The first thing someone will read when they land on your home page is the main headline. Does it give them a reason to stick around? Too many times, people use “Welcome to my website” as their main headline. But this is just a waste of virtual real estate.
People move quickly on the web, if you don’t speak to them within the first few seconds, you’ve lost them. Your main headline will profoundly affect whether a visitor to your site stays to read some more, opts into your list, or just move on to the next website.
Here are three tips to make sure your headline moves your visitor in the direction you want them to go.
State your biggest promise or benefit.
One way to go with your headline is to tell your visitors upfront what’s in it for them to stick around. Here are some examples:
- Who Wants a Screen Star Figure?
- Hands that Look Lovelier in 24 Hours — Or Your Money Back
- You Can Laugh at Money Worries – If You Follow This Simple Plan
Do you see the benefits proclaimed? The first promises a movie-star figure, the second, better-looking hands, and the third, freedom from financial stress.
When you make a big, bold promise you will instantly attract the attention of a visitor who is a member of your target market.
Identify Your Ideal Prospect.
You can further attract your target by naming them in either your pre-headline or even the main headline. Here are some examples:
- Advice to Wives Whose Husbands Don’t Save Money – By A Wife
- Who Ever Heard of a Woman Losing Weight — And Enjoying 3 Delicious Meals at the Same Time?
- To People Who Want to Write — But Can’t Get Started
Do you see the target markets named? Wives with spend-thrift husbands, women trying to lose weight, and want-to-be writers. Naming your target market upfront can help you efficiently “weed out” visitors who you don’t (or don’t want to) serve.
Be provocative or arouse curiosity.
People love a mystery, so if you can evoke their curiosity to know more with your headline, then you will successfully entice them into the body of your home page. Here are some examples:
- The Most Expensive Mistake of Your Life
- The People Who Read This Book Will End Up With Your Money
- Do You Do Any of These Ten Embarrassing Things?
Aren’t you just dying to know what that expensive mistake is? And how will reading a book help people take my money? And, ooh, I hope I’m not doing any of those embarrassing things… I better find out what they are. Mystery and curiosity are compelling… use them wisely to draw people into your copy.
Poor use of copy and copy optimization techniques is the fifth deadly mistake of home page design. If you would like to know what all five deadly mistakes are — and learn how to create a more effective website — grab a copy of my book, Home Sweet Home Page: How to Fix the 5 Deadly Mistakes Authors, Speakers, and Coaches Make with Their Website’s Homepage.