Headlines are the most important text on your business website. Here’s how to write them for your homepage.
A strong small business homepage headline communicates three things about your offer:
- What it is
- What you get
- What you’re able to do with it
This business offers real roses (what it is) that last a year (what you get). What you can do is implied, but the sub-header clarifies the occasions they’re perfect for.
They offer flexible subscription payment software (what it is) that lets you handle recurring billing like a pro (what you get) so you can sell subscriptions, pre-orders, and payment plans (what you’re able to do with it).
For a local business, part of what you do is your locations. If people have to come to you or your service is location-specific, include it in your homepage headline. This chiropractic service does a good job of including location info in their headline:
Use these three elements as a guide for writing headlines. You may not always include all three, but if you do your headlines will be more effective. Use subheadlines to add detail.
On your homepage, your headlines are part of your overall value proposition, which also details why you’re a better choice than your competition.
Your Website Headlines Are Not Clickbait
Often, when people think of headlines, they think of something like this:
This is more akin to a traditional copywriting headline that’s meant to tantalize and provoke a click-through (aka, clickbait).
Don’t write website homepage headlines in this style. Your website content must create a sense of trust, and you won’t accomplish that with salesy clickbait.
Remember when someone is on your website itself, they’ve already clicked. You have their attention – at least for the moment. Now what you want to do is orient them. Be clear that you offer what they need and you’ll solve their problem.
Write homepage headlines with a natural, conversational voice. If your website sounds like a pushy salesperson, you’ll set-off people’s BS detectors and lose sales.
Your Offer Isn’t Self-Explanatory
Sensational, clickbait type headlines are not the biggest problem on small business websites. In fact, it’s the opposite.
On many business website homepages, the headline is absent. They have no initial details on what they offer.
Often a headline is technically present, but it’s so vague it might as well not be. Cliches and stock phrases about how much you care won’t help drive conversions.
What tends to happen, especially when people are designing their own website on a template, is the business owner loses objectivity. They think their offer is self-explanatory. They forget new visitors – for whom the business is a blank page – need to be oriented.
Never take for granted the fact that new visitors don’t know or care about you. They’re selfish. The only thing they want to know is if you can solve their problem. If they don’t start to feel that – almost immediately – they’ll be gone.
Try this exercise: Imagine your headline and call to action is the only content on your page. Is there enough info to orient a new visitor and convince them to act? If not, you’re assuming they know more than they do.
A strong headline is central to your homepage. Be crystal clear about what you offer. Write with certainty about how you can help. Give people a reason to care about your offer.
If you don’t, they won’t.