How To Write A Website Headline That Increases Sales
Does your website fail to generate qualified leads and sales for your business?
Ever wondered why new prospects aren’t engaging with your brand through your website?
Are you tired of working your tail off to land new business and clients?
“No, I like working my butt off.” -Said no one ever.
Growing a business is a rewarding challenge. It takes an effective sales team, a strong business development strategy, knocking on doors (real and virtual), persistence, and a great marketing plan.
A key weapon any sales arsenal and an integral piece of a great marketing plan is your website. That’s if it’s executed properly.
The problem is, many businesses don’t have a website that generates sales. If anything, they generate more confusion, which is the equivalent of sales death.
Whether you’ve invested time and money into a website that doesn’t work or your website has been an afterthought and you’re thinking about revamping it, there’s one thing your website must have or else it will fail.
Fortunately, It’s really simple and doesn’t take a lot of work to create and if you implement this one thing on your website properly, you’ll have much greater engagement.
What is that one thing? A clear website headline.
That’s right, you need a clear, easy to see and read website headline front and center on your home page that describes what you offer your customers and how it can help them.
If you have a clear website headline you will dramatically improve your engagement and conversions on your site. And I can promise you this, if your website doesn’t have a clear headline front and center on your home page that tells us what you do or offer, you’re losing sales.
Most websites don’t work because they start off on the wrong foot. 9/10 times the reason why a website doesn’t work is the messaging of their website headline is confusing.
Yeah, it’s that simple.
The website messaging is, well, not simple.
There are several reasons why a site can be confusing but here are the most common reasons:
- The headline doesn’t clearly explain what the company does or offers
- There is too much text in the website headline
- The website headline text is too small
- The home page is cluttered and distracting
- The website headline is a clever or cute slogan that has little to do with what the company offers
So how do you create a website headline that leads to greater visitor engagement and conversions?
Follow these 3 rules and you’ll see a significant increase in engagement from your website visitors.
How to Write a Great Website Headline
1. State what you offer your customer
If you’re looking for some magic trick on how to write a great website headline that will blow your socks off, stop right there.
Often in life, the best solutions to our most difficult problems are the simplest.
Your website headline is no different. When it comes to writing a great headline and engaging customers, be clear and tell them exactly what you offer.
I realize this sounds boring, but boring and clear is far greater than clever and confusing. And if you’re being clever on your site, you’re most likely confusing your customer which will negatively impact your sales.
Take a look at this website headline example from Unruh Furniture. They’re a custom furniture maker in Kansas City.
What’s so great about this website headline is its simplicity. Just three words and I know exactly what they do and offer: quality custom furniture.
2. Write your headline with your customer as the target audience of that headline
A lot of companies talk about themselves on their home page or landing page. They say how long they’ve been in business for or how many awards they’ve won.
Sorry to break the news to you but your customers don’t care about you…they care about themselves!
So ask yourself this one question, how does your product or service help your customer? Answer that and put it in your headline.
When you highlight the problem your customers are experiencing in their lives, they listen.
This website headline from Belay Solutions is a great example of putting their customers front and center.
They clearly state what they offer, virtual bookkeeping services, and then they speak directly to their customers by saying, “it takes a special person to love bookkeeping. 99% of the time, it’s not you.”
3. Offer your customer something of value
The last critical component is to tell your customers what they have to gain by working with you or buying your product or service.
Will they grow their savings? Will they gain financial freedom? Will they get a beautiful home?
Promise them something great (and realistic) in your headline and your customers will be drawn to you like a magnet.
This example from Quickbooks does just that. It tells us clearly what we will get from them, simple accounting software, and the value it provides is how easy it is to use, which will save us time and money.
3 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Website Headline
Now that we know how to write a great website headline, let’s dive into the three most common mistakes when writing website headlines.
1. Don’t be cute or clever
You want to stand out, you say.
You want to be a fun brand, one people remember, right?
So do many companies, which is great, but this leads them to a fatal flaw in their marketing, they try to be cute and clever.
This always sounds like a great idea but it’s nearly always a terrible one.
Because when you’re cute or clever, what it really means is you’re confusing. And confusing is sales death.
Research shows website visitor’s attention spans are about 2-3 seconds when landing on a website.
So if your messaging on your site is clever, it’s going to take more than 2-3 seconds to process what that message means.
What a clever website headline really means is you’ve just created a riddle. A good riddle can take a long time to solve, hours if not days and a simple one still can require several minutes to think through.
If that’s on your website headline, you’ve just lost your visitor’s attention.
If your customer has to process that clever message, they won’t.
Making your customer work to understand what it is you offer them is homework, and who the heck wants homework?
Don’t make them figure out what it is you do, tell them what you do.
If you don’t quickly communicate how your product or service will help your customers live a better life, they’ll leave your site.
Here’s a good exercise, pretend your website is a billboard on a five-lane highway and your customers are seeing your billboard flying down the road at 60mph.
How much time do you think the average driver has to take a look at that billboard?
Probably only a few seconds if that.
Right now on my route home from work, I pass a billboard every evening.
This billboard was recently switched out for a new company. A fun, cool, and clever company…uh oh, that’s right, clever.
No joke, it took me at least fifteen times driving by this billboard before I finally understood what this billboard was selling.
The only reason I finally understood it was because I was stuck in traffic for an inordinate amount of time, otherwise I still wouldn’t understand it.
The billboard says “best nutcracker recital ever” next to a hand holding a small device.
So, what do you think this company sells?
Have any great ideas?…
Tired of guessing?…
Is marijuana vape pen one of the first things that came to mind when you read “best nutcracker recital ever”?
This sounds like a great idea but the problem is when you first see it, you see “nutcracker recital” and start thinking about recitals, theater, and Christmas.
Your brain has just been primed to follow that path.
In order to get to the vape pen, it now takes redirecting thought pattern back to vape pens. But unfortunately, that will likely not happen considering you’re seeing this billboard flying down a five-lane road trying to navigate traffic and clueless drivers that cut you off at 60 miles per hour!
Consider that money wasted.
Long story short, if you’re clever, you’re losing sales and when you create your website messaging and main headline, pretend your customers are seeing it at 60 miles per hour on a busy highway.
2. Don’t be long-winded
“Less is more.” – Dieter Rams
Similar to the design ethos of the famous industrial designer Dieter Rams, when it comes to marketing, less is more.
More accurately, figure out how you can communicate what you offer your customers in the fewest words possible.
Figure that out, and people will remember you.
Want a good example? Check out this headline from a cool custom wood shop in Georgia.
Nope, good wood.
Any question what benefit their customers will get after buying their wood?
Nope, a great home!
3. Don’t use insider language or jargon
In the late 90s, early 2000s there was a great Saturday Night Live skit featuring Jimmy Fallon as “Nick Burns your company’s computer guy.”
He was rude, pompous, and spoke in a computer technical language only he could understand.
Every time he spoke he left his coworkers confused and frustrated.
If you’re using insider language or technical jargon in your marketing you’re like Nick the computer guy.
Don’t be this guy.
Here’s a quick tip, make your website headline so simple a five-year-old can understand it or rather, say it in such simple language that everybody can understand what it is you offer.
If you create a clear website headline, that offers your customer something of value and place it on your home landing page front and center in clear text, your website engagement will go up.
New prospects will know what it is you offer them and they’ll know how you can help them.
And when they understand that, you’ll see you’ll have better engagement on your site, more appointments booked, more requests for quotes, and more sales.