When prospects open your home page, where is the first place they look?
Not the first two or three places, but the first place – the most important part of your opening page. Do you know what it is?
It’s your headline.
Think of your home page as a full-page display ad. When you look at an ad in a newspaper or magazine, the one thing that most often draws your attention is the headline. Age-old statistics tell us that 80% of readers do not read beyond the headline. It either grabs their attention – or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, they’re gone.
When you look at a typical law firm website, with typical graphics and typical navigation bars, prospects see no reason to stay – so, often, they simply move on.
The opposite problem is also true. When your home page has too much going on, prospects’ eyes may be pulled seven directions at once. Viewers may get flustered and not know where to look. So “click” – and they go to a website that’s easier to digest.
So, how do you grab their attention, yet do it with dignity and professionalism?
First, make sure you draw their attention to only one place – your headline. Next, it should offer your prospects one or more things they want. And if they see how they will benefit from remaining at your site, they may decide to invest the time and stay awhile.
But if they don’t see a benefit that promises something desirable, then you’ve lost them. You’ve wasted the money you put into your website, as well as the cost of SEO and ongoing updates. Plus, worst of all, you’ve lost the opportunity to win what could have been that case of a lifetime.
Why did you start reading this article? Because you thought that you might learn something important.
The best example I can give you is my website.
Yes, it’s fresh out of 1996. And many lawyers laugh. But you know what? Most lawyers keep reading because this headline promises them something they want:
In my case, I have a small nine-word headline that tells lawyers and search engines what the site is about. Then the main headline promises more benefits.
At this point, lawyers decide whether they want to read on and gain those benefits – or click, move on, and lose the opportunity to learn something that could greatly improve their website.
The power of a benefit headline
To see more examples of headlines, search keywords like “direct marketing copywriters” and similar words. You’d expect them to draw you into their websites so you keep reading. Some do this well – and others don’t.
If you look around the internet, I’ll bet fewer than one law firm website in a hundred has a good benefit headline. Still, without question, this concept is sound, powerful and persuasive.
© Copyright 2014 by Trey Ryder Marketing LLC. All rights reserved.