People come to your website from all kinds of sources.
- Some have done a search and found you for one of the key words your site features.
- Some have got a business card from you and gone to check you out.
- Some have been recommended by someone else.
- Some have followed a link on social media.
The challenge is that you need to get their attention – fast.
Most people have a short attention span online. Just watch someone flick down a website or blog post on their mobile device – they can’t read that fast, they’re picking up headlines and key words until they find something that captures their attention.
So your website needs headlines – that get the reader’s attention. Think of your website like a newspaper. Nobody reads a newspaper from cover to cover – most of us glance at the headline and only read the articles that capture our interest. That’s part of the sub-editor’s job – to come up with compelling headlines that will tell the reader enough to catch their attention and draw them in.
Remember that your website has to function for two types of reader:
- The search engine’s spiders
- The human reader
The search engine spiders will be looking for key words and relevant content. They will be reading something known as H1 tags, primarily and then the body copy related to that.
An H1 tag is simply the most prominent headline. However, it does not need to be the biggest font size. It’s a designation to tell the search engine – this is what this page is about. So the H1 tag may say Services, but it doesn’t need to say
If your human reader has clicked on the Services tab, that’s where they’re expecting to be when the page loads. What they need is something to encourage them to start reading. That headline for the human can be an H2 tag (the next most important headline – for the search engines). AND it can be in a bigger font than the H1 tag.
Take a dip into our treasure trove …
That way the search engine spider gets the right information – and the human being gets a headline that draws them in.
Your website headlines need to do this job on EVERY page – as you never know which page people will land on. If they’ve searched for something that’s on one of your product or service pages, they may arrive directly on that page, without visiting the home page.
Get the headline habit!