The most successful advertising copy writers will often tell you headline is most important part of ad. If headline doesn't grab your attention, why would you waste precious time reading ad? And if you don't read ad copy, how could you be expected to buy product?
A bad headline can neutralize even finest, most persuasive copy (but you probably already knew that). What you might *not* have realized is how this fundamental law of advertising is constantly violated online - everywhere you look - but where you might have least expected it.
First, you need to think of your web site as equivalent of your advertising copy. So if that's case, then what's headline?
Usually, web designers and marketers like to think of headline as any prominent piece of text at top of page. Sure, that can be a headline. But here's your site's real headline, one that brings people in and prevents them from leaving...
Visit a web page, and then look at blue "title bar" in very top of your web site browser. Now *there* is your headline - and I'm going to tell you why it is very important that you do yours right...
You need to look at your site from perspective of someone who: - doesn't work for your company; - has never been there before; and, - doesn't care about your all-important corporate identity.
Don't assume bigger, more established web sites are doing it right. Sometimes, it's just opposite that is true.
Visit Yahoo.com and then look at their title bar headline. What does it says? "Yahoo!" Wow - isn't that a real attention grabber? Is it any wonder that one of most frequently searched terms at Yahoo is word "yahoo"?
Imagine people who are new to net. They've heard word "yahoo" a million times. They've finally made it to site (probably by accident). And then they spend their time looking for something that's right in front of them, because no where does it say what hell Yahoo is, or does.
Venture off to computer retailer Outpost.com, and what's their headline? "Outpost.com". Another winner. But what would you expect from marketing geniuses who shot hamsters out of cannons expecting it to help them sell more computer equipment?
GoTo.com greets you with "We power results." Well yippee for them, they power results. It's a hair better than previous two, but still... yawn. As a marketing tool, I personally love GoTo. But for someone visiting their site for first time, their headline says next to nothing.