Does Your Website Copy Make This Mistake?

David Ogilvy, advertising’s original “mad man” made the observation that…

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

Truth.

Most people won’t spend more than a minute on your website.  In fact, most will be outta there within 10-20 seconds.

That’s why you need a good headline. A good headline captures the visitor’s attention immediately so they stick around and take the desired action, like signing up for a demo.

Take a look at this headline. It’s the first thing someone sees when they visit this website.

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Does this headline grab visitors by the lapels and compel them to stay or is it just jargon that obscures the company’s message? (In case you can’t read it, the subheading is “When APIs replace manual data management, your products get to market faster than ever before”.)

It also focuses on a feature of the software.  How about focusing on the software’s main benefit instead? Here’s what I mean:

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Now, that’s why someone should use this product.

Notice that I took a phrase from the subheading and used it as the headline. I then changed the subheading to “Manual data management is slow. We use APIs to speed things up.” I also made the CTA friendlier and more compelling.

Now, let’s look at the bullets on the home page:

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The first bullet

The phrase “Upload once, publish everywhere” is a feature of the software, not a benefit.  What’s the benefit? This: “No more manual data management, ever.” So, I made that the headline.

Also, there is no reason to use a word like “syndicate” instead of “distribute”. You want the reader to immediately understand what you’re trying to say.  Don’t use fancy words when simple ones will do.

The second bullet

I changed “Fits all, big and small” to something easier to understand: “For businesses of all sizes”.

Don’t try to be clever or, as Steve Krug would say, don’t make me think. Remember, you only have about 10-20 seconds to grab your visitor.

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The third bullet

I changed the obscure “Sync like you mean it” to “Works with any data management solution” since that’s what visitors need to know. Why hide it in the text beneath the healine?

Conclusion

Make your copy easy to scan by using meaningful headlines because most visitors aren’t going to read anything else.

(Learn how to change the text on any website using Chrome’s Developer Tools)