How NOT to Open Your Website

Welcome

How many times have you seen one of the following when you first landed on a website?

‘Hello!’

‘Welcome!’

‘Welcome to [site name]!’

‘Welcome to my little corner of the internet!’

And how many times did you then go on to purchase something from said website? Can’t remember? Well then, let me tell you. The answer is zero.

It feels natural to write a welcome message like that on your home page, doesn’t it? But saying something so cliched and generic and bullshitty will only accomplish a couple of things:

1. It will bore people.

2. It will make people think you’re unprofessional, or a newbie, or just a bit excitable and annoying.

Not a good impression to make, right? But do you know the biggest trouble with the generic welcome message? IT’S A HORRENDOUS WASTE OF SPACE.

The home page — particularly the first part of the home page people will read, AKA the bit where you’ve slapped your welcome message — is some of the most valuable real estate on your website. That opening line is what will make people decide to stay or go. To find out what services you offer or not. To hire you or find someone else.

Ideally, you want a line that encapsulates what you do, who you do it for, and why people should want you to do it for them. I’m not saying you should outright state why people should hire you to do the job… but rather that you should make them believe they want you to do the job. In that single opening line.

It’s not easy. But if you can nail it, it’ll be worth the effort.

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