The unfortunate truth is that people aren’t going to spend very much time on your website. Users make snap judgments about online content, and unless you give them a good reason to stick around, they’re going to move one. That’s why your headline needs to be custom-designed to immediately tell a visitor what they can get from your website. In other words, you absolutely need a value proposition.
A value proposition is not the first step in the funnel that turns leads into conversions. After all, visitors don’t see it until after they’ve chosen to visit your site. That means something already led them at least that far. They clicked on an ad, found you at the top of their search results, or even decided to visit because they heard good things from a friend. Something is working, and you don’t want to waste all the effort (and money) you put into driving traffic to your site by letting them get away without getting the conversion.
Your value proposition should clearly lead people to a specific call do action. In order for it to be successful, it needs to clear and relevant to your customers. Visitors need to be able to read it and understand how they will benefit in under 5 seconds. To do this, you need to focus on the needs of your customers and concrete ways your product or service will solve their problem (and how you do it better than your competitors). There’s no room here for meaningless hype or buzzwords—customers see right through such blandvertising. Your claims need to be strong and quantifiable; use numbers where possible. For example, instead of including a phrase like “delivers amazing results” you’ll want something more like “a 20% increase in only 3 weeks.”
With a strong value proposition as your headline—the first thing your visitors see—you’ll see a dramatic increase in your dwell time (as well as the corresponding decrease in your bounce rate) and, more importantly, in your conversions. If you’re not seeing the results you want from your site, take a look at how you greet your visitors when they first hit your homepage, and make sure that what they see is a polished part of your sales pitch.