Improve your B2B website headlines with these 3 helpful copy tips
(What is Website Quick Fix? You watch over my shoulder via video as I talk through a webpage’s copy and pinpoint copy challenges. Then I share tips to improve the copy. Too busy for video? Catch the written summary below.)
★ What’s a good B2B website headline?
On your website, are the headlines capturing your prospect’s attention? They are the first words your prospect sees. What impression are they making?
But … how do you know for sure?
In Website Quick Fix #2, I look at a website for an international B2B company. Their sales have grown during the past year. Are their headlines keeping up?
The website: Neogen
Neogen develops and markets products for healthcare, food, and animal safety. They’ve expanded in biosecurity, The company offers multiple products with government approvals to fight COVID-19.
The spotlight: B2B website headlines
The headline is the most important set of words on your webpage. Good copywriters know its value, so they work hard in creating it.
★ What’s the purpose of a headline?
According to the great copywriter, Gene Schwartz, the headline has one job to do – to stop your prospect and compel him to read the second sentence of your copy. Gene’s professional life preceded the internet. But he also said your second sentence has only one job – to encourage your prospect to read the third sentence of your copy.
To start the review, let’s visit the page, Neogen Life Science Research:
As you put yourself in your buyer’s shoes, read below:
Headline: Your Provider of Industry-Preferred ELISA Test Kits
Would this headline stop and compel you to read the first sentence of the copy? No. Some B2B websites are guilty of poor headlines. Marketers may think the headline needs to be straightforward. And straightforward can be boring.
From the prospect’s point of view, this headline isn’t engaging him.
👑Tip #1: To write a good website headline, you need to know the prospect’s stage of awareness.
Most visitors coming to your website are product aware. They know your product or service, but don’t know if it’s a good fit to solve their problems or eliminate their pain. They may be familiar with your competitors’ products and services.
So within this stage of awareness, a visitor could have a large gap in his knowledge. For example, a prospect visiting Neogen’s website could know little about Neogen’s products and services, or the prospect could be so full of knowledge, he’s qualified to be Neogen’s next salesperson.
This headline doesn’t clearly state how Neogen’s ELISA test kits are different than the hundreds on the market.
★ How to improve a website headline
The headline needs to answer:
★ Why should the prospect care?
★ What is the #1 benefit for the prospect?
In the body copy, I’ve highlighted features and benefits that may make Neogen unique.
Do the competitors offer the same benefits? I don’t know, but I know the strengths of Neogen should be in the headline.
Next, I tried rewriting the headline. BUT I need to pause and state: No one writes a good website headline on the first try. Copywriters write 25+ headlines. Why? Creating more headlines helps you think of new ideas and improve your headline writing skills.
To read my headlines, go to Website Quick Fix #2 at the 5:45 minute mark.
Let’s look at one sample I’ve written:
The Most Ultra-sensitive, Quick and Cost-effective ELISA Test Kits Today
That’s a good start on a headline. To improve it, can you bring in facts to show proof of these attributes? The most ultra-sensitive? The quickest? The most cost-effective? Does the data show Neogen at 10% or 20% better than the competition? Put the numbers in the headline to show Neogen’s advantage versus its competitors.
Website headlines are like online news stories in one aspect: they’re telling you what the page is about. So an effective headline also follows this tip.
👑 Tip #2: Answer what your prospect is looking for in 12 words or less
The prospect’s coming to your website for a key reason. He has:
★ A pain he’s trying to eliminate
★ Questions he’s trying to answer
★ A desire to improve his life or manage his job responsibilities better
So he’s reading with a purpose.
Neogen’s webpage is busy. The copy could be more concise and clear about how Neogen can help him get his job done. For example, the first paragraph is one sentence:
The prospect may think it’s too much work to trudge through the copy.
How can you help the prospect find the info he’s looking for?
You can improve the most important part of the webpage: the headlines. Not only the headlines, but also the subheads.
★ Use subheads in your website
Subheads break up the copy into bite-sized chunks of consumable content. They direct your prospect on what element to pay attention to on the webpage. Put the most important info in the subhead, especially if the decision-maker tends to scan instead of read word-by-word.
Subheads improve readability. I took the copy from the webpage and pasted it below. Then I modified by adding a new headline and subheads to bring out the benefits of Neogen’s ELISA test kits. Notice how these changes made the copy easier to read and understand.
Page: Life Sciences Research rewrite
The Most Ultra-sensitive, Quick and Cost-effective ELISA Test Kits Today
Gain the advantages of 30-plus years of experience
With over 30 years of experience developing and manufacturing ELISA test kits, substrates, and reagents, NEOGEN® provides support and products for dependable and reliable results every time, including an extensive line of research ELISA test kits, an ISO 9001 certified quality management system, and substrates and reagents for immunoassay applications.
Access assays for your every need
We develop and manufacture ultra-sensitive, quick, and cost-effective ELISA test kits for your research. Our portfolio includes assays for detecting levels of hormones, steroids, lipoxins, and histamine in a wide range of samples and species types.
Get unparalleled support 24 / 7
To support you and your testing procedure’s proficiency, we offer various support options like LabLive, a 24/7 global support line, MyAssays data calculation tool, online procedure pages, and more. Please reach out to a NEOGEN representative for further details.
Here’s the last tip to share:
👑Tip #3: What to include in every headline: Specify the highest and most unique feature or benefit in the eyes of your prospect
Instead of leading with the product or company name, lead with the dominate benefit or feature.
What benefits help your customer and are different from everyone else?
Let’s take a look at another webpage, Neogen Sanitation & Hygiene.
Headline: Maximize Your Sanitation and Hygiene with Expert Solutions
This website headline could be for any company that offers sanitation cleaners and disinfectants.
The challenge for Neogen is they serve several distinct industries, ranging from the dairy industry to life sciences, from healthcare to food manufacturing. Their customer base is broad. And the downside of being broad is that your web copy and headlines are general. But if you want your headline to be effective, you need to do Tip #3.
How do you fix this?
You could survey your customers in each industry and discover the common pain points they have. What does Neogen offer to solve the common problems better than any other company? Then place the upmost benefit in the headline.
But here’s what I recommend:
Give the web copy an overhaul. I would list the industries as subheads. I’d create short copy underneath the subheads to explain the most compelling reasons to choose Neogen. Then guide the prospect to go to another page to learn about the how Neogen helps with sanitation and hygiene for the specific industry.
For example, in the Life Sciences industry, direct the prospect to a Life Sciences Sanitation and Hygiene webpage displaying content to appeal to the researcher’s needs.
Otherwise, a prospect who lands on a page as hazy as the current Sanitation and Hygiene will get frustrated. The web copy is too general. They don’t think Neogen understands their problems and concerns. As a result, the prospect leaves your website. And if they leave, you never make the sale.
Every one of your pages needs to be engaging. Every page serves a purpose in the customer’s journey.
In summary, use these 3 tips to write a good website headline:
👑 Tip #1: Need to know your prospect’s stage of awareness.
👑 Tip #2: Answer what your prospect is looking for in 12 words or less.
👑 Tip #3: Specify the highest and most unique benefit in the eyes of your prospect.
And remember, the purpose of the headline is to stop your prospect and compel him to read the next line of copy. If a prospect does not engage with your headline, then they won’t read your copy. And if they don’t read, they won’t buy. A visually appealing website is not enough.
Too many B2B websites have headlines an English professor would love, but are lacking a powerful punch. Boring is out. Fascinating is in.
Which one are you?