Does your website have a great headline on the homepage? Or does it just say “Welcome”? A great headline can make or break your therapy website. It can literally triple your practice.
I used to think that this “sales-y” stuff was for “someone else” or for non-therapy-type sites. But, then I realized that when a potential client is online, I almost have to think of them as being absorbed in a really good video game. They are so NOT able to pay attention to me. They’re in an ADD state. As far as they’re concerned, hundreds of other sites and potentially much better help are 1 click away. So, what headline is going to pull them out of their video game and really give me their attention? If I work with kids, what is that parent going to need to hear in their mind to actually put the game controls down and look at me? If I work with people struggling with anxiety, what voice message has to run through their mind to make them stop and listen? (By the way, this is one of the reasons that choosing a niche is so important. You need to put yourself in the place of your reader so thoroughly that you can be them for a bit. Your headline must address their fear, hope, or other pain very directly. If you’re trying to reach everyone, it is impossible to have a specific enough headline).
The purpose of the headline is to get your site visitor to stop what they’re doing, pay attention, and read the first line of your text. Then the purpose of the first line is to get them to read the second. Then the second line has the purpose of getting them to continue. The headline (and subhead, if you use one) and the first and second lines of text all must be so compelling that your reader perks up and stays with you. This field of copywriting has been studied and tested and tested and…. tested. Companies pay attention, very carefully, to crafting the right headlines and messages, because they’re going to invest millions in mailing things to potential buyers or buying expensive ad space in magazine, or running commercials on radio or tv. One headline/message combo can make the difference between losing millions of dollars or making millions of dollars, so they measure effectiveness very carefully.
When they get a headline/message combo that works, it becomes the “control”. The other copywriters try to beat the control (i.e. write a better headline/message to get a better response). It is because of this scientific measuring process with billions of $ spent that we know that words absolutely matter! Now, we therapists like to think of ourselves as less money-motivated than these big companies. Let us say, for argument’s sake that our goal is to “do more good”. Well, you can’t do any good if no one reads your message. Replace “money” as the end game in the above paragraph for “ability to do good”. The same principles still apply.
My own humble experience with this was when I studied some copywriting techniques, and then changed the sales message on one of my own websites. Overnight, my earnings went from $1000/month to over $3000 per month. I had the same number of site visitors month-to-month. It was a powerful lesson that has stayed with me and made me a student of copywriting. It made me realize that, indeed, a great headline can make or break your therapy website, and my site as well.
Here is a very rich resource for help with your website’s headline: Magnetic Headlines
If you want to do more good, become a student of copywriting and write better headlines. If you don’t have the time or the inclination, call me at 866-610-5601 and we can do it for you.