Let’s Perfect Your B2B Website Headline
Your website headline sets the tone. It introduces and frames your value proposition. With a great headline, your site will have fewer bounces and convert more customers. Let’s get yours optimized today.
To prepare this post, I reviewed several hundred sites that have raised $50m-$150m, on the theory that they’ve had the time and resources to perfect their work. If you’re worried your site isn’t up to par, I’m here to tell you that a shocking percentage of companies who have raised 9 figures are still making rudimentary website mistakes.
I use 3 categories of headlines for my B2B clients. Below are solid examples of each category, some with screenshots showing what headline the company previously used.
Got a Healthtech startup? See my modified suggestions below.
Read to the end! At the bottom of the post I’ve included examples of classic pitfalls to avoid.
Highlight The Benefit
Your best option, by far. Use the headline to highlight the result a client will get from your product or service. Don’t talk about a product feature. Talk about the thing that the target audience knows they want even before learning about your company. They don’t necessarily want to introduce robots to their manufacturing plant; what they want is faster, more accurate manufacturing at lower cost. So highlight that outcome, and then describe how your robotic solution is the key to getting there.
A great example is Shelf Engine (www.shelfengine.com): Sell More, Waste Less. Every retailer wants that. The site highlights the specific painpoints the product solves in order to achieve that goal, such as “Over 40% of deli sandwiches go to waste,” and the subhead explaining how the company solves that problem. They close with a Call to Action (CTA) of “Optimize your grocery ordering.” Classic Benefit-Process-Action structure. As you can see, they used to brag about a product feature—then they shifted to the benefit. Much more powerful.
Another good example is legal analytics software Lighthouse (https://www.lighthouseglobal.com/). “Lighting the Path to Better Legal Outcomes.” Better legal outcomes are exactly what the customer wants. I’m not a huge fan of the “lighting” language, it’s trying too hard to justify the company name. The subhead explains how their technology filters enormous volumes of data to support your legal team.
Trusona (https://www.trusona.com/): Goodbye Passwords. Hello Revenue. They upgraded from the headline “#NoPasswords #No Problems” which is so vague as to be meaningless.
Highlight the Self-Evident Revolution
Some companies are aiming to achieve something that the target audience can reasonably be assumed to immediately realize as game-changing. In this case, hitting the audience with the new world the product creates is enough to get the target audience excited:
Shot Tracker (https://shottracker.com/): Every Stat. Instantly (with a video background that shows a basketball game). Every coach and manager immediately understands how powerful it would be to have live, up-to-the-moment stats for their players.
Nuro. (https://www.nuro.ai/). Autonomy delivered. (with a video background of their autonomous delivery vehicle negotiating city streets.) Autonomous delivery. Pretty revolutionary.
Horse For Sale
Sometimes the best way to sell a horse is with the headline “Horse for Sale.” Some value propositions can be described in a crisp, clear way that creates an unmistakable benefit for the target audience.
Oyster. (https://www.oysterhr.com/) Hire Talent in 180+ Countries. Clear and straightforward. If you have a global company, it will be immediately clear how much time a service like this might save you.
Plus One Robotics (https://www.plusonerobotics.com/) The Most Reliable Parcel Handling Robotics Platform. The video behind the headline shows fast, robotic parcel handling in operation. If you’re running a parcel operation, you likely will pay attention.
Healthtech can require a separate approach because the higher-level benefit is often making people healthier, and you can only see so many headlines along the lines of “Bringing Health to Life” before it feels meaningless. Three options below. Go in order and use the first that makes sense in your case.
Highlight a specific benefit
Scipher (https://www.sciphermedicine.com/): Solving America’s Largest Drug Problem. The company uses patient molecular data to make sure an effective drug is prescribed. The benefit of that is the money saved, which the headline and subhead highlight.
Highlight a general benefit
Ensoma (https://ensoma.com/) The Future of Medicine Lies Within Us. This headline highlights that their therapies are developed using a patient’s cells. It’s a somewhat vague but aspirational phrase that does a good job connecting their approach with the benefit we will all derive.
Cartesian Therapeutics (https://www.cartesiantherapeutics.com/) just keeps it simple. They do RNA cell therapy for Autoimmune diseases. This is a good option for them as they are starting with one specific disease (gMG), but their tech is broad enough that it could cover much more.
No matter what industry you’re in, here are examples of what to avoid:
Meaningless puffery like “The Future Is Here” from https://www.s2amodular.com/. Could be anything! (in this case, it happens to be modular housing.) I see a lot of sites that say things like “The Next Generation of..”, “The Future of…”, “Innovative”, “Revolution” or the like. Tell me what I’m going to get. I’ll decide the superlatives.
Vague aggrandizement. For example, “Transforming the Way We Fly” (www.xwing.com). Describe the transformation.
One Step Too Abstract. “Inside. Outside. Worldwide.” That’s the headline of https://satelles.com/. Huh? Later they explain they have a tracking service that’s like GPS, but it works indoors. So then the headline makes sense, though only 1/3 of the claims (“Indoors”) is actually the key benefit that sets it apart from GPS.
Vague. Abstraction into meaningless phrases is another risk, particularly when the product offers various solutions. Theatro (https://www.theatro.com/). “Overcoming Retail’s Greatest Challenges.” You should be able to list one of those challenges—or even better, describe the better world you as the client will inhabit when those challenges are overcome. Even the subhead here doesn’t explain: “organize frontline operations” and “Optimize customer experiences” using “the power of voice.” I still don’t know what’s going on.
Confusing. “Events Imagined. Brands Elevated.” https://stova.io/ Even the subhead doesn’t really explain what the company does. It’s an “event technology ecosystem” has “end-to-end solutions” that offer “scalability.”
Otto Pohl is a communications consultant who helps startups tell their story better. He works with deep tech, health tech, and climate tech leaders looking to create profound impact with customers, partners, and investors. He has taught entrepreneurial storytelling at USC Annenberg and at accelerators across the country. Learn more at www.corecommunicationsconsulting.com