Please don’t say “welcome to my website”

Mike Garner

Mike Garner, Story-based email copywriter, strategy, messaging

I’m going to be straight with you. If you were my client and you wanted me to write “Welcome to my website” on your homepage, I’d sack you.

On the spot. I’m out of here! Don’t want to work with you anymore no matter how much you want to pay me. My professional integrity and, to be honest, my dignity, have no price.

Why, pray, you may ask?

Well, it’s a cliché, conventional, boring. Why would you want to introduce yourself in the same way as half the world’s websites do? What does that tell me about you?

Strangely enough, although you’ve said welcome, it’s not very welcoming.

  • It tells me that you don’t care very much about what you do, you haven’t put very much thought into your copy, your website and possibly your business as well.
  • It’s a wasted opportunity. That spot on your homepage is just the place to hit visitors with a headline that tells them exactly what you do and why they should be interested. So why not use it?It makes you sound as though you were still living in 1997.
  • It makes your site all about you. Are you surprised I said that? What does that tell your visitors? They want to know whether or not you can solve their problem, not that you’re delighted to have them visit you.

So, what’s the solution? Grand gestures and big welcome mats convince no-one so let out your inner “you” and be natural while at the same time creating an environment that puts visitors at ease and gives them what they are looking for.

  • Create an engaging headline that tells your visitors exactly what you do for them. Even something along the lines of “fantastic widgets that make your life better” would be a start.
  • Give them a reason to stay and look further, move on to the other pages, your services, your blog or your contact page.
  • Give them a reason to come back, subscribe to a sequence of emails that will increase the number of times they hear from you and so increase the likelihood of them buying from you.
  • Be welcoming but in a discreet way. Not like those slightly scary meet and greet people you see in department stores that give you a big (fake) grin as they say “HELLO!”

The hard truth is that people read little on websites and have short attention spans (even you do!). They need to be enticed and encouraged to stay from the get-go. Do that, and your visitors will know they’ll be welcome at any time.

First published on

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