The first sentence people read when they arrive on your website needs to tell visitors what you do and for whom. If it doesn’t, they are likely going to move on.
I’ve been looking at some more websites of mining suppliers and, yes, there is usually a sentence that tries to explain what they do and for whom, but often it’s a bit wordy. Not only are they way too long, often 36-50 words, they don’t give a real picture of what the company does.
Example of a wordy sentence that really says nothing.
Here’s an example of sentences I’ve read on some mining supply websites. We are a (leading provider, leading edge, leading global, full-service, best-in-class, one-stop, full spectrum) business offering a (wide-range, variety, vast array, wide array,) of products and services.
Lots of words, but they don’t really say anything. What do these companies do?
These words just take up room and don’t provide any useful information to the reader.
Who says you are the leading provider or best-in-class? Wide range. What does that really mean?
You must get rid of all the weak words that don’t precisely describe what your company does. It can be a painful experience. It was likely a lot of work to get that sentence together.
Remember, all content marketing, which includes your website, needs to be interesting, educational, and useful to the reader. The first sentence on your site needs to do this, too.
I came across a few sites without any words on the first page. Pictures or video are great, but contrary to popular belief, they don’t speak a thousand words. Especially in content marketing.
If your opening sentence doesn’t engage the reader, you need to rewrite it.
I found a great first sentence on a mining supplier’s website. I’ve changed the words here a bit, but you should be able to see what I’m talking about
The first sentence on the website reads: Chemical analytics for new mining.
The first word is very specific to the analytics provided and new indicates that they want to work with mines looking to do things differently.
At a time when miners are looking to modernize their mines and make them more efficient and decrease their environmental footprint. They are looking for new ways to doing things. This first sentence would get their attention.
They would likely stay on that website and look at other pages.
Notice how short the sentence is. Whoever wrote this copy, drilled down, and found out precisely what they do and for whom. There are no extra words.
Looking back at the example from the beginning and removing the vague words, we end up with — We are a business offering products and services.
Still doesn’t say much. Every business offers products or services.
It’s often said that the devil is in the details. That might be true for contracts, but it’s not true for content marketing. Details are crucial in marketing copy.
You need to be as specific and detailed as possible. And yet be succinct. Not an easy task.
Take a look at the first sentence on your website. Think about a person arriving on your site and reading it. What impression would they get? Would they know instantly what you do and for whom?
The job of the first sentence is to get visitors to read the second sentence. The job of the second sentence is to get them to read the third sentence. And so on.
It’s time to get rid of the weak words and get specific, and give your readers the information they need to buy your product or service. Brainstorm.