Do you have a welcome message like this on your homepage?
“Welcome to my website. Please look around and enjoy your visit.”
Tough love time. That website welcome message needs to go.
I know you wrote that welcome message to be warm, welcoming and friendly. Despite your best intentions, it doesn’t have that effect on your website visitors. Here’s why and what you can do instead.
Why You Should Ditch Your Website Welcome Message
79% of visitors don’t read your website [source]. Instead, they quickly skim the page to find what they’re looking for.
Jakob Nielson, one of the most respected web usability consultants in the world, calls welcome messages blah-blah text.
Visitors come to your website to solve a problem or find specific information. When they see a welcome message they think, “blah, blah, this isn’t what I’m looking for” and skip over it.
Visitors look for more actionable content like headlines, bullet points and links because those are the places they’re most likely to find what they’re looking for.
You do this too when you’re searching online. You google something, click a link in the search results and quickly scan the page to find whatever you googled.
What to Do Instead of a Website Welcome Message
Imagine you have an office for your business. Would you literally say “welcome to my office” when someone walks in? Uh, no.
You’d have a sign out front that says who you are and what you do. Your office would be nicely decorated and you’d greet visitors with a friendly smile and warm tone of voice.
Visitors would know where they are because of the sign out front. And they’d feel welcome because of the friendly, professional environment and your positive attitude. There’s no need to say “welcome to my office.” You can skip that and get right to the good stuff.
Your website is your virtual office. Welcome visitors online the same way you’d welcome them in your office.
Prominently display who you are and what you do. This is like the sign outside your office. Visitors can see at a glance if you have what they’re looking for.
Use the overall feel of your website to make visitors feel welcome. Your website should be uncluttered and nicely decorated. The text should have a pleasant, friendly tone. And it should be well-organized so people can easily find their way around.
Doing these things will convey a warm, friendly welcome without the need for a website welcome message that’s going to be ignored.