The Problem with Introductions

Last week I wrote a homepage for one of the web firms I work for. It was lively and keyword rich, and I guess the client was happy with it, because they came back last week for some more pages. I went to the development site and found that they had installed the content for the homepage — and also created a large header, into which they had dropped some introductory text.

You know the kind of thing I mean. There’s some introductory text in the header of the new site pictured above. The example above gives the doctor’s name and specialty, the name of his clinic, and the type of patient he sees.

The site I’m telling you about had something like, “There are many benefits to chiropractic care.” It wasn’t really a chiropractor’s site, but it was that kind of sentence. The kind of sentence that people often think of when they write an introduction.

  • “There are many…”
  • “Have you ever wondered…”
  • “If you need…”
  • “One of the most…”

You can finish these sentences with snappy, lively text that matters. When writing an introduction, though, people hardly ever do.

It may be a leftover from third grade, where most of us learned to write papers beginning with, “There are many reasons why…” It could be a feeling that it’s not courteous to jump right in and start saying something interesting without easing into it. For some people, it just takes a while to get started with writing, so the first few sentences don’t have much meaning in them.

Whatever the reason, introductions are often the weakest part of the amateur writer’s material.

On a web page, this is a bad thing. The search engines pay most attention to the stuff you put at the top of the page, and human visitors may never see anything else. The first sentences of your page have to be engaging and keyword rich.

For the site I’m telling you about, there was no problem with just moving the first paragraph of the content up into the header. If that doesn’t work for your page, write something fresh — something with the equivalent of the doctor’s name and specialty.






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