See this image of the homepage for the U.S. Census?
A usability study was performed for this page, and guess what 86% of users could NOT find on it? The population of the United States. That bolded, red, enlarged number in the top right.
Quite interesting. To learn more, including the eye tracking heat graph that shows how visitors read the page, click here: www.useit.com/alertbox/fancy-formatting.html.
The lesson? Where you place copy throughout your web site matters. Visitors often scan, virtually ignoring the entire banner area, and then head straight for the middle or the sides to read the copy and latest information.