Secrets to Creating Effective Website Taglines
Article by John Cyril Yee
Graphics Design by Kirsten Tumbokon
Entrepreneurs and marketers know the importance of a great website tagline: it catches attention, defines, communicates, and differentiates a brand. However, there’s more to it than meets the eye. A tagline can help your website — your silent 24/7 salesperson — secure a conversion.
But first, what is a tagline?
A tagline is the big chunk of text that can usually be found on top of a page alongside a website’s banner photo. It’s ideally a gripping phrase or sentence that welcomes and conveys a message for a reader to get a grasp on what the website is all about.
Securing Conversions with a Tagline
Often, prospects who visit your site will have questions that immediately need to be addressed. These questions revolve around who you are, what you do, and what your qualification is in providing the product or service that they want.
Imagine this scenario: you want to buy a smartphone because the one you have right now doesn’t have a good front camera. You visit two websites and encounter their own taglines:
Now, which tagline appeals to you the most? Both talk about the phone’s camera, but the one on the right brings more focus for consumers looking for a phone that’s good for taking selfies — exactly what you’re looking for. The tagline on the right becomes more effective because it attracts you to explore more about the product.
Take note that there are also instances when other visitors from the search engine results pages have already begun thinking about engaging your product or service. A compelling tagline on your website will be a crucial element in the conversion process as it will be the first thing they read before sealing the deal.
Let’s have a more detailed discussion on writing a memorable website tagline.
6 Tips on Creating an Effective Tagline for your Website
1. Simplicity doesn’t always mean brevity
Keeping things simple is the expert rule of thumb since no website owner wants to welcome their prospects with something complicated. Though in following this approach, there are plenty of websites that mistake simplicity for brevity. In fact, the common practice of few-worded web taglines has become a cliché to the point that it now leaves a small room for uniqueness, impact, and memorability.
An effective, simple tagline doesn’t need to be concise; it can go up to several words or a sentence in order to deliver your brand’s clear message. Take for example the tagline we created for 7 Wonders Hostel:
There are no strangers, just a world of people you haven’t met.
It isn’t brief, but it’s simple and effective in conveying their idea of welcoming tourists from any part of the world. It also reflects their business’ purpose as a bridge for guests to meet different people along the way.
Unless your brand is recognised in most places, it would be best to skip over the fashion of three or four-worded web taglines that may sound clever but aren’t clear. In many instances, longer phrases are better because they sound more human as they should be. As best-selling author Hugh MacLeod once said, “If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face.”
2. Write with a positive language
According to Business 2 Community, businesses should use positive language because of two things: one, it enables customers to easily understand the brand’s message; and two, people want to know why they should choose your brand. Positive language allows people to focus on solutions, on what will work. And writing a solution revolves around the concept of using a “should vs. could language” to motivate a profitable action across your target audience.
For example, when you write “Don’t settle for less”, you’re somehow telling your customer that it’s wrong for them to be content with the ordinary. It’s written negatively in a subtle way. Whereas when you write “Unleash your full potential”, you’re telling them that they can be better than what they are now. A positive tone delivers energy as well as enthusiasm and implies that your brand is there to help them.
An example of positive language in a real-world setting can be found in parks, wherein a signage will say “Thank you for not stepping on the grass” instead of “Keep off the grass”. It shows appreciation for those who follow their rules, further encouraging other people to do the same.
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3. Emotional appeal goes a long way
Writing a gripping website tagline can be a challenging task since it requires a crystal-clear definition of what you want people to feel when they explore your site and hear about your brand. Often, it also centres on the question of using promotion or prevention language; whereas prevention-minded consumers are focused on their possible losses, promotion-minded people are fixated on opportunities and responsibilities.
Your target market’s desirable action typically originates from the emotional appeal they get from browsing your website. A tagline written to elicit emotions works wonders in getting the conversions you want.
As such, you can choose between writing in a positive or negative tone of voice. A positive tone works well for businesses, while a negative tone can be more useful for charity or not-for-profit organisations. This is because as a business, you wouldn’t want your customers to misunderstand a negative message that can be attributed to your brand. And as a non-profit organisation, you need to influence strong emotions across your audience for them to take action.
Picture a banner tagline that says “Helping the Country Save Water.” It’s good but readers won’t feel that motivated to do anything about it. If you want them to engage, your tagline should read something like “10,000 gallons of water are wasted by one household per year,” and follow a call-to-action that says “Learn how you can help” instead. This is a more compelling tone and will pave way for better conversion rates on your website.
When in doubt, it’s always best to tap the expertise of a capable web copywriter who can analyse your company or organisation’s goal in order to have an effective website tagline that appeals to your audience’s emotions.
Also read: Taglines Are the First Step to Emotionally-Engaged Customers by Entrepreneur
4. Support it with your brand’s mission
Imagine discovering a new brand online. It has a decent website, a striking logo, and an attractive set of banner photos that can give you an initial idea of their line of business. However, at some point, you’ll ask: What is it they actually do? What is their brand’s personality? The website’s tagline, if written with the brand’s mission in mind, will save you all the necessary guesswork.
Aside from being simple and emotionally appealing, your tagline must encapsulate key details your readers need to know about you on your site. Aside from adding the “finishing touch” to a winning website design, it should communicate your brand’s essence and nature. However, before you achieve this, you must have fully understood what your company or organisation stands for.
For example, the tagline “Investing in Value Beyond Numbers” we coined for 8i Investments talks about the company’s mission towards value-based acquisition. It also reflects the company’s focus on the kind of acquisition process that provides mutual benefits for both parties.
Read Forbes’ article on defining your brand with a tagline here.
5. Rhythm and harmony can set the tone
Whereas your website’s design is all about making your brand look good, your copy is dedicated to making it sound good. If your tagline serves as music to somebody’s ears, then it’s already able to become memorable the moment they land on your homepage.
For many, however, writing with harmony can be the most challenging task because it requires a strong command of the English language. Even if your tagline demands to be simple, you need to be knowledgeable about various figures of speech, sentence pacing, moods, as well as mixing and matching of words in order to create something that will pique your readers’ interest. Otherwise, it’ll result in coming up with taglines that are just as good as anybody else can write.
As such, it’s important to have a copywriter who can fully understand your creative brief in order to deliver the right impact for your readers. Because even with a few words, a meaningful and pleasant-sounding tagline can establish rapport and good impressions for your brand.
6. Keep it factual
One way to build authority and gain consumer trust is to provide them with nothing less than factual information.
Unfortunately, many companies practice the use of superlatives in taglines such as “best,” “leading,” or even “#1” without any information to back up their claims. This is a red flag for many audiences as they consider it false advertising. Using unfounded superlatives also poses a high risk for businesses, especially if they can’t deliver the expected top-notch services they claim to provide. Keep in mind that your tagline is one of the first things people will see on your website. If they can’t trust that, then they’ll have a hard time trusting anything else from your brand.
Superlatives aren’t necessary for having a compelling tagline. However, if you prefer to have some adjectives, then it’s best to ensure that it’s truthful, powerful and won’t sound too good to be true. Words such as “quality,” “competitive,” or even “capable” are safe options if you want to impress and persuade your reader into taking a profitable action.
Here at Verz, we believe that a gripping tagline goes beyond catching attention; it will help your company secure a conversion and eventually, a sale. It is a vital part of any website, including simple WordPress websites, eCommerce websites and customised websites, as it is the very first verbal content that should entertain and engage a visitor. With our professionally trained in-house copywriters, we can help you come up with the right tagline that could elevate your brand’s position across your target market.
Need help in creating a compelling tagline and copy for your website? Tap into our copywriters’ expertise by giving us a call at 6841 1680 or sending us an email at [email protected].