What Makes a Great Web Site Tagline?
Your tagline should be a short, pithy phrase that’s a “concise statement of the site’s purpose,” according to usability expert Steve Krug.* It appears above, below or next to your business name and logo on every page of your site, but is especially prominent on your home page. Krug says a great tagline should be 6-8 words (“just long enough”). It needs to be clear andinformative. If it’s personable, lively and clever, so much the better!
A great web site tagline clearly says what you do and why visitors should care — and it says it in a way that’s short, sharp and memorable!
Here’s a clear, informative tagline:
“Practical News on Internet Marketing”
“The single best source for facts on the net”
This one makes it clear that we’ll get more than an online seed catalog; we’ll get juicy information too:
Burpee Seeds and Plants:
“America’s Favorite Gardening Resource”
Here’s a vague one (this is the old tagline):
“The Online Music Network”
(Is it a networking site for musicians? Or is it like MP3 where consumers go to listen to music and download it?)
The new tagline is even more confusing:
“Me Music. It’s Mine.”
(Do you have to be under 25 to get it?)
back to top of page
Clever (but is it clear enough?):
“A Cybercommunity for the Moon-Minded”
Another vague one:
(Can you tell what this web site does? It’s one of my favorites but I wouldn’t know what it is or what it does, from the tagline.)
“A Lifestyle Company.
Simple Choices. Natural Connections.”
Pithy, direct, to the point:
Advanced Book Exchange
“Finding books just got easier”
Clear (no question about what it is!):
From My Perspective
“An Online Colored Pencil Magazine by Ann Kullberg”
And Steve Krug’s own site:
Advanced Common Sense
“Web Usability Consulting”
How do you come up with your own tagline?
- Brainstorm! Write down lists of words that describe your business, without thinking too hard about it.
- Identify which ones are keywords (you’ve done your keyword homework, right?).
- Write down a few phrases that describe what your site and business does, and why people should care. What will it do for them?
- Add some of the more descriptive, clever words from your first list, including at least one keyword, to those phrases.
- Now cut the phrases down to 6-8 words.
- Try out the different phrases on colleagues and family. Ask for their feedback — what does the phrase say to them?
- Don’t discount serendipity — the perfect tagline may come to you in the middle of the night!
Sources & Resources:
(Links will open in new windows.)
“Let Them Know What Your Site is About” by Nick Usborne
“Tagline Blues: What’s the Site About?” by Jakob Nielsen
“Business Name & Tag Line Generator” by Marcia Yudkin
(Great brainstorming ideas)
*Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (One of my favorite books)