This is my formula for writing a homepage heading. Your very first impression for someone coming to your brand; a summary of everything you do and how you do it.
It can be difficult to nail down such a vast concept in such a small number of words. How can you sum up 20 website pages in one line?!
I’ve got you. Three steps – that’s it.
How I start writing my main homepage heading
1. Identify your main brand keyword
Keyword phrase, that is. The number one thing you’d like to be found for.
As your homepage is where you talk about your brand as a whole, rather than a product page, that keyword phrase should probably be like this:
[brand name] + [overall business purpose]
My imaginary business is called Drover. We sell expensive wool attire for hiking.
[Drover] + [wool clothing]
Remember: your first heading on a page (the H1) is the most important bit of copy for a user and a search engine crawler. Your visitor can identify immediately that they’ve come to the right place and a search engine knows the most relevant piece of information about you.
2. Write down your most important marketing messages
There’s no way you’ll get everything in an H1 without it turning into a novel. Neil Patel of Quicksprout (an all-round SEO big-shot) recommends 20 to 70 characters and he knows more than us.
We have to be ruthless. You’re giving half your characters away to your brand name and business purpose; this title’s success is now down to us selecting a few choice words. It’s about setting the VIBE of your services, not listing every single one.
What I need people need to know about Drover, besides who we are and what we sell, is that we use only Scottish fleeces and our clothing is designed for long-lasting wear. Two key messages.
[Drover] + [wool clothing] + [made from only Scottish fleeces] + [designed for long-lasting wear]
Drover wool clothing, made from only Scottish fleeces and designed for long-lasting wear
That’s long. And boring. But we’re getting there.
3. Turning lots of words into a flavour
Time to sprinkle some magic over it – feelings rather than features. I want my customers to get a sense of the mystical wilds of Scotland. I want them to know that they’re paying for the quality of our wool, the traditional craftsmanship that goes into every piece of clothing.
[Drover] + [wool clothing] + [born in Scotland] + [built for the wild]
Drover wool clothing: born in Scotland, built for the wild
See how it’s half what you HAVE to include and half creativity? You can’t get all your marketing messages across without some creativity. It’s never going to be in so many words, therefore a bit of alchemy is required.
Let’s break down that creative:
- Born is a very emotive word. It’s age-old, elementary and mystical. It hints at the sheep whose wool you’ll wear, giving it that lovely organic provenance.
- Scotland conjures up images of moors and misty glens – you take the reader on a journey.
- Built suggests engineering. These clothes aren’t just made; they’re constructed. They’ll last. The contrast between born and built gives the story of the process from nature to your closet.
- The wild. It doesn’t get more rugged and lonely and adventurous than that. And if you’re someone who’ll drop £150 on a traditionally-crafted jumper for your next hiking trip, that’s the image you’re after.
Your first go at a homepage heading might not be your last. In fact, I’d say making copy this short look effortless may take the most effort of all words. But you can use this formula to write 20 headings if you like, then pick the strongest.
Don’t stray from the elements you’ve identified as VITAL (your brand name and business purpose) but play with different ways of getting your key marketing messages across in as few words as possible.
Some call it copywriting. I call it magic.