Within about 3 to 5 seconds a person visiting a page on your website makes a decision…
In those few seconds they’re thinking about a couple things.
Is this the right page…
What does this have to offer me?
A few things can answer those questions.
Maybe a graphic or photo. Or even a video. Maybe a logo.
But above all those are the title and the subheading.
Each page on your website has a generic title:
- Case Studies
- And more…
Let’s kind of focus on the homepage for this post, but you can use the following for just about any page on your website.
To make sure people don’t get confused and leave your homepage, use these steps to create a great title and subheading.
Step 1. Identify The Most Basic Thing You Do
Surprisingly this is not that easy to do.
I know because I’ve tried.
It’s really easy to think about all the different scenarios you have with your customers or clients.
Everyone wants something that’s a little different.
When you try to figure out the one thing you do for your customers you can have a difficult time. You don’t want to limit yourself. You don’t want to leave anyone out.
But the weird thing about business is that the more you broaden yourself the more people will get confused and feel left out.
The more specified you get the more they will get it and feel included.
For my business I’ve worked on this for years. We write blog posts. We write blog posts for businesses. We’re a blog writing service.
Sure, we do other kinds of content from time to time. We’re not a guest blogging service. But we have done that.
Right now I’ve got it down to blog writing service or blogging services.
That’s our title and usually when people come to our homepage they instantly know what we do.
If you had 5 words to describe what you do what would those words be?
Step 2. Simplify The Title, Shorten It
In all likelihood you’ll probably have more than 5 words. Maybe 7. Maybe 10. Maybe even a few sentences.
Like I said..it’s not easy.
But the more words you have the more confused your visitors will be.
Right now I just went to Amazon’s homepage and the first heading I see is simply:
Then the subheading says:
Buy 3 Save $20
That’s pretty simple. It’s short and you pretty much know instantly what’s going on.
I like what Hootsuite has right now:
The Best Way to Manage Social Media
They also have a great subheading, but more on that next.
What do you do:
Simplify it. Don’t make it difficult and confusing. Don’t add bogus jargon.
Step 3. Add The Subheading
The subheading is where you can get a little more in-depth. And I actually usually find that the subheadings are better than the titles.
Hootsuite’s is a good one:
Manage multiple social networks, connect with customers, and grow your brand on social media.
Very good. That’s what I would imagine their target customers want to do…exactly.
In fact, it’s better than their already good title. Their title might be a bit better if they had something like:
Social Media Marketing Software
Software to Manage Your Social Media
WordPress has a great subheading:
WordPress is open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app.
That’s pretty easy to understand. They could probably even remove the “open source” and “beautiful”.
Most people starting websites don’t know what open source means. And it should be assumed that the site will be beautiful.
Step 4. Assess The Entire Page
Now you’re pretty much set, but it’s good to assess the entire page.
One thing to watch for is that your page doesn’t get too cluttered.
Even if you nail your title and subheading you can still get trapped by trying to be everything to everyone.
Make sure that the other titles and headings on your page don’t take attention away from your main heading.
Amazon does a good job with this. They have a lot of stuff on their homepage. It’s certainly a little personalized, but it’s got lots of subheadings either way.
They do a good job of making sure the main title or featured area is the main focus. The other stuff is there, but it doesn’t take away the initial attention.
Step 5. Test & Experimenting
Finally, I won’t claim to be an expert at this.
That’s why it’s good to test different headings.
You can kind of do it yourself by testing one for a month or so. Seeing the results. Bounce rates. Conversion rates. Clicks on the homepage. Things like that.
Or you could get more advanced and work with conversion rate testing tools.
You might find that something more personal works like:
Blogs For You
Blog Posts For Me
You never know. That’s where testing comes in.
It may seem simple, but the title and subheading could be the most important element on your entire website.
First impressions matter. If you don’t nail the first impression you’ll lose your visitors before they even get to know you and realize how wonderful your company is.
So take extra time to get your title and subheading right. Use the steps above and you should be in a good place.