How to Make Sure Your Homepage Sends a Clear Message (+ 9 Great Website Tagline Examples)

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Yesterday, I got a flyer in my mail. You know, the paper one.

Next to a generic company name and an equally generic picture of a bowl of cereal it said:

“Breath. Feel. Live. Your time is now.”

The rest of the front page was urging me to use a $10 discount on… something I had troubles identifying.

I turned the flyer around. Two paragraphs of text with nothing that stood out.

Will I have to read through the whole text to find out what this company does?

Thanks, but no thanks.

Usually, flyers like this land in my trash. But I thought I could use this one as a “don’t be like this” example in one of my posts (and here we are).

If I open your homepage right now, will I immediately understand what it is that you do, whom does it help and how?

Or will I have to pause, scroll, and comb through paragraphs of text first?

Because if it’s the latter, you have a problem.

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Bonus: 5 addition website tagline examples

How to find out if your homepage has a clear message

Let’s do an exercise.

Imagine, you see your website for the first time.

It’s hard, I know. You’ve been staring at it for the past… how long has it been? Months? Years? You know every pixel and every character of it.

And this is exactly why you need this: To understand whether your website has a problem, you need to look at it with a fresh eye.

This is how you check if your website sends a clear message:

  • Open the homepage of your website.
  • Lean a bit away from the screen.
  • Close your eyes and think of something completely different for a minute or two.
  • Now open your eyes, look at your homepage, and pretend you see it for the first time.

Is it clear from the first glance what it is that you do?

Or could your first-time visitors confuse your life coaching website with a website of a yoga instructor?

If it’s the latter, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to fix this real quick.

But why is it important to clearly communicate your message on your homepage?

If you think about it, a lot of people who visit your website will never visit your homepage.

If I click on a link to your blog post from the search results or from a Facebook share, I may leave as soon as I find the answer I was looking for.

So why should you care what message your homepage communicates?

Think about these three scenarios:

  1. I’ve read your blog post and am so impressed that I want to learn more about you.
  2. I’ve searched for you or your company directly because I heard about you or we met offline.
  3. I’ve checked out your profile on social media and clicked the link to your business website.

Do you really want to blow the chance to make a strong impression on someone who is already interested in what you have to offer?

Because a confusing message on your homepage will do just that.

What constitutes a clear message?

Most of the people visiting your homepage want to know one thing: What is it that you offer?

So your homepage needs to give them clear information and answer these questions instantly, clearly, and in a precise way:

  • Who (a person) or what (an organization) is this?
  • What do you do and for whom?
  • How you do it (if it’s not clear from above)?
  • What is the benefit?

This information is communicated by:

  • Your domain name
  • Your website tagline
  • Other prominent elements on your homepage (headings, highlighted paragraphs, images, etc.).

Your domain name

Having a domain name that speaks for itself, like copyblogger.com or enchantingmarketing.com, is a great start. But often your website goes by jacksmith.com or something generic like breath-feel-love.com.

In this case you have to put in extra effort and nail the tagline and the prominent elements on your homepage to make it clear what it is that you do.

Your website tagline

Coming up with a clear and compelling website tagline is easier than you think.

But first, tell me:

Were you listening to this bad advice about website taglines?

Admit it, did you fall for articles that tell you your website tagline should be creative, catchy and funny? You know, the articles that praise the advertising slogans of Apple and Nike as the example to look up to.

We all have been there.

The truth is, whatever works for Apple and Nike, established companies with enormous brand recognition and millions of loyal followers,…

…usually won’t work for you, a small business owner struggling to win new clients, or a freelancer with a new website.

Imagine this.

You saw my tweet and decided to check my Twitter profile. You have no idea who I am. You open my website and see this tagline on my homepage:

“Gill Andrews. Think different.”

#huh #whatdoesitmean

If you’ve just discovered that your website tagline is vague, don’t beat yourself up. In fact, about 70% of the websites I review have the same problem.

Just look at these 9 ridiculous website tagline examples you won’t believe exist.

I have great news for you:

Ordinary but clear always trumps creative but vague. (Unless you have already reach world domination and people camp in front of your stores to buy your stuff).

Creative and catchy website tagline will earn you brownie points, but only if your message remains clear.

When it comes to your business website, ordinary but clear always trumps creative but vague.Click To Tweet

Yet, if your favorite version of your website tagline is a real gem, but still isn’t clear enough, add an explanatory sentence to fill in the blanks. For example, a visually prominent sentence or a short paragraph after your tagline.

How to create a clear website tagline

So, we just established that your website tagline doesn’t have to be a catchphrase (yey!). Now, when the pressure of having to be creative is gone, coming up with an effective website tagline is only a matter of following these steps:

Step #1: Define your target audience.

Step #2: Decide what the biggest benefit of your product or services is.

Step #3: Use one of these formulas to create your website tagline:

  • We {do this} for {whom}
  • {What} for {whom}
  • {Does what} for {whom}
  • {Do this} to/and {get the benefit}
  • {Doing this} {with this benefit}
  • {What} {with what benefit}
  • {Get this benefit} {by doing this}
  • {Get this benefit} {with what}
  • Helping {whom} {do what} {with what benefit}

The “what” in the examples above could be your main product or services you specialize in. The “whom” is your target audience.

Let’s look at some real-life examples of website taglines that use these tagline formulas.

9 examples of websites with great website taglines and a clear message

1. Sarah Anderson

Source: proemailcopy.com

This is a great example of a freelancer website. The headline gets straight to the point and addresses the burning need of Sarah’s prospects – making their emails convert.

Mentioning her specialty, the emails for course and program creators, helps Sarah appear more relevant to her target audience – course and program creators.

Website tagline: High converting emails that sell your courses and programs

Website tagline formula: {What} {with what benefit} {for whom (implied)}

2. Neomam

Neomam
Source: neomam.com

Many agencies, especially the ones that have something to do with marketing, suffer from the vague copy syndrome.

They’ll “make you shine”, “provide business value” and “deliver solutions to success”, but they refuse to tell you what it is exactly that they do and how specifically they’re planning to help you achieve all that greatness.

Neomam are a rare exception. They tell their prospects what they’re going to get (quality links) and how they’re going to them (from the marketing campaigns).

Straight and to-the-point. Nothing more to wish for in terms of clarity and relevance.

Website tagline: Earn quality links with every content marketing campaign

Website tagline formula: {Get this benefit} {by doing this}

3. Mantis Research

Mantis Research
Source: mantisresearch.com

This ultra-clear website tagline has probably a lot to do with the fact that there is no way Michele Linn, the former Vice President of Content at Content Marketing Institute and a co-founder of Mantis Research will tolerate any vague BS on her website.

Want to make your website tagline as clear as this one? Try coming up with something that will sound natural in a real-life conversation:

– “Hey Michele, what does your company do?”

– “We help marketers publish research that gets attention.”

#sogood

This exercise is also called “BS Copy Test“.

Website tagline: Helping marketers publish research that gets attention.

Website tagline formula: {Helping whom} {do what} {with what benefit}

4. The Domestic Man

The Domestic Man
Source: thedomesticman.com

I find that especially food bloggers underestimate the effect of a clear message of their homepage.

Because all the food pictures already send the “it’s a recipe blog” message, right?

Wrong.

Unless you want your grandma to forever remain the only person who reads your food blog, you should treat it like a business and your visitors like customers. Which means that your homepage should communicate a clear message of what to expect.

The Domestic Man is a perfect example of how you can instantly answer the most important questions your visitors have:

  • What diet are these recipes based on?
  • Which cuisines?

Actually, answering these two questions would be already enough to send a clear message. But by telling his visitors that there is a new recipe every Tuesday “the Domestic Man” Russ takes it one step further. He motivates them to subscribe by taking away their fear of being bombarded with recipes and setting clear expectations.

Website tagline: Gluten-free & Paleo-friendly recipes, inspired by traditional & international cuisines

Website tagline formula: {What} for {whom} used in an implicit way.

5. Sms Works

SMS Works
Source: thesmsworks.co.uk

I guess the owners of SMS Works did some keyword research before they created their website tagline, as it sounds like a phrase their prospects would Google for.

Which is great, because when their prospects land on their website and see the exact same words in their website tagline, they’ll perceive the website as highly relevant to their needs and will most certainly look around.

Website tagline: Low cost SMS API for developers

Website tagline formula: {What} {for whom}

6. Volant UK

Volant UK
Source: volantuk.com

Dear business owners! Don’t afraid to use boring website taglines.

Your prospects won’t open their wallets for you just because you’re funny, mysterious or manage to use a cliché.

Instead, tell them what you offer and for whom so that they immediately realize that your offer is exactly what they’ve been searching for the whole time, like Volant UK do on their website.

Website tagline: Bespoke security systems for commercial, industrial & retail properties in Scotland.

Website tagline formula: {What} {for whom}

7. Amanda Creek Creative

Amanda Creek Creative
Source: amandacreekcreative.com

I went through at least 30 websites of graphic and web designers before I found an example of a homepage with a clear message. On many pages, it wasn’t even clear that a person was a designer.

There is nothing creative in Amanda’s website tagline. Instead, it is simple and crystal clear. Which is wonderful, because it saves her potential clients time and effort of figuring out what it is that she does, and whether it fits their needs. Amanda shows her skill and creativity as a designer where it matters: Through the design of her website.

It’s understandable that you want to impress your visitors with your creativity right away. But if by doing so you leave them confused, you risk losing a client.

Website tagline formula: Branding and design for creative women entrepreneurs

Website tagline formula: {What} for {whom}

8. Damn Write

Damn Write
Source: damnwrite.com.au

I think the ones who have it the hardest when it comes to a website tagline are copywriters. Because how many ways there are to say “I write copy that sells”? Plus, with so many copywriters out there, you’re running a risk to sound a lot like your competitor.

The secret to creating a copywriter’s headline that stands out is to either specify your niche or to specify what kind of copy you write, like Damn Write does it on their website.

Website tagline: Attract your ideal clients with personality-driven copy

Website tagline formula: {Get this benefit} {with what}

9. ByRegina

ByRegina
Source: byregina.com

This is a great example of a solopreneur website. The copy of the homepage nails the clear message. It tells you whom is it for (inforpreneurs and bloggers) and what Regina helps them with (monetize their “epicness”, i.e. earn money with what they are doing online).

Regina’s website tagline is clear plus creative and memorable.

In the short paragraph under the tagline you get a feeling of Regina’s personality, which is a nice bonus and instantly earns her brownie points.

Website taglien: For infopreneurs. For bloggers. Monetize your epicness

Website tagline formula: {For whom} {With what benefit}

Download PDFNeed more great website tagline examples? Download them as PDF!

Bonus: 7 additional website tagline examples

Main takeaways

Make your website stand out from the sea of jargon-filled mind-racking websites of your competitors by using a clear website tagline.

Ordinary but specific trumps creative but vague

A clear website tagline is neither your life motto nor a catchphrase, but a phrase and/or a sentence that helps your website visitors grasp 3 things immediately:

  • who/what you are
  • what you do
  • with what benefit

Website tagline formulas

  • We {do this} for {whom}
  • {What} for {whom}
  • {Does what} for {whom}
  • {Do this} to/and {get the benefit}
  • {Doing this} {with this benefit}
  • {What} {with what benefit}
  • {Get this benefit} {by doing this}
  • {Get this benefit} {with what}
  • Helping {whom} {do what} {with what benefit}

Great real-life examples of clear website messages

  • Sarah Anderson: High converting emails that sell your courses and programs
  • Neomam: Earn Quality Links With Every Content Marketing Campaign
  • Mantis Research: Helping marketers publish research that gets attention
  • The Domestic Man: Gluten-free & Paleo-friendly recipes, inspired by traditional & international cuisines New recipes every Tuesday
  • SMS Works: Low cost SMS API for developers
  • Volant UK: Bespoke security systems for commercial, industrial & retail properties in Scotland
  • Amanda Creek Creative: Branding and design for creative women entrepreneurs
  • Damn Write: Attract your ideal clients with personality-driven copy
  • ByRegina: For infopreneurs. For bloggers. Monetize your epicness

Download PDFNeed more great website tagline examples? Download them as PDF!

Bonus: 7 additional website tagline examples

24 Comments

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  1. Thank you, Gill, for a much needed article–one that is also clear and to the point. I’m working on my site now trying to decide in which direction to go. I’ve been helping people make better business presentations for more than 20 years. Now I’m restarting my business, calling my site, YourSpeakingPower. I go back and forth between “Do I focus on helping people with presentations (specific)” or the larger area of “use communications on a day-to-day basis to improve your life”. The second option is of more interest to me, and much needed, but also vague and, I suspect, few will probably think they need it. I am open to any suggestions.

  2. Great tips! Simple and able to understand. A tagline should be an eye catcher to give someone a taste of what you are promoting and make them want to read further. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    1. Hi Brandi. My apologies for the belated reply. My pleasure and happy to hear you found the article useful.

  3. Great advice, Gill. I wish every corporate marketing department would use your formula. I’ve been looking at new job opportunities and am amazed at how many clicks and how much reading I have to do to figure out what companies do.

    1. Thank you, Greg. I know what you mean 🙂 I look at a dozen different websites a week, and half of them fail to clearly state what it is that they sell or do 🤷

  4. Hello Gill.
    Great information, simple and clear a bit for me.
    I am an absolute newbie in this industry. I want to start a blog, can i be changing my site tagline for every different post I post?

    1. Hi Due. Glad to hear you found the post useful.

      Regarding your question:

      A website tagline is a line in the header of your homepage (a place that comes right after the navigation menu) and is something that describes what your website is about: What you sell/offer, or, if you only want to blog, what your blog is about in general (for ex., “Healthy recipes on a budget”).

      So, as the focus of your whole website doesn’t change for every blog post you publish, you shouldn’t change your website tagline. But of course your every blog post will have different title (for ex., “One-pot casserole to die for”, “Cheese omelette that you can enjoy without guilty consciousness”, etc.).

      Hope this helps.

  5. As someone who is in the process of rewriting each page on her own website as her path has changed, this is awesome information. This will also help me as I work with others who hire me to do the same for them. I am so glad I found your website. You give the most amazing information, and you are so generous. Thank you!

  6. Very useful article, especially the formulas to create your own taglines, as well as the website checklist. I have been struggling since I published my website to find the right message, which I’ve changed too many times without success. Hopefully this formula will help me get it right.

    1. Hi Sylvia,

      Glad to hear you found this article helpful. I think the popular blogs have created too much pressure around a website tagline making everyone think they need an original tagline to stand out.

      Hopefully, now when you know that your tagline doesn’t have to be clever or creative and it’s enough to just say what you do in clear words you’ll find it easier to make your message clear.

      Wish you best of luck! 🍀

        1. Well, it’s definitely a start 🙂

          You may also find these free resources on identifying the pain points of your website helpful.

          I also offer professional website reviews where I’ll list the specific problems with your website and give you an actionable list of improvement suggestions (if this is something you’d be interested in).

  7. Hi Gill,
    wow, great information. simple & clear! The part about…
    “Ordinary but clear always trumps creative but vague. (Unless you have already reach world domination and people camp in front of your stores to buy your stuff)” ….really made me laugh, because I was imagining my clients camping outside my office. LOL…but I am not in the “World domination” service…LOL

    Everything you wrote made sense to me and cleared lots of doubts I had. I am very happy that I have found your website. Anna Hoffmann from TrafficGenerationCafe had your link on one of her posts…..and I have this annoying habit to click of every link and to read it. That`s why I have always 50 or more pages open in my browser. We connected on Twitter (I gave you my private email) maybe you’ll remember 😉

    Going to continue reading your amazing input. Thanks Gill!

    1. Hi there, Christina 🙂 Of course, I remember our Twitter conversation. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m really happy to hear that my advice helps. Good timing on your side, too, as you haven’t launched your website yet. Now you have a better chance to get many things right from the start.👍

      Happy reading!

  8. I found this article very helpful. Great examples to help you start an effective web page. I was thinking of using my Home Economics background and role as a full-time caregiver to write a blog on recipes for seniors. The elderly need nutrient dense foods that are visually appealing and tasty because of their smaller appetites (similar to trying to figure out what toddlers will eat). I have already developed recipes and taken photos. Your professional opinion, Gill, and expertise would be helpful as I would rather start out with a great web page than fix one that is lacking. First impressions are key.
    Sorry Gill, I left this comment on the wrong page the first time. BTW, signed up for the Domestic Man :)))

    1. Hi Trudy! No worries. I removed that comment, so now your comment is only where you intended it to be 🙂 Glad to hear you found this helpful. You are absolutely right, it’s important to do it right from the very beginning. Just shoot me an email with any questions you have, and I’ll be happy to help. And yes, The Domestic Man is cool! 😀

  9. Am newbie who is learning up so I can run a blog .You can understand how your post served me .I have natural incling for ‘concreteness’.Thanks.

  10. Great examples here, Gill. Appreciate the concrete “no, idiot…it’s like THIS” demonstrations 🙂 you hooked me with the “don’t be like Apple,” too. Tim Ash from SiteTuners would love this post. He preaches this far & wide. Keep rockin!

    1. Thanks, TJ. “Concrete” is my middle name 😉 I think the world of content could use more of that. So just doing my part 🙂 Glad you found this useful.