Taglines: more than just slogans

There are a few things which everyone expects on a web page. They’ve become a convention which you ignore at your peril. One is the website or company logo, top left, which – if you click on it – takes you to the home page. If your site doesn’t have this, because some designer was trying to be a maverick, you’ll be irritating more users than you can possibly imagine.

Another convention is to explain what the site does, or who you are, under the logo. This is often called a tagline. So, for example, on our website, we’ve chosen simply to add the company name, because “Business Marketing Online” also happens to describe what we do.

One of the first things a web page must do is to tell the visitor, in an instant, that they’ve come to the right place. And you do only have an instant – under one second, according to some studies. Don’t expect the visitor to hunt around the page when they’ve arrived from a Google results page which, as they could see, gave them loads of alternative sites to visit.

The logo and tag line is indisputably the best way of telling the visitor that they’re in the right place: the logo for when they’ve come looking for you, the tagline for when they’re looking for a supplier of a particular product.

Don’t waste the tagline with some meaningless, corporate slogan. If your business is blue widgets, make sure your tagline tells the visitor as much. “Market Leading Solutions” is not a tagline, it’s the definition of a waste of space.

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