5 tips for writing great web page names and headers
Posted on 5th April 2019 at 15:19 by Phil Revill
We’ve already looked at the general principles of writing good website copy in a previous article. This time, we’re focusing on how to write web page names and headers that work. Why does this matter? Firstly, these elements of your web page will help your visitors quickly understand what your business is all about. They’re also important for helping people navigate your site and its individual pages.
And last, but certainly not least, they’re essential for SEO success.
Here are our top 5 tips to help you come up with the perfect page names and headings for your site:
1. Do some background research
A good place to start is to look at what your competitors are up to online. That doesn’t mean copy their page names and headings verbatim of course! The idea is simply to get some inspiration around how they address their target audience.
What kind of language and messaging are they using? Are their page names and headers long or short? Are they focusing on benefits, using headers to answer potential questions, or simply stating what they do and how it works? Do they address the reader directly as ‘you’ or use the third person, e.g. ‘our clients’?
Next, consider your audience (our article can help if you’re not sure about this yet). Whilst this might have some factors in common with your competitors’, don’t forget that your company and how it works, the goals you have, and the products and services you offer are all unique. How you address your audience needs to be unique, too.
2. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
A common mistake with any type of marketing is making it ‘all about you’ – something you see all too often on websites. Put simply: your site isn’t about you, it’s about your customers and prospects. So write your page names and headers from their perspective.
Ask yourself: what do they want and need to know? What information will help them make a buying decision? Why would they choose your products or services over someone else’s? Think about how you can connect with your customers by using page names and headers that resonate with what they’re looking for.
A useful approach is to focus on benefits. For example, an IT consultancy could call a page ‘Proactive remote monitoring’ rather than just ‘Remote monitoring’. Or a heading within the page could be changed from ‘About our remote monitoring service’ to ‘Safeguarding your IT infrastructure with remote monitoring’.
Another advantage of this technique is that you’re starting to explain more about the service before the reader even gets to the body copy – making it quick and easy for them to grasp your key messages. So even if the page name and headings are the only bits they get around to reading, they’ll still know ‘in a nutshell’ what you’re all about.
3. Get the tone of voice right
Leading on from our last tip, how you say it is just as important as what you say. Using the wrong tone of voice can be very off-putting for your target audience. And because the page names and headers are the first things they’re likely to look at on your site, how they’re worded is even more important than how you draft the body copy.
Coming up with the right tone of voice isn’t too tricky once you’ve defined your ideal customers. Here are a few questions you could try asking yourself:
Should you use formal or informal language? Personal or impersonal/corporate?
Does the copy need to be short and punchy, or will my readers want a bit of detail?
Will the target audience be put off by less ‘traditional’ language, such as using ‘you’re’ instead of ‘you are’, or starting a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’?
Would they like to be addressed as ‘you’ or would ‘our customers’ be better?
Should you talk about your business as ‘we’ or ‘the company’?
Is it OK to use industry jargon or is there a risk they won’t understand it? What about abbreviations like FAQs or acronyms like ASAP?
If you’re not sure how to define your tone of voice, a copywriter or marketing consultant can create some simple guidelines for you to follow.
4. Be clear and concise
Whilst it’s fine for some headings to be a little more detailed (if appropriate for your audience), the best page names and headings are usually short and sweet. As a general rule, page names should contain no more than three words and headers no more than 10. The examples in our second tip strike the right balance of informative and concise.
However many words you use, clarity is key. Cryptic page names and headers that leave your readers scratching their heads won’t do you any favours. Your page names and headers are there to signpost your readers and tell them what they can expect to find in the body copy.
Think about the simple difference between naming a page ‘Services’ and calling it ‘Web design services’. If the customer isn’t sure what you do – and this isn’t always clear from a company name – they’ll know straightaway from a glance at the menu bar.
5. Use keywords carefully
Ah, the temptation to stuff page names and headers full of keywords. Don’t do it. Of course, you need to include some of your key search terms, but page names and headers along the lines of ‘Web design services in Mansfield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Sheffield’ won’t cut the mustard.
Use key words subtly. If they trip off the tongue naturally when you read a page name or header, include them. But if they stick out like a sore thumb, you’re better off weaving them into the body copy if you can. Really clunky keywords can be included in the metadata in the back end of your website, where word flow matters less.
Need help with page names and headers? Just ask it’seeze Nottingham!
If you’re struggling with any aspect of content for your new website, don’t worry. We can put you in touch with expert copywriters who can define your tone of voice and write carefully-crafted content for your site. To find out more and discuss your website project, just contact it’seeze Web Design Nottingham today.
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