The hero section is the top section of a landing page. It is the first section your users see when they arrive on the website or landing page. The copy of this section is crucial for determining whether your users will continue to spend time on this page. You must provide the right hook for the users to stay invested in your product.
You need to get 3 elements right:
- Main Headline
- CTA - Call to Action
Let’s dive in.
🧐 Main Headline
This section must contain your USP - the unique selling proposition. Don’t be vague. Highlight what your brand does differently from the other brands out there. The key idea is transformation. How will you transform the customer’s life with your brand? You can either save the user's time or money. Show the clear pain point you are addressing.
An easy way to check your headline: if the user just reads it, will they completely understand what you offer?
Here is a simple process to craft a great headline:
- First understand what are the alternatives for your product. What do people miss when they use the alternative instead of your product?
- How is your product or solution better? (not just different)
- Now convert the previous line into an action statement.
Let’s take Webflow, for example. A bad alternative would require you to invest in engineering or programming to help develop your product. With webflow, you can develop your website fast without engineering help.
Headline: Launch your website without the dev time.
Next: Add a hook to the headline. A bold statement that supports your action statement.
Headline with hook: Launch your website in 30 minutes. No coding required.
Examples of good headlines:
Toucan: Learn Espanol without even trying
Acko: Save upto 70% on car insurance premium
😎 Sub Headline
Use the sub-headline to support the main headline and give more details. It must contain what you do + who you are helping + how you are helping. When supporting the main headline, explain which of the main features of your product support the bold claim you make. Add adequate social proof to make your claims believable. Keep your subheadline brief and under 2-3 sentences. This real estate above the fold is premium, so be extremely choosy about the words you are putting there.
Picking the example of Webflow: Add social proof to substantiate your claim along with the features. How without coding, you can develop a website. Show that you have templates that can help.
Sub-Headline: Webflow is used by more than 3,500,000 designers and teams to create, collaborate on, and scale beautiful websites. — 1000s of templates to choose from. No coding needed.
Toucan: Meet the free extension that helps you learn a new word while browsing the web. (They show how the product works in above the fold itself, which is really cool.)
Acko: 7.5 Cr+ happy smiles, 4.7/5 google rating, 400 cr+ claims settled. (Purely social proof driven)
💡 CTA - Call to Action
The CTA or the call to action button must drive excitement and reduce friction. It should be more of a call to value (taking the users to the shortest path to experience value) than a call to action.
Think of the next step you want your customer to take that will take them faster to the value you wish to provide. For webflow, you want them to build the website. So the CTA for webflow is ‘Start Building’.
Acko: ‘Get Quote’. The next step you want the user to take is to request a quotation and get the process started.
Toucan: ‘Start Learning’. You want the user to start learning the language. (Original CTA is get started which is vague.)
Tips for writing good above-the-fold sections
1. Try to show your hero section from 2 types of people: high intent users who form the core audience persona, and the low intent users. The opposing thoughts can give a lot of insights to sharpen this section.
2. When choosing the headline, write multiple versions and show team members not involved in the process the various titles. Wait for a day or 2 and ask which titles they remember. The most memorable title is a great candidate for the headline.
3. Your headline can be crafted through formulas like these
- Specificity x Hook - Learn Espanol without even trying
- Values x Objection - Launch your website without the dev time
4. Clarity is always better than cleverness. You might have a great pun-filled headline, but it may not be understood by a majority of the audience and would leave the site.
5. Lesser the number of words, the better. Use the space in the hero section to allow your lines to pop and hold the user’s attention. Stripe is a great example of this.
Did you know?
Prioritize vertical video ad formats for mobile, even in channels where you have both options (e.g. Facebook, YouTube). It improves engagement on mobile devices by 10%. If you have the capacity, produce both vertical and horizontal formats.
Source: Mulier, L., Slabbinck, H., & Vermeir, I. (February 2021). This way up: The effectiveness of mobile vertical video marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 55, 1-15.