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The Hero

You might think that this lesson is going to be about your customer/client, our main character.🦸 However, the word hero has another meaning within the world of web design. 

What is a hero?

hero is the very top part of a webpage, typically a section that spans the screen’s width, often with visual and textual elements displayed. Each page of your website will likely have a hero, but its function is a little different depending on the page. 

For your Home page, the hero is important because of the 3-second rule. ⏱️ The majority of your visitors will visit your Home page first, and the Home page hero will be the very first thing they see. This hero section will need to communicate your value to the visitor and compel them to read on. Keeping visitors on your website is a crucial component of a successful website, so this hero has a lot of heavy lifting to do. 💪

How to write a good hero

If the hero is starting to feel daunting, never fear!  When it comes to your website copy, it’s important to remember that there isn’t a right way; there are just different ways. One of the great things about a website built on WordPress is the ease with which you can change elements like the hero text. So give it your best go, and if it doesn’t seem effective, try something else!

Feeling stuck? Here are some suggestions to get you started. 

Use your tagline

If you’ve written a great tagline that really sums up your brand well, that might serve as a great hero! You want people to feel excited about what they might find on your website, so giving them a taste of your brand might be the perfect answer.

Think about the things you say a lot

Is there something that you say all the time to clients or leads? Chances are, you repeat it because it works. If it works in person, there’s a good chance it’ll work on website visitors too.

Get aspirational

So much of marketing is selling an identity. Think about big brands that people feel really strongly about: Apple, Tesla, or even sports teams. Sure, there are folks who just buy from those brands and don’t think much about it, but there are more who are passionate. Identity marketing is the reason you get iPhone users having fiery arguments with Android users. 😅

You can market an identity tied to your offering as well. Think about the story you’re telling and what kind of happy ending you’re painting for your clients/customers. Maybe you’re selling relaxation or happiness or being a person who has a lot of free time. Whatever it is, find a way to give a glimpse of that in your hero!

Think about the purpose of the page

If you’re a Quickstart five page client or creating a website with multiple pages, each page will need a hero. You want the hero of each page to accurately represent what people will find on that page. But you also want every page to work together to tell the story that you set out to tell. Thinking in this big picture way should make coming up with your heroes a little easier.

On pages that aren’t your Home page, you could also use the hero section as an introduction. This means you would write something a bit longer, but you still want to keep it pretty brief

📝 Examples

Let’s return to our example organizations to get some hero practice.

A business that sells a product ☕️

For a lot of product-based businesses, the task of the hero is to convince the website visitor that they need the product. To do so, you want to activate a strong feeling in your visitor, but you likely want to keep it positive or at least not activate pain points too intensely just yet. (This isn’t always true, and sometimes a pointed hero can work wonders, but you don’t want to make the mistake of making your potential customer feel their pain point too much.)

For our self-warming coffee mug, we might want the hero to say something like

You’re amazing; your cup of coffee should be too.

This hero text evokes a positive feeling in the website visitor: everyone likes to be told their amazing! 🤩 Now perhaps they’re wondering how this product will make their coffee better. Maybe they’re starting to feel an inkling of dissatisfaction with their current coffee situation, whatever it is, and they’re more open to listening to the next section, which would agitate pain points and convince them further of their need for the self-warming coffee mug.

A business that sells a service 🏄

A lot of service-based industries thrive on identity marketing. People join classes, start coaching, or pick up new hobbies because they want to grow and evolve as a person. Our surfing lesson business might say

Learn better today so you can hang ten tomorrow

By including a glimpse of future success, folks are likely to read on.

An organization that doesn’t sell products or services 😸

If you’re trying to intrigue your visitors, you may want to make a statement that needs some explanation. By leading with such a statement, folks naturally want to read on to figure out what you mean or why you said it. To intrigue folks a bit, our cat welfare site might have a hero that reads

Because cats are people too.

This statement is a little bit confusing: cats are cats, not people. 🤔 But it leaves the website visitor with a question: what would it mean for cats to be people too? That might be enough for them to keep reading and figure out what this organization stands for. 

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