While it can certainly be tempting to write website copy filled with jargon and flowery language, the American Marketing Association (AMA) recommends keeping it at about an 8th-grade reading level. Why? Because most online shoppers tend to quickly scan website copy, rather than reading every word. This means you have a very limited amount of time to convey to site visitors what your brand does, and why your products are great. Because of this, it’s smart to experiment with plain language website headlines.
Also known as plain writing or plain English, plain language is writing that your audience can understand the first time they read it and typically scores an 8th-grade reading level in readability tests. If you’re curious about the exact guidelines behind plain writing, be sure to check out the US government’s comprehensive resource!
Below we’ve compiled examples from five ecommerce brands of website headlines written in plain language. Keep reading to see how Lovevery, Frank and Oak, Toybox, Zenni, and Blue Bear use plain language to educate visitors about their respective brands quickly and effectively.
Plain language headline: Designed by experts for your child’s developing brain
Using plain language, educational toy brand, Lovevery communicates to visitors what the brand is all about. Even with a glance at the brand’s homepage, a visitor can see that Lovevery’s toys are science-backed.
Frank and Oak
Plain language headline: 25% off almost everything
If you’re offering a discount to shoppers, be sure to make it as clear as possible! In the below screenshot, Frank and Oak alerts site visitors to a big sale. The use of plain language here makes the offer easy to understand and hard to miss.
Plain language headline: What people say about us
When introducing social proof, many brands opt for snappy, but unclear headlines like “the proof is in the pudding” or “word on the street.” While these are certainly clever, idioms may be hard to understand quickly. As such 3D printer company, Toybox opts for a headline in plain language to easily introduce the brand’s ample positive reviews.
Plain language headline: Get a complete pair of prescription glasses starting at $6.95.
When purchasing prescription glasses, cost can be a huge concern for shoppers. Zenni calms this common worry with a plain language headline that clearly states the low cost of a pair of specs from its site.
Plain language headline: Healthy Nighttime Drinks
Beverage company, Blue Bear, states what types of products the brand sells in a succinct, yet bold homepage headline. Casual browsers will walk away with a solid understanding of Blue Bear’s products after a single visit to the brand’s site..
We hope these five examples give you the inspiration you need to start experimenting with plain language headlines on your ecommerce website.
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