How to write good taglines with keywords in mind

As more and more business is done online, branding via a tagline – which used to be just about the company’s uniqueness – now has to make a major contribution to its SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), using keywords, if it’s going to get those customers and prospects clicking.

How to write taglines with keywords

Much as it’s a great achievement to have been in business for nearly 270 years, how are this name and tagline (Maille – House Founded in 1747) going to tell Google that the company makes mustard?

With your tagline being an important element in your branding and marketing, often it’s hard to reconcile what expresses the “what’s in it for you” in terms of brand values … as well as including a keyword or three to help Google bump you up into the top pages. So how do you combine the two?

Keywords – those magical things Google feeds on

If you look back at some of the world’s most famous taglines, e.g.

…you have to smile in our internet world, because in each case neither the name nor the tagline could possibly tell Google anything about the business does, and would end up on page 347 if it were lucky.

Happily, the fact that these brands are household names does help a bit to compensate for the fact that they contain zero keywords!

Some famous brands already have keywords, after a fashion, in the names and/or taglines – probably by accident, e.g.

  1. California Milk Processor Board: “Got Milk?”
  2. M&M – “Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands”
  3. Meow Mix – “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask For It By Name”
  4. The New York Times – “All The News That’s Fit To Print”

Any SEO expert looking at these, however, might rate their chances a bit higher but once again, fame and offline recognition are what would keep most of these four brands and businesses buoyant.

Your business name is key, so think of that if your creating for a start-up

When I started this site five years ago I chose a name that “does exactly what it says on the tin,” to quote a wonderful British TV commercial. You don’t get a lot more direct than “how to write better.” (Mind you as I write this I’m still only on page 4 of Google for those four words, but that’s due to me being a bit stupid with my SEO work. Naughty, naughty.)

As names go, it’s hardly the most exciting, creative or innovative. Ditto with the tagline on the site header – “how to write better, whatever you write” and the site meta description, “How to write better for business and much more: award-winning site shares over 1000 expert articles and tutorials to help you write better.”

Boring, but necessary. Google doesn’t do fancy or abstract. However Google does do sensible, which is great.

Company name used by itself with no keywords?

Panic not. Word on the SEO Expertise Street says that provided your tagline compensates for the lack of keywords, you should be OK.

Obviously you won’t be able to write anything highly creative like Apple’s “Think Different” (that one upsets the grammar nazis, anyway… ) so find out what the keywords are for your industry/niche.

There are numerous tools online, many of them free, to help you do this … not least of which is one called “common sense” … so search on Google for what your product or service does and see what your competitors use.

Also, scroll down to the bottom of page #1 on Google and take a look under the heading “Searches related to…(what you searched for.)” This will give you some good ideas.

OK, we’re not Nike or Apple. How do we write a tagline that Google will gobble up?

Here’s a very recent example of a project I’m working…

The company concerned is rather specialised: they de-commission, move, and re-install huge and heavy equipment like MRI scanners all over their country, with total end-to-end project management based on many years’ experience and the expertise of the company principals used hands-on to make sure it all works perfectly.

The company trades under its own name, which does not include anything to identify what it does.

This is a list of the most important keywords from the research the client had done. Those in bold had the highest search figures:

  • Machinery moving
  • Moving machinery
  • Machinery movers
  • Machine movers
  • Moving equipment
  • Machinery removals
  • Machinery installations
  • Machinery transport

Next, a list of the taglines I wrote which were put up to the client for consideration.

You can see how I tried to work in the “what’s in it for you” into as many as possible, plus the company’s uniqueness in its field.

The following in bold are those which the client prefers:

  • Moving your machinery where and how it matters
  • Moving your machinery that matters
  • Machinery moving that makes the vital difference
  • Machinery moving managed for you end-to-end
  • The machinery movers who manage your whole project
  • Moving your machines with expert management
  • Moving your machinery with managed transport, storage and installation
  • Moving your machines with expert management
  • Expertly managed machinery removals you can rely on
  • Moving your machinery with the expertise that matters
  • Machinery moving with the expertise you need
  • Machinery removals with the expert management you need
  • Machinery removals with more expertise and experience
  • Moving your machines with the maximum expertise
  • Moving your machinery with maximum expertise
  • The machine movers with the expertise you need
  • The machine movers with the expertise you expect
  • The machine movers you need when expertise matters
  • The machine movers you need when experience matters
  • Machinery moving with hands-on expert management
  • Moving your machinery with hands-on expert management

See? It’s not that hard to incorporate search terms into a motivational tagline, even in such a specialised business as this.

How to write the right keyword-rich tagline for your business

It’s a case, really, of blending the keywords into the “what’s in it for you” element. And once you perceive it that way, it is not as difficult as it seems. (Honest!)

Actually, keywords and taglines should not be thought of as fighting with each other.

Much as we creative former (and current) copywriters may bewail the passing of the “good old days” when a tagline was all about conjuring up abstract images and emotive notions, dare I say it: Google has done us a favour.

Yes, it has made it more challenging to come up with taglines that contain keywords and motivate prospects with the “what’s in it for you,” but it’s not impossible.

And, do you know what? Google and the other search engines have forced us to make our taglines less abstract (sad for some) but more relevant and down-to-earth (good for most.)

If you need some help with writing a good tagline for your business – using the right keywords – drop me a note on If it’s a complex job I’ll need to charge you for it, but for a quick look I’m OK to do you a freebie. (I love writing taglines!)

What experience do you have with the tagline for your business or organisation?

Please share.

And should you want some more widely-based help with your writing, you know where to click…