How to write good headlines for SEO

Google

Blog post and webpage headlines can make or break a visitor’s time on your website. A bad blog post headline is like an uninteresting email subject line, a boring book title, or a poorly written newspaper or magazine article headline. When those are boring, you don’t want to open the email, read the book, or look at the article, do you?

The same goes for your blog post and webpage headlines, but we have to add to this the fact that writing on the web isn’t just how humans. You also have to write with an eye for what people search for so that search engines know to match up your webpages with a searchers search results. You make this possible by using the language your customers use rather than industry jargon. If your customers say CD, you write CD and not album. If your customers say tennis shoes, you write tennis shoes and not sneakers.

Why? Because when I search for tennis shoes in Seattle, Google will show me the results that talk about tennis shoes and not sneakers.

How to Properly Write Headlines for SEO

How you write the headlines for your site has a significant influence on the amount of traffic that you’ll get. They have to be written in a way to attract traffic to your site now and must be versatile enough to attract traffic to your site in the future as well. Here are a few steps you can employ to be successful:

  • Include the primary interest you are looking to satisfy with your page. Do not keyword stuff by including everything and the kitchen sink. The more targeted you are, the better chance you stand of ranking well and also at converting website visitors.
  • Stick to the point by staying within a limit of 70 characters. After 65-70 characters, research has shown that keywords in headlines tend to have less of an effet on rankings. Long headlines can also appear to be keyword stuffing, which can have a negative effect on your rankings.
  • Write unique headlines for every page on your website. The choice of words for your headline is extremely important, so use words that will explain to your visitors what your site is about.
  • Use relevant words. Be sure that you understand your audience and create headlines that will convey a complete message about what your site offers.

Keys to Writing Solid Headlines

The headline (also known as the title tag) tells the search engines and readers what your website is about, so it must contain some elements that are related to your business and subject matter. The title tag will help readers decide whether to visit your website or not when it shows up in their search results. For a title tag to be effective, you should consider the following when writing it:

  • The length which should not exceed 70 characters, including spaces.
  • The most relevant keywords should be forwardly placed in the title tag, with less significant words at the end.
  • Keep the important phrases short and simple– do not make them read a full sentence.
  • Place the company or website name near the front of the title tag if it is related to your keywords; otherwise, place it near the end of the tag.
  • Create a different title tag for every page, of your website. Make sure that you do not duplicate, that each title tag is relevant, and briefly describes the content in the page.

Research from SEOmoz and several other companies has shown a strong correlation between optimized headlines and increased traffic from search engines, social media, email, and other channels. The reasons for this are that optimized headlines are easier for search engines to relate to a searcher’s intent, and they are more attractive for people in any channel to click on.

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