Headline Writing Tips: 5 Rules For Better SEO Traffic
There’s an ongoing conversation about whether you should write for the reader or the search engines but you don’t often hear it in connection with headlines.
Sure, you know to use a keyword in your headline, but most blog owners will tell you they focus on writing headlines that grab the reader’s attention and they worry about the search engines in the body of post.
Well, let’s take a look at how you can write headlines that appeal to both the readers and the search engines and get better SEO traffic.
1. Learn to Recognize Great Headlines
What’s the best way to learn what makes a great headline?
Monitor your own reading habits.
The next time you click on a link, ask yourself why.
Look at your viewing history on your computer or, if you’re logged into your Google account you can view your history at https://www.google.com/dashboard/.
Spend time studying titles on popular blogs.
Look at the comments and social sharing numbers to see which posts are getting the most shares and likes.
2. Know Your Audience
Now that you know what titles matter to you, look at those titles from your readers’ viewpoint and ask yourself what matters to them?
What titles would your readers click on?
Titles that ask questions?
Titles that make bold statements?
Titles that use superlatives like “Best” or “Ultimate!”
Titles with numbers or zany language?
3. Use Google’s Related Search
Plug your keyword into your Google search box and see what related search terms pop up.
These are the most popular searches being conducted relevant to your keyword.
Now all you need to do is put them in the form of an interesting title and you know you’ll have a hit.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Before you publish your post or article, spend some time crafting your title.
And when you think it’s perfect, write it again from a different angle.
Write each title at least three different ways until you find the perfect, attention-grabbing heading.
As a bonus, you’ll often end up with an idea for a new post.
5. Use A/B Split Testing
Bloggers put all kinds of elbow grease into split testing their squeeze pages but when it comes to titles they’re perfectly happy to just slap something up there and hit “Publish.”
Use Twitter to split test your titles, too.
Use bit.ly to shorten your URLs so you can track clicks at the end of the day.
Then create two Tweets with different headlines to promote the same post.
Monitor your results to see how many clicks, ReTweets, and comments each different headline received then drop the low performer, create a third headline and repeat the process.
While you may no want to go change the title on your post because you’d mess up your permalinks, this A/B split testing will help you learn more about what makes a better headline.
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