September 20, 2013 | Marketing

How to Write Great Headlines for SEO Purposes

Headlines and titles are a key part of successful website SEO campaigns. Even if you’re a brilliant headline writer, writing headlines that serve website SEO purposes probably doesn’t come naturally. However, with attention to detail and plenty of practice, you can gain a certain level of confidence in your ability to craft engaging, SEO-friendly headlines. The key is to consider your SEO goals from the beginning.
Start With the Basics
Although it’s essential to consider SEO as soon as you start writing your headline, you have to have a strong foundation in headline writing first. If you’re struggling to simply produce solid headlines before even adding SEO to the mix, your headlines are going to come out weak and unappealing. As you practice writing headlines, consider developing the following habits:

  • Rewrite your headlines repeatedly. Every time you rewrite a headline, you have a chance to iron out the kinks in order to craft an awesome headline. Consider rewriting every headline at least 3 times so that you’re forced to consider your content from different perspectives.
  • Keep it short. A strong headline should only include the most important keywords from your content. Short headlines allow you to quickly attract attention and leave readers wanting to know more.
  • Perform a test. A/B test your favorite headlines before making a final decision. You may discover that one of your options has much greater impact and appeal than the other.

Working with Website SEO
Once you’ve got the basics of headline writing under your belt, it’s time to start writing compelling SEO headlines. Whatever you do, don’t let your SEO goals turn your headlines into an unintelligible string of keywords. SEO headlines should still be written with the intention of appealing to readers, not just the search engines.
Although you have to watch out for keyword stuffing, your primary keyword should be featured prominently in your title. Since your keyword is presumably part of the topic of your content, place it as near to the beginning of your headline as possible in order to provide potential readers with the overall subject of your content. In addition, placing your keyword toward the beginning of the headline ensures that the keyword will in fact appear in the SERPs – at some point, search engines cut headlines off, so you don’t want your keyword to be cut out because it’s at the end of your headline.
What is your best advice for writing SEO-friendly headlines?

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