Sunday, 30 September 2012

Titles and Headlines: Why They Matter and How to Write Good Headlines

Why Writing Good Headlines is Important

The importance of writing a good, strong headline often goes amiss with many bloggers out there. Writing a strong headline is an important part of SEO, for many reasons – just about as important as the write-up itself!

For starters, a headline is the first thing a potential visitor reads; which means that the headline is the thing that ultimately compels or convinces him/her to read the article, or completely ignore it. It is hence, the biggest tool in your arsenal to actually ‘sell’ the idea that your article is worth a read, your website is worth the visit or the product/service that you’re trying to sell is worth the money.

Write a compelling headline, and you’ll basically guarantee that your article gets a ton of views – this is a proven strategy that many newspapers, publications and tabloid have successfully used to sell papers.

The title also shows up as the clickable hyperlink in Google’s search results. Whenever someone looks something up or searches for something on Google, and your website shows up in the results, the blue hyperlink is the headline. Nail this, and you’ll get a ton of visitors and traffic on your articles from search engines, etc.

And of course, the title or header (H1) of your article allows search engines to know what the article is about, and rank and index it in a better manner. If your header contains the right (relevant) keywords (more on this in a bit), it allows crawlers to know what your article (and your website in general) is about, since the H1 headers are the most important of all the header tags, and are given the maximum amount of priority by search engines as well.

General Tips and Trick to Write Compelling Headlines

Here are a few general tips and tricks you can use to write compelling headlines and titles for your articles:

1. Interesting – ask yourself this, if you were to stumble upon this article on the internet, would the headline compel or force you to read the rest of the article? Is the headline/title catchy, interesting, intriguing and attractive? Would you, as a visitor looking for information on the internet, be actually compelled or forced to click on it?
Example A: Write Compelling Headlines
Example B: How to Write Compelling and Catchy Headlines That Will Help You Increase Traffic

2. Relevant – having a catchy and attractive headline is great, but it should also be relevant to (a) the write-up/post/page and (b) to the content and the subject matter of your blog. It should accurately reflect the content of the blog, and immediately and instantly let potential visitors as well as search engine crawlers know what the accompanied post or page is about. Headlines should never be misleading, in the sense that the accompanied article fails to match what the headline promised to deliver.

3. Targeted – Your headline should be targeted in the best possible manner for your target audience, and people in your niche. It should be able to get the attention of people in your industry and in your niche, people who will be the most interested in your content. For this purpose, identify your industry/niche, as well as your potential visitors and customers, and try coming up with headlines tailored specifically for these people and their interests.

4. Keywords – It is extremely important to use relevant keywords in your titles/headlines. Keywords that are: (a) relevant to the article, and (b) relevant to the theme of your website. Avoid (at all costs!) stuffing your titles with keywords; instead, be as natural when writing your titles as you possibly can. After Penguin, keyword stuffing in any part of your website puts you at risk of getting banned from Google. And of course the fact that doing so wouldn’t look very good from a visitor’s perspective either.

5. Benefit – Use your headline to communicate a benefit to the potential reader. This can perhaps be best demonstrated with the help of an example:
Headline A: Best Wordpress Plugins
Headline B: Best Wordpress Plugins that will Make Blogging Easier and More Effective

Headline A: Tips for Losing Weight
Headline B: Pro Tips for Losing Weight Easily within 60 Days in 10 Simple Steps

In both cases, the second headline is obviously a much better choice, and does a good job of communicating the benefit to the user.

6. Numbers – Use numbers in your headlines to convey a numerical advantage that readers will get if they read your post. This is a very effective way of getting more readers and more traffic, as it instantly lets your visitors know – in clear, numeric terms – what benefit or advantage they would get if they read your article. It reflects the value of your write-up in numbers. For instance:
Example A: Tips for Getting More Visitors on your Blog.
Example B: 20 Excellent Tips to Instantly Boost Your Traffic.

7. Different – Try something different with your headline. Think outside the box. Do a headline that is completely different from the ones that you usually do. Be creative with this. Chances are that it might work out for you very well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment