SEO Headlines: 7 Simple Tactics to Get Your Website to Rank

How a web page is written to a human and how it is written to a search engine are very different. The text that you write for search engines should be keyword focused, have lots of links, and be as concise as possible.
Picture of Jackie Barker - Website Designer Wilmington, NC
Jackie Barker - Website Designer Wilmington, NC

It all Begins With A Good SEO Headline

The best way to start creating your content is with a good SEO-optimized headline. The headline will let the readers know what’s inside. But it can also help you focus on what you’re going to create and not get off-topic. But, first, you need to understand how to write a fully optimized headline. Let’s dig in.

Use Numbers

Studies show that people respond positively when numbers are used in titles. It can be a number to show quantity, a percentage, a number that shows how many influencers, and so forth.

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Get Formulaic

Some formulas work very well for headlines. But these formulas can wear off if they’re used too often without delivering results. How many times have you clicked on “breaking” news to find out it was from a few years ago?

When you know your topic add these to the title in some way.
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Determine the Keyword or Keyword Phrases You Will Use

Before you even begin to compose your headline know the keywords you want the content to rank for. Put that keyword in your headline and move it around until you figure out the best place for it. Remember keywords are best in the first few words of the headline but that is a rule that can be broken. As you may notice in the above examples, sometimes the keyword comes last but is the focus of the sentence.

Keep Your Headline Shorter Than 69 Characters

You want the entire headline to show up in search results. If you use too many words in the URL or the title it might cut it off in an odd place. One way to check your headline is to use a plugin like Rank Math or Yoast SEO to create your meta descriptions. That way you can visualize how it will appear on search and adjust as necessary before you publish.

Pick Your Adjectives Wisely

Adding adjectives to your headlines can make people curious enough about your topic that they click through to your page. It is important to use them wisely and don’t overuse them either. If you use a headline such as “Surprising Ways to Create Clickable Headlines” but nothing in the article is surprising, then you’ve used the wrong adjective.

Don’t Use Clickbait

We’ve all heard of (and experienced) clickbait. Clickbait is where the headline is disingenuous about what’s inside the page. It might even be the opposite of what’s in the content. It may even use the wrong information and the wrong names yet people will click it because it seems interesting. If you train your audience that you’re dishonest by using clickbait you’ll regret it.

All of this to say avoid using clickbait titles at all costs.

Make the URL Pretty

Your page title and your URL will be the same unless you fix it in WordPress. The best thing to do is to only use the keywords in the URL instead of the whole long title. That way the URL is visually appealing and provides information to the search engines and your users about the topic.

The headline is important because without a good title or headline no one is going to open your email, click through to your articles or answer questions that you ask. A good headline leaves no confusion about what’s inside or how far it goes to help the people with that topic.


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