Avoiding learning how to write effective SEO-friendly headlines because you’re not a copywriter is not a solution. How do you know the copywriter you’re paying to create SEO-friendly headlines for you has a good success rate?
The first challenge of writing an SEO-friendly headline is quite simple. It has to include the keyword you want to rank for on that page. Therefore, choose a topic to base your article on and choose the keyword you want to target.
Keywords can be one specific word that incorporate your core products or services, or longtail keywords that might include your target audience for example. “Polo shirts for men” is a long tail keyword, “Polo shirts” is a keyword.
The remaining structure of your headline is more complicated. It has to grab attention and compel end-users to click-through. So what type of headlines are effective for SEO and also highly clickable.
Titles that are exact matches for search terms
The focus of search engines is to deliver URLs that closely match the search intent of the end-user. It stands to reason that articles titles which mimic common search terms will perform well in search engines.
For example, a title such as “How does crowdfunding work?” not only matches a common search term, but also helps you focus the article on the subject matter – how crowdfunding works. These titles are both SEO and user-friendly.
Do your headlines ask a question?
Headlines that appeal to readers on a personal or emotional level will receive more clicks. Asking a direct question or making a statement is almost like talking to a person face-to-face.
For example, “How often do you make these mistakes in a relationship?” is a title most readers will relate to. Alternatively, the question should arouse curiosity, such as “Are you getting the most out of your pension plan?”
Headlines that make readers ask why
Headlines that rouse intrigue are a psychological trigger. People just cannot resist knowing something that piques their interest. Headlines that make readers ask why is like rattling the lead to call your pet dog.
An example of headlines that ask why is “This is why nobody is clicking on your headlines.” Now you need to know why you are not receiving traffic and what you can do to amend it.
How to articles
“How to..” articles are another tool you can use in headlines to arouse curiosity as you suggest a problem the reader has that you can solve. These headline are also SEO-friendly because they contain precise keywords that match search intent.
Make an intriguing promise
The promise of something is another technique that pushes the reader’s psychological buttons. It is also a good way to end the heading, so thinking about the promise you want to make in your content first can help you think of the overall structure of your headline.
For example, “How to learn a language in a week” promises to reveal language secrets that allow you to learn a new skill in a short space of time.
Headlines that inform readers of something specific work in a similar way to promise headlines. The title provides a direct point that informs readers what they can expect from the content. For example: “Electric toothbrushes for just £20” tells customers what products they can buy and for how much.
List articles are very popular titles because they satisfy several qualifying criteria of SEO-friendly articles. They inform readers what information they can expect to find in the article, use a targeted keyword and raise curiosity.
Headlines for list articles usually start with the number of items in your list, for examples, “5 of the best beaches in Majorca.”
The structure and information of headlines should not be underestimated. They are the psychological trigger that persuades end-users to click on the link to your website, and to some extent are used by search engines to match search intent.