How to Write Effective SEO Headlines

There’s the fine art of writing catchy, reader intriguing headlines.  And then there’s the importance of SEO.  Combining the two effectively is a little trickier and can mean the difference between success and failure… well it’s maybe not that extreme but it does matter, and if you know what you’re doing you can get it right.

Step One – Keyword Research

Unless you are incredibly adept at SEO, it’s likely that you are targeting long-tail keywords for your website or blog.  Long-tail keywords are basically phrases which due to their length are easier to rank for in Google.  Ideally you need to include your keyword in your heading, whilst at the same time making your heading sound interesting.
For example, the keyword in the title of this blog post is ‘effective SEO’.  The Google keyword tool tells me it’s not a bad keyword to try and rank for – it has over 5,000 searches a month and medium competition – so now I just need to encourage you lovely readers to click on my post.  This is where I need to come up with a catchy title.  Here are a few of the pages that are on the first page of Google for my search term:
  • 5 Secrets to Selecting Highly Effective SEO Keywords
  • The Simplest, Most Effective SEO Move You Can Make
  • 22 Effective SEO Tips
All of the above are catchy, and I’m sure that as a user I would click on a couple of them.  Want to know why?  Well aside from pleasing Google they also intrigue a reader.  Hence my title ‘How to Write Effective SEO Headlines’ would probably (at least I think it would) intrigue a reader too.

Step Two – Keyword Placement

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea to place your keyword at the start of your headline if possible.  I haven’t managed to do it with this post but it is thought to help an SEO strategy if you can.  A few examples of good keyword placement, that will still intrigue a reader include:
  • Effective SEO – Five Tips That Won’t Cost You a Penny
  • Effective SEO Strategies That Can be Implemented In Seconds
  • Effective SEO Marketing – Are You Sure You’re Doing it Right?

Step Three – Take Your Time

An effective SEO headline won’t just appear out of thin air, and many will take a while to come up with.  In fact some SEO copywriters say that the headline of an article should take as long to come up with than the article itself takes to write; whilst this may be a bit extreme for an average blog post, it’s not a bad way of looking at things.  It’s a good idea to brainstorm a variety of headlines and then narrow your list down.  The one that keeps popping out at you, is likely to be the same headline that will intrigue your readers, so have faith and go with it.  Don’t be afraid to keep messing around with your headline until you have got it exactly as you want it.  There are also a variety of different punctuation marks that you could include to give your headline that little something more.
Above all, remember that you want your headline to be catchy for your readers, but full of SEO juice too.  The better your headline is, the more clicks to your webpage you will receive.  Good luck!
If you are struggling to write effective SEO headlines, why not get in touch with Apple Copywriting?  They offer a range of copywriting services and can definitely improve your copy.


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