With the ongoing mantra that content is king when it comes to digital marketing, we go one step further and say that it’s high quality content that rules online.

High quality, extremely readable copy has become the foundation of good SEO practise in a digital world that’s becoming saturated with online content.

You could write the best blog post or email newsletter in the world. If the headline isn’t catchy enough and doesn’t get people to click on it, that’s hundreds of words wasted. Not to mention the time, effort and money that go into creating truly outstanding content.

From an SEO perspective, we know that headlines can be used as one of the factors that search engines take into consideration when they’re running their algorithms to rank millions of websites. But how can you create an attention-grabbing, SEO-friendly headline that search engines and humans alike will love?

We have 3 big tips to help you along the way.

  1. Offer Your Potential Readers an Incentive to Read Your Story

The success of a headline can be measured by the click-through rate it achieves. In order to increase the chance of people clicking on your blog/newsletter/social media post, you first need to make them want to read it.

We live in a busy world, where attention spans are decreasing and people are making quick decisions, especially online. One of the best ways to grab someone’s attention in this environment is by setting their expectations right from the beginning and offering your readers the promise of the value they’ll get by reading your article. To achieve that, you can use:

  • Numbers
  • Words that convey emotions
  • Phrases that create curiosity
  • Explanatory and informative words such as ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘when’

Your headline needs to summarise the essence of your story in such a manner that it will make you not just want, but need to know the full thing. What made you click on the headline for this blog, for example?

  1. Think Like Your Audience

This applies to both creating great content and optimising your headline for SEO purposes. Before you decide on the keyword you might want to use for your content, you should undertake some research to discover what are the most popular and relevant phrases and search terms that people use in relation with that topic.

Once you’ve picked your keyword or phrase of choice, aim to incorporate this into your headline, without compromising on the readability and quality of the copy.

Bonus tip With mobile traffic and voice searches on the rise, it’s a good idea to also investigate the most common phrases used for voice search, as these tend to lean more towards longer search queries. Matching and answering a particular search query can help tell search engines that your content is relevant for that phrase.

  1. Differentiate Yourself from Your Competitors

This might be the trickiest part of crafting a compelling headline that is optimised for SEO. Chances are you won’t be the only one doing the research and analysing keyword data, so how do you stand out in a sea of similar headlines that make more or less the same promise?

A more creative touch and powerful adjectives that can create a mental picture or give added force to your words can help you in your quest for a unique headline that attracts readers. That, and ranking high in the search results, as the top 3 organic results can see click-through rates between 12% and 30%, according to research from Smart Insights.

If you still need some help getting your headlines just right or creating fantastic content marketing campaigns (that are SEO-friendly, of course), the Williams Commerce Marketing team can help you to achieve this and more.

Give us a call on 0116 326 1116 or drop us a line at [email protected] to see how we can help.