How To Write Effective Headlines In 5 Simple Steps

It’s been argued extensively that your web pages’ headlines are simply the most important component of the page. In many instances, this assertion is absolutely correct… and even when it’s not do or die, it’s still notably important. Here are the basics of writing effective headlines in five simple steps.


Rule One: Your Headline Doesn’t Have To Be Gimmicky.

Sometimes it’s easy to get all caught up in the notion of trying to be catchy, witty, or just plain brilliant when coming up with the next headline on your website. Here’s the thing to remember — most of web visitors simply won’t get it. Don’t get too caught up in creating the best headline ever to be seen on the web — and definitely avoid using humor that others might not get. Controversy sells, but using it for your site’s content in any way also comes with a price that’s mostly likely not worth paying.

Rule Two: Use Your Keyword Phrase In The Headline.

This is essential. A must do. Use your keyword phrase, in the exact order/sequence as you’ve identified it in the first place. And if at all possible, use it as the first few words of the headline. Doing this helps in a couple of ways — both with SEO and by enhancing the potential visitor’s perception.

Rule Three: Keep It Short And To The Point.

As often with web writing, short and to the point is the rule, not the exception. This is particularly important when crafting a headline to suit the need. Becausesearch engines only give you so much space to work with, it’s best to keep it under about 65 characters or less (again, characters… not words).

Rule Four: Get The Click.

Because your page’s headline is often used as its title Meta tag, this also means that it will oftentimes be displayed by the search engines as the link that visitors click on to your site from the search engine results page. So you’ve already optimized well enough to get your listing to show up for this certain search — care to guess what the next step is? Yep, you’re right if you said to get the click through to your site. You can do this by using your headline to leave searchers eager to learn more or even by asking them a question. Point is, to get the click, you’ve got to be compelling and not just make a statement.

Rule Five: Take Advantage Of Formulas That Work.

It’s impossible to overuse a successful headline template. And there are many good ones. For example, “How To ____” is always among the more effective headline techniques. Also perpetually popular is the “7 Ways To ____” style headline. The psychology of the typical web surfer tells us that headlines that promise an easy to review list-type article is awaiting work time and time again.

Get the headline right and the rest of the page is easy. In fact, your headline, even in just a few words, can even serve as the perfect little outline for building out a page full of content. Oh, and just one more thing really quickly… remember, practice makes perfect.

Until Next Time.
George Chaney

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