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David Shiffman

The Real Reason Headlines are Important For Improved Rankings

David Shiffman
The Real Reason Headlines are Important For Improved Rankings

If you’re looking to grow your search engine rankings, you’re going to need to master the art of writing headlines. A lot of people think headlines should be left to the writers and are only important in relation to a content marketing strategy. However, within the constantly changing game of SEO, you’ll need every advantage in your court.

Great content is always going to be a cornerstone of great SEO. By focusing on one of the most important elements, your blog post, you’ll actually be doing yourself a favor in your search engine rankings as well.

Before we jump in, I want you to think for a moment about the search results for any popular search term. The chances are very high that the page is filled with great headlines. Great headlines attract clicks, shares, comments and links. All of which can help increase the amount of traffic flowing back into your website.

When you’re creating any kind of content the goal of the first line is to get you to read the second line. The goal of the second line is to get you to read the third, and so on, until you finish the article. Then, if you’ve done your job properly they’ll be so entranced by what you wrote that they’ll leave a comment and share the post with their followers or across social media.

All of these actions will help your post to build more weight in the search engines and hopefully attract a lot of high-quality links.

In this post we’re going to explore the real reason our headlines matter, what we can do about it, and the reason we need to spend more time on our headlines if we want to improve our rankings.

The Reason Our Headlines Usually Suck

The reasons most of our headlines end up being non-click-worthy has to do with the amount of time that’s spent on them. When you’re browsing around the internet the reality is, most headlines are pretty bad.

They definitely don’t entice you to click or even inform you about what the article is going to dig into. If you’re just getting started writing headlines there’s a good chance you’re writing them for yourself, or you’re trying to be too creative.

Good headlines need to inspire action and convey a sense of urgency, not simply be a summary of the blog post. If your headlines don’t entice people to read or link to your content they’re basically purposeless in terms of helping you achieve high rankings.

How To Write Click-Worthy Titles

In order to write click-worthy titles that also help your rankings, you’ll need to write in order to please both readers and the search engines. This provides a complex challenge and overall, there are two things you’ll want to achieve.

First, you’ll want to write in order to get readers to read your post. Second, you’ll need to let Google know what keywords you’re trying to optimize for.

  1. Understand The Headlines That Came Before You

Being able to write a good headline stars with being able to spot good headlines. When you’re browsing around the internet start to take note of headlines that excite you and get you to click.

Try to figure out why you feel the impulse to click? And what makes the headline work?

  1. Know Who You’re Writing For

In order to write a good headline it’s going to need to apply to your readers. If your headline promises a solution to their problem or will help them learn something they want to know then your readers will click.

When you’re writing your headlines always try to think about them from your readers perspective. After all, you’re writing your content to help them and improve their lives.

  1. Let Google Help You Write Better Headlines

Now that you know what a good headline contains, and how to write it for your ideal reader it’s time to bring Google into the equation. You may already have a set of keywords that you’re optimizing the post for, however, if you don’t the strategy below might help.

If you’re looking for more keywords to include you can use Google’s autofill feature. You simply type in the start of a keyword and the drop-down box will suggest related long-tail keywords that you can use in your headline.

  1. Always Re-Write Until It Feels Just Right

Even if your blog post is good, no one will read it unless your headline is great. That is why it’s crucial you re-write your headline until it is perfect. Re-writing your headlines will help you get out of your comfort zone, so you’re not writing the same headline over and over again.

By re-writing headlines you’ll be able to practice more often and will get better over time. Also, by re-writing you’ll be able to generate more creative post ideas over time.

  1. Incorporate The Right Keywords In The Right Order

When you’re dealing with keywords in your title it’s important that you place them in the front. This will help your rankings and also can increase your click-through rate.

For instance, if a person is searching for a certain keyword, they’re more likely to click on your link if that keyword is shown right away, while being bundled in with compelling copy.

Why Good Headlines And Good Rankings Are Inextricably Linked

Writing a good headline does take a lot of work, and can be frustrating at times. However, with a bit of effort and some practice you’ll be well on your way towards writing headlines that work.

Headlines that include certain keywords, while still motivating your readers will win every time. It’s time to learn the art of pleasing both your readers and the search engines for maximum results. We need to start with keywords and build in certain story emoluments and emotional triggers to truly craft unbeatable headlines.

David Shiffman is Co-Founder and Brand Elevator at Brandamos. A creative strategist with over 10 years of experience developing marketing strategies and guiding business development. Shiffman has worked with companies such as Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Absolut Vodka and Bed Bath & Beyond. His internet marketing strategies and execution have resulted in millions of dollars in revenue for clients and his personal experience gives an advantage in elevating brands both offline and online. His last article for SEMrush was "10 Ways To Uncover Hidden Backlinks You May Have Overlooked."

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