How to write a great SEO headline

There are many reasons why the headlines on digital content really matter. For a start, they grab the reader’s attention, which is vital when you remember how quickly we all flick around the internet sometimes, and the sheer volume of information out there.

So a strong headline helps a browser focus on the stories that are most relevant to them. What’s more, the major search engines such as Google all use headlines when assessing whether a piece of content matches what the user is searching for.

The best headlines match the most relevant search queries, most of which will be between two and four words long and often include keywords and proper names – i.e. names of specific places, people or organisations.

In many ways, headlines are almost like lifelines to readers, linking them with content in a sea of information. And the best content in the world is rendered meaningless if it doesn’t also have a great headline to sell it, one which fully reflects the needs of the target audience.

At the same time, it’s important not to get too carried away with SEO, but to remember you’re writing for human readers, not search engines. Bearing that in mind, here’s what you can do to produce SEO-friendly headlines that capture and hold people’s attention:

  • Consider a ‘how to’ format: Research shows these kinds of articles tend to perform really well.
  • Get to the point: Your headline should tell readers precisely what they will find if they stick with that piece of content.
  • Unique information: Encapsulate what it is about what you’re saying that readers won’t be able to find elsewhere.
  • Include relevant keywords: Clearly, you need to include relevant keywords, both for visitors to your site and search engines.
  • Emotional words: Don’t be afraid to use emotional, human terms to draw in and engage your reader. They don’t have to be over the top.
  • Headlines by numbers: Headlines such as ‘six reasons to…’, ‘five ways to…’ or ‘five benefits of…’ will often work well. Try not to have more than, say, seven points in your list.
  • Include proper names: These are common search terms, either on their own or with other keywords. If it’s a person, include both their first and last names.
  • Have a call to action: Tell people directly what they should do to get the most from the topic, service or product being discussed.

How we can help

At Front Page, we have many years’ experience in writing SEO-friendly headlines to push customers’ pages up the search engine rankings, and we use professional, experienced copywriters. We could help you, too. Get in touch today about how we could help drive traffic to your website.