How to optimize your headlines for Google (and real people)

By Posted in - Technology & Writing on May 8th, 2012 0 Comments

How can you make your blog post or article reach the top of Google’s search results? Your story might have great content, but the real key is to have a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. And crafting the right headline is critical.

Google’s algorithms don’t appreciate wit, irony, humor, or style – in fact, they look for literal terms. But it doesn’t mean your headlines have to be stale. Consider these practices:

  • Don’t write the same headline for both the article and the page. The difference is that an article title is what you show your readers, and a page title is what you show search engines. (Bad example: “The Woman Who Knew Too Much”)
  • Craft headlines that are both self-explanatory and catchy. (Example: “15 Case Studies to Get Your Client on Board With Social Media”)
  • Consider giving your article a title and sub-title to grab attention and give a great first impression of the content. (Example: “Deliverance. U.S. Postal Service: Will It Survive?”)
  • Even better, add a meta description as well. This where Google will pull your two-line “snippet” displayed for each webpage. (Example: “Ray Kelly has built the best police force in the country. Now it is turning on him.”)

SEO is best considered as a form of art and best done with a strategy. Your headline might be the most important tool in the quest to reach the top of Google’s search rankings – and having the right balance of literal keywords and your own creativity is key.


Share this to keep the conversation going: