SEO headlines: 5 simple ways to guarantee you'll rank on SERPs.Click To Tweet
What’s the Difference Between a Title Tag and an H1, and Why Do They Matter in SEO?Before we chat about how to craft headlines that are guaranteed to rank highly on search engines, let’s go over a few things. First of all, let’s break down two different elements that affect SEO headlines:
- H1 (Header 1) tags: These are top-level header HTML tags. On most websites, the headline is coded in an H1 tag.
- Title tags: These are the blue links that appear in search results.
Can You Show Me an Example of a Headline in a Search Result?When you are searching for a topic on Google (or another search engine), the result pages are filled with millions of title tags related to your searched keyword or keyword phrase. For example, when you type “SEO best practices” in a Google search, this is what your screen might look like: These are examples of title tags that will appear on your SERP. It’s common for people to mistake a title tag with an H1 — or the HTML tag that is used as the headline of your content. That’s because, more often than not, they are used interchangeably. Here’s an example of an effective H1: CoSchedule This H1 is found directly at the top of this CoSchedule blog, and it clearly tells us what sort of information is found within the upcoming content. While it’s often okay to reuse your H1 as your title tag, sometimes this may present challenges. For example:
- Your headline that appears on your content (H1) might be too long for a title tag.
- It might make sense to place the keyword in the title tag somewhere different than the H1. For example, if your target keyword appears at the end of your headline, you may want to rewrite the headline for your title tag starting with the keyword. This is because search engines consider words furthest to the left in title tags to be most important.
- You need to keep both humans and search engines in mind when writing both your title tag and your H1 (and this can be tough).
It’s crucial that you write SEO headlines for your readers AND your search engine of choice.Click To Tweet
5 Easy Ways to Optimize Your SEO HeadlinesNow that you have a solid grasp on the power behind a good SEO headline, let’s introduce some easy tips you can use to effectively produce your own.
Keep Your Character Count in MindThe visibility of your title tag on search engines is limited to 50–60 characters, so it’s a good idea to utilize an SEO headline that sticks to this limitation. When you keep this character count in mind, you’re also being mindful of your audience and their accessibility to your content. How does this help you? Well, not only are you ensuring that search engine users can view the entirety of your topic from their result pages, but you’re demonstrating to readers that you’re aware and taking action toward ease of access; people will appreciate that and develop a trust with your brand/site. Try out the Moz Title Tag Preview Tool to see how your title tag will appear on Google.
Avoid Keyword StuffingAlthough you may think that including your keyword or keyword phrase in your SEO headline more than once will help improve your ranking on search engines, you’re more than likely to irritate your audience by doing so. Here’s what I mean: There’s no need to include “SEO Tips”, the keyword phrase, more than once. It sounds repetitive and pushy. With such limited visibility of characters for a title tag, do your best to please both the search engine and your readers with your keyword quantity.
Clarity is KeyAnother thing to keep in mind when you’re crafting an SEO headline is to make sure it’s as clear and concise as possible. Here are some questions to ask yourself about your headline’s clarity: Use these questions as a guideline for determining whether your title tag is clear and “user-friendly” enough for your audience.
Utilize Attention-Grabbing VocabularyYou don’t have to use large words in your SEO headline to sound impressive or capture the attention of readers. You just have to use words that resonate with them. Words like: