SEO best practices are essential to growing an audience and driving traffic to your website. One element that can help boost your ranking is with the usage of on-page SEO to optimize your headlines. H1 tags (top-level header HTML tag) and title tags (blue links that appear in search results) are a good place to start. You will need to keep both your target audience and search engines in mind when writing both your title tag and your H1 tag. Here are 5 ways create headlines that Google and other search engines as well as your target audience will favor:
- Keep Your Character Count in Mind
Title tags on search engines are limited to 50-60 characters. You want the topic your target audience needs to know about to be visible on the results page. If possible, use a keyword at the beginning. For Example, a headline might read “SEO Tips for Local Businesses in Michigan”.
2. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
It may be tempting to include a keyword or keyword phrase in your SEO headline more than once to help improve your ranking on search engines, but you’re more than likely to irritate or confuse your audience by doing so. It sounds repetitive and pushy: “SEO Tips: The Best SEO Tips from SEO Experts”. With such limited visibility of characters for a title tag, do your best to keep it simple for the search engine and your readers with your keyword quantity.
3. Be as Clear as Possible
Use these questions as a guideline to help determine whether your title tag is user-friendly for your audience:
- Can my headline be easily skimmed?
- Is my keyword or phrase found within the first or last 3 words of my headline?
- Think of yourself as a teacher of your industry, would a new comer understand your headline?
- Is my headline longer than 60 characters?
- Is my headline grammatically correct?
- Am I using any unnecessary big words?
4. Use Attention-grabbing Vocabulary
Large words are not needed to sound impressive. Use call-to-action words to draw attention. A few examples:
- Find Out
- Learn More
5. Ensure Consistency between Title Tag & Content
Make sure your SEO headline matches what you will cover in your content. Avoid clickbait, stretching the truth, or omitting relevant info in your content. If you are using a CMS, such as WordPress, titles are auto generated. Make sure to double check to see the title is accurate and if not, edit the title to match.
Too busy to change your headlines? Call 248.528.3600.