How to Reconcile SEO Title Tag and Clickworthy Headline
There is often a tug of war going on in the battle between effectively optimizing your SEO title tag and the need to craft a killer clickworthy headline that gets massive amounts of clicks. This is a genuine concern, and often the answer lies in what your main purpose is for the page in the first place.
It's important to know that you need both title tags and headlines, right? While you would like it to rank well in search, you also need the headline to entice as many clicks as possible. Each is important, but is there a way to feed Google and still attract the hungry hordes?
Let's consider both needs and see where they intersect.
What makes a good SEO title tag?
With a title tag limited to around 64 characters, you are space-challenged from the get-go. This is the number of characters that will appear in the search results, so you have to make it count.
What's also important to Google these days is the intent of the search query. What's the searcher actually looking for? Google is getting better and better at discerning this, and you need to write with this in mind.
If there is room, you can add additional keywords or LSI phrase, or modify the phrase in hope of ranking for corollary terms, for instance “best blue widget for sale today”. There are around 5 possible keyword phrases in there, in addition to the main term. You get the idea. But your intent ought to be to make it make sense.
What makes a good clickworthy headline?
Conversely, your page headline has to entice the reader to read on, to want more information. A lot of great headlines will invoke curiosity, promise solutions, and inject emotions.
Satisfying the needs of the reader is your primary aim here, and if you can do that in a short, pithy way so much the better.
“How to write a novel in 30 days and stay married.” This is a title you might click through to read. It makes a promise, delivers urgency and hints at humor.
Making the Two become One
Often you'll be confronted with a choice, and you'll have to decide which is more important, the SEO or maximum clicks. The intersection where both come together is often quite small, and often the purpose of the page comes into play, such as how you're going to be using it. Is it a landing page going to get mostly paid traffic, or a foundation website page that needs to rank well? Therein often lies the choice.
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