SEO Headlines: How to Write for Both People and Bots [5 Simple Steps]
May 3, 2022
One of the biggest hurdles that online marketers have to face is writing engaging headlines that rank in Google. But if you want to build your content engagement, you’re going to have to get crafty. So how to write SEO headlines for both people and bots? That’s where combining SEO and attention grabbing copywriting comes in.
Headlines (or titles) are the bread and butter of increasing content engagement. The Founding Father of copywriting, David Ogilvy, knew their importance even in the 60’s.
Turns out, what was true then is true now because 80% of readers never make it past the headline.
Whatever content you’re promoting, getting people to read past the headline is an important first step.
The easiest way to please both human beings and robots is by keeping one question in mind:
Will my content solve the pain points of my dream customers?
If the answer is yes, then you’re in business.
If you want to create headlines that grab people’s attention and rank in Google, follow these steps:
Create SEO Headlines:
Understand your dream customer
Identify Pain Points
Use the Keyword Planner
Use An SEO Headline Formula
Choose One of the SEO Headline
But first, let’s talk about what SEO is.
So, where does SEO fit in?
SEO is the perfect way to attract your dream audience to your content.
If you’re new to Search Engine Optimization, the rules might be overwhelming. And it’s easy to get caught up in writing for the robots rather than your audience.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Think about when you Google something. When you type your question in and hit enter, Google gives you pages of search results that might give you the answer you’re looking for.
Creating content that’s optimized for search engines like Google, means that your content is more likely to show up when people search for your topic.
The goal of SEO is to rank higher than your competitors on the search results page, so your audience will choose to view your content over theirs.
So, to create an SEO headline you:
- Do keyword research
- Choose one keyword as your topic
- Write your SEO headlines with the keyword at the beginning
Now that you understand a little more about SEO let’s dive into writing an engaging SEO headline, step by step.
1) Understand Your Dream Customer
Think back to a time when you worked with a customer who was perfect for your product or service. Everything went smoothly, and you might have even thought to yourself, “Wow, I wish every customer was just like that. I wouldn’t have to work so hard to convince them to buy my product.”
It’s important to have this person in mind when you’re writing your content instead of just writing for anyone. Creating your dream customer or buyer’s persona is a crucial step because you can’t get someone’s attention if you don’t know who they are.
Here’s a FREE Persona Builder to get you started. The goal of creating your persona is to get you started thinking about the qualities they possess and why they are the perfect customer for your product or business.
2) Identify Pain Points
Think about your current customers and the Buyer’s Persona you just made. Now it’s time to solve their problems with your products or services.
What’s so urgent that your dream customers need your product as their solution? What keeps them up at night?
The most common pain points are:
- Not enough money
- Lack of resources
- Physical Pain
Find out what customers want to know before buying your product? Are they hesitant because of the cost? Are they too busy to commit to your product?
Once you find out what people are struggling with, you can align your product to solve those problems.
One example of a business addressing their customers pain point:
Let’s say that you’re a Lawn Care business and your primary customers are the elderly. As a business owner, you know that most of your clients can’t physically keep up with the maintenance of their lawns. So, you could come up with a content speaking to that pain point.
3) Use the Keyword Planner
The best way to know if people are searching for your keyword is to plug it into the Google Ads keyword planner. It’s a free tool that shows you the search volume and competition for the word you want to rank for.
When using the Keyword Planner, you want to aim for high search volume and low competition. That means that a lot of people are searching for the topic your content is based on, but there isn’t a lot of content out there on that topic. So, you have a better chance of ranking high on the search terms report.
4) Use an SEO Headline Formula
After some keyword research, choose one keyword that will serve as your main topic for your content. Then put that keyword at the beginning of your headline.
Writing attention grabbing headlines is half creativity and half science.
Here are some tips and tricks:
- Use numbers for concrete information
- Use emotion to solve your dream customer’s problem
- Make a promise
1. Use Numbers for Concrete Information
You should use numbers in your headlines because it works. If you don’t believe me, check out recent magazine articles and see how many of them use numbers too.
2. Use emotion to solve your dream customer’s problem
Examples of emotional adjectives:
3. Make a promise
Promise your dream customer that they will find value in your content. You could offer to teach your audience something, ask them to do something new, or unlock a hidden secret.
Be bold, daring, and persuasive, then deliver what you’ve promised.
Try this formula:
Example: “Grooming Dogs”- keyword
Title: 17 Unbelievable Ways You Can Groom A Dog
5) Choose One of the SEO Headlines
At this point, you’ve probably written a couple different versions of your headline. Now it’s time to choose the best one.
Choose the headline that makes people feel something, gives clear expectations, and offers a promise that you can deliver.
And that’s it!
Implementing these 5 tips will help you create headlines that will grow your business.
Want to improve your overall SEO Strategy? Checkout this SEO Checklist!