woman holding up 6 fingers to highlight 6 ways of writing better headlines

Most people know that writing better headlines and copy is important for social media and blogging.

However, when it comes right down to doing the writing, most people, including marketing directors and business owners, don't have desire, or inclination, to write copy. Initially, their enthusiasm to share their knowledge, and save money on copywriting, motivates them to take on that piece of their website or social media.

However, once they realize:

  • Writing for the web is very different than writing for print, and
  • Writing content for a website, or blogging, is time-consuming

...their enthusiasm dwindles. Then, they agree to have a copywriter write the content for their website, blogs and social media.

That's because when writing for the web, you must incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) into the equation, because you're writing for both:

  • Your prospects, and
  • Search engines.

Click here to jump right to the tips for writing better headlines.

robot hand and human hand on iPad for writing better headlines

Writing for both people and search engines

When writing for a website, not only do you need to write articles your audience would find interesting, but you need to incorporate keywords into the headline and copy for search engines. So even before you write, you need to know what keywords your audience uses to find your product or services.

writing for your audience

When writing for your prospects and clients, you should consider:

  1. Is this a topic they'll find interesting and relevant to their business? (You should know what problems your product or service helps.)
  2. Does it answer a question or address an issue they have? (Can you show how your audience will benefit from your product or service?)
  3. Does it position you as an authority on the subject? (If you're not an authority on the subject, you shouldn't be writing that article.)
  4. Would you want to read the article? (If not, you'd be wasting both your, and your prospects', time.)

Writing for search enGines

When writing for search engines, you should consider:

  1. Do you know the keywords your audience uses to find your products or services? That is, after all, how people will find your blogs. (Learn how to search for keywords here.)
  2. Do you understand what "on-page SEO" is, and how it makes search engines direct people to your website? (Read about on-page SEO here.)
  3. Can you write interesting, and enough, content to meet search engines' criteria for quality content? (The longer someone stays on your website, the better it is for your SEO. It's called "dwell time," which you can read about here.)
  4. Do you know how to add Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, name images with keywords, and add Alternative text to your images? (These are the basic elements of making your website and blogs play well with Google.)

You can take online SEO training here.

With all that in mind, here are our tips for writing better headlines and copy.

Tips for writing better headlines

  1. Try to include keywords in your headlines, or at least your subheads. In this blog, our keyword phrase is "writing better headlines."
  2. Your headline should answer an problem or topic of interest to your audience
  3. Having a number in a headline draws people in, and suggests you have specific points people can use to improve what they're doing. 
  4. Shorter is usually better. People scan to decide what they'll read. Since we have the attention span of a goldfish, short and sweet headlines are always a better way for people to decide to read yours.
  5. Phrase your headline as a question. People often search by asking a question, so if your headline matches their question, they'll click.
  6. Use a compelling statistic in your headline. You can cite a statistic, but double check the fact through online research. Though we've found there are always different perspectives and research on any statistical fact, don' let that stop you from using one that is generally accepted.

As an example of a different perspective for a claim, we cited in this blog, that people have the attention span of a goldfish from Time magazine. It's a funny and humorous statistic that we love to use. However, as you would imagine, there's also conflicting research that states people DON'T really have the attention span of a goldfish. So use your statistics wisely.

If you have questions about writing for your website or blogs, feel free to ask.