In our previous post, we've given you the complete guide to keyword research in 2020.
Assuming that you have identified the right keywords to use in your content writing, the next step is to create the perfect SEO headlines to attract your audience and the subheadings to keep them on your page longer.
In this section we will cover:
Header tags are used in HTML to mark the headings (or headlines) and subheadings in a web-based text.
These are segmented in a hierarchical order from the main heading (H1) to the lowest-level heading (H6).
Search engines scan the keywords in your header tags to better understand the content of your page and match it with the right queries.
H1 defines the main topic of your page.
H2s, or subheadings, serve a dual purpose:
79% of your readers will only skim through your content. Therefore, breaking it up into bite-sized sections tagged with relevant headers not only helps search engines read through your content, but it helps your readers as well.
It is easy to confuse title tags with headers, particularly H1.
Both H1 and title tag communicate the main topic of a page to both readers and search engines; The first communicates the topic on-page, the second in search.
Since search engines have a limit on the number of characters they can display in results, title tags provide SEO writers an opportunity to contract their H1 and reformat it for the search environment.
Each content management system has its own "box" that allows the SEO writers to insert their title tags.
The most popular of all, Wordpress, relies of Yoast plug-in and it looks like this:
Since it defines the overall topic of your page, H1 should feature the primary keyword you are going after.
H2s, or subheadings, can contain a mix of primary and secondary keywords, as long as there is no "stuffing", i.e. as long as they find their place in the header naturally.
Just like the headline, you make your subheadings informative and to-the-point.
They should act as short summaries of the sections they cover, or as a promise to your reader on the type of answers they can expect to find. Treating them as such will lead you to feature primary and related keywords naturally.
One thing most SEOs tend to forget is that headlines and subheaders, i.e. header tags, do much more for your SEO that capture keywords you want to rank for.
If used properly, they can increase your readers' time on site and even click-throughs - some of the biggest hints to Google that your page contains quality content which is one of the most important ranking factors for the search engine.
So to truly optimize your headlines, forget about stuffing keywords where they don't naturally belong and focus on:
When writing your headline, or H1, always think about your audience, i.e. the people who will read your content.
Another good practice is to write a tentative headline to give your content focus, and to refine it at the end, to infuse it with flavor, i.e. to make unique and compelling for your audience.
Here are a few tips that will help you create headlines that grab the reader’s attention:
No matter which way you will create your headlines, make sure you always provide your audience with value. Otherwise, they won’t mean anything to them and will not consider clicking.
Using a set of on-page SEO tools like headline analyzers can help you generate the perfect titles for your content.
Here are the top five of them that you should consider in 2020:
A good part of the digital marketing community is a fan of this on-page SEO tool and uses it to analyze their headlines and improve them.
To try it out, simply put your headline in the analyzer and you will instantly get the analysis of the overall structure, grammar and reliability, as well as suggestions on how to improve them.
What’s more, in addition to providing you with a headline score, CoSchedule also shows you the email subject line and Google search preview of your title.
Blog About by Impact is a fun platform that helps you brainstorm topic ideas using the fill-in-the-blanks approach and allowing you to sift through the options by "hearting" those you like.
Best of all: It is totally free.
Unlike most other headline analyzers and topic generators, Blog About has a neat feature that can help you in the brainstorming process, especially when you feel stuck in the process: their doodle board. To launch it, click on the
Answer The Public is a tool that combines suggested searches from Google and Bing.
You simply enter a keyword and you get well-organized results in several categories including what, why, where, how and more.
These are actually the questions that people search for on these two platforms from different devices.
Portent is another amazing title generator tool to incorporate into your SEO content strategy.
To use it, enter a subject or keyword and click submit. Then, it will provide you with a title variety option.
However, this tool displays only one option at a time. By clicking the refresh button you can get new ideas.
What’s great about this tool is that you can make your own changes to the headlines to meet your SEO content writing needs.
Sharethrough allows you to discover how effective the headlines you create are.
Simply put together a title and put it in this analyzer. Then, you will get a short report on its quality score.
It also shows the strengths and weaknesses and provides suggestions for improvements.
This is a great tool to use in your SEO content strategy to make sure your titles are appealing to your readership.
Headlines and subheaders are much more than vessels for keywords. They:
By overlooking these benefits quality headlines and subheaders provide, SEOs often walk the dangerous path of treating them exclusively as an opportunity for keyword stuffing. We say "dangerous" because going overboard with this technique can earn penalties on Google.
To truly optimize your headlines, focus on what your users expect to gain from your content, as well as on their reading habits. Keep in mind that a vast majority of them skim through rather than read, so give them informative and accurate subheaders to help them navigate through your text.
Secondly, follow the research-backed best practices such as leading with numbers, how-tos and active verbs.
Finally, use the available tools for topic planning, as well as to analyze your headline options.
Best of luck!