SEO Tips for Writing Blog Post Headlines That Actually Drive Traffic

Shutterstock 374659294 638 × 338 SEO Tips for Writing Blog Post Headlines That Actually Drive Traffic Vizion Interactive Reading Time: 6 minutes

According to Ahrefs, 96.55% of web pages get zero traffic. While you can’t control whether search engines rank your pages or not, what you can do is optimize them using SEO tips that actually work for the best chances of success. 

If blog posts and articles are a big part of your content strategy, crafting SEO-friendly headlines that are both intriguing and focus on serving the search intent can help you rank and drive traffic. Just like any other SEO strategy, headlines alone won’t do the trick; you need backlinks, a well-refined strategy that considers your market, and consistent efforts — however, it’s a big part of it. 

Use the SEO tips in this blog to write blog post headlines that actually work. 

What is an SEO Headline?

SEO headlines are page titles that are shown to searchers when a page from a website appears in the search results. 

Also known as title tags, meta tags, and SEO titles — SEO-friendly headlines help search engines understand what a page is about. They typically include the keyword the searcher might be looking for and inform them what they will learn after visiting a web page. As such, good SEO titles are important for being found by search engines easily and influencing whether searchers visit a page or not. 

This is why they play an important role in both search rankings and getting more clicks to your website from the said search results.

The good news is that writing effective SEO-friendly headlines is easy once you master a few tips.

In this blog, we discuss why these headlines matter and how you can create those quickly. Jump to the end of the article for SEO headline templates for every type of SEO content so you can start applying the tips you learn here immediately.

But first, let’s clarify what SEO headings are not.

SEO Headings vs Heading Tags

Although a Heading1 (H1) tag and SEO title are both HTML elements integral to a website’s SEO, they are not the same and don’t serve the same purpose. 

While an SEO heading is shown in the search engine result pages and summarizes the content of a page, an H1 tag often is primarily used to organize the content of the page logically. It’s used in conjunction with other subheading tags like H2, H3, and H4 to denote the structure of the page.

While many websites use the same title tag and H1 tags for some pages, some websites use creative H1s to engage their audiences. An H1 can also be shortened to speak concisely to the readers who are already on the page.

For example “10 Delicious Recipes to Try This Winter” can be shortened to “Delicious Winter Recipes” in the page’s H1 tag.

Here’s an example of a website that uses different SEO headings and H1 tags:

How Do SEO Headlines Drive Website Traffic?

As SEO headlines are a ranking factor, optimizing them is an important step in driving organic traffic to your website with SEO. 

Earlier we mentioned that SEO titles help websites understand the contents of a page better—which allows them to crawl, index, and rank the website easily. But how much of a role do these SEO headlines play in actual SEO performance? 

Turns out, a lot. 

While an SEO heading alone can’t guarantee rankings, there’s solid evidence that an SEO heading is a Google ranking factor. This means that a good SEO headline can directly impact your search ranking. Google’s John Mueller has confirmed this on multiple occasions that SEO headlines are ranking factors, including in this video (at the 16:28 mark).

Google Search Central’s SEO starter guide also advocates for using descriptive title texts and details how SEO titles play a role in driving traffic to the website. Because Google typically only recommends SEO practices that are essential for a website to do — it’s safe to assume Google considers SEO headlines important. 

SEO headlines are also important for first impressions because they are the first visual element a potential customer sees from your website. This can also impact how many searchers actually visit your website after seeing your website link in the search results. 

In other words, writing headlines that spark interest and resonate with the searchers can improve the click-through rate (CTR) of your website.

Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Post Headlines That Get Clicks

Use the following tips to write SEO headlines for blogs that both search engines and human beings love:

1. Keep it Short

Although search engines can read SEO titles above 60 characters, there’s a likelihood that they may truncate it in the search results if it’s too long. What good is an SEO title if readers can’t fully read it?

Keeping your meta tag length between 51-60 characters will reduce the chances of that happening.

Pro Tip: Use Meta Tag Analyzer to check the length of your SEO headlines before you publish a page. 

2. Include the Primary Keyword in the Headline

A Backlinko study that analyzed 11.8 million pages established how keyword-rich SEO headlines are for search rankings. It found that most pages ranking on the first page of the SERPs contained a partial or full match of the search in their SEO titles. 

Including your main keyword in the title tag is also one of those SEO best practices that professional SEOs unequivocally advocate, so it’s important to consider it.

3. Understand the Searcher

An SEO title should consider why searchers are looking for a specific topic and what problem/need they hope to solve after reading it. It should summarize the outcome to prompt more users to engage with it in the SERPs.

For example, when someone is searching for “Thanksgiving recipes”, titles like “10 Easy Thanksgiving Recipes That Your Guests Will Love You for” can work great because they understand the outcome the searcher is hoping to achieve (i.e their guests appreciating the food)—and speak to them directly.

Another important thing to consider is matching the SEO title with the search intent. Two people using the same search query may have different interests or needs—you need to align your SEO title with the kind of audience you’d like to target.

For example, someone looking for “Japanese restaurants” could be looking for restaurants near them that serve Japanese cuisine, or they could be curious about the top Japanese restaurants in the world. You must understand which audience you are targeting so you can craft titles that speak to them and get them clicking.

Pro Tip: Check the pages that are currently ranking for your desired search queries to see the kind of search intent the majority of them serve. Use this as inspiration to write your meta tags.

4. Use Numbers and Power Words to Grab Attention

Power words are words that evoke a psychological or emotional response in the reader’s brain. Even the world’s most influential Copywriters and brands use power words like “save”, “easy”, and “unmissable” to encourage readers to take desired actions, such as signing up for a page or clicking a link.

On the other hand, using numbers provides a clear indication of what to expect. They can also serve as a visual break in a lengthy title. An SEO experiment by SearchPilot also found that removing the number from a title led to a 16% decrease in website traffic. 

Using power words and numbers together is one of the easiest ways to create headlines that command attention.

For instance, a title like “This Secret Hack Helps You Save an Extra $10,000 Every Year” instantly communicates value and piques interest, compelling users to click the link to find out more. 

How to Write Effective Headlines for Every Type of SEO Content

Effective SEO headlines typically include 3 or more of these elements:

  1. A number
  2. One or more power words
  3. The primary keyword
  4. The desired result or outcome 

For example: These 9 Tips Can Save You $9000 in Home Loans.

In a fix? Use these SEO headline templates to create engaging headlines quickly for any type of SEO content:

1. Listicles

  • “X Actionable Ways to…”
  • “X Realistic Tips for…”
  • “X Practical Strategies to…”
  • “X Simple Steps to…”
  • “X Insider Secrets for…”

2. Solution-Focused Headlines:

    • “Say Goodbye to [Problem] Using…”
    • “Conquer [Problem] Once and for All with…”
    • “Find Relief from [Problem] with…”

    3. Comprehensive Guides:

      • “The Definitive Guide to…”
      • “Your Go-To Resource for Everything About…”
      • “Master [Topic] Like a Pro with…”
      • “Your Complete Roadmap to…”

      4. Comparison Blogs/Pages

        • Deciding Between X and Y: What Fits Your…”
        • “X or Y: Which is Right for Your…”
        • “Choosing Between X and Y: Factors to Consider for…”

        5. How-to Articles or Guides

          • “Learn How to Easily Achieve [Desired Outcome] in X Steps”
          • “Discover the Secrets to [Desired Outcome] Like a Pro”
          • “A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering [Topic]”

          6. Trend-Centric Headlines:

            • “Staying Ahead in [Industry/Niche]: Key Trends You Can’t Ignore”
            • “Unraveling [Industry/Niche] Trends: What’s Worth Your Attention”

            Final Words

            Creating engaging SEO headlines is vital for driving traffic and improving search rankings. By implementing conversion copywriting principles like using numbers and power words, you can create compelling titles that resonate with your audience and boost click-through rates.

            At Vizion Interactive, we have the expertise, experience, and enthusiasm to get results and keep clients happy! Learn more about how our SEO Audits, Local Listing Management, Website Redesign Consulting, and B2B digital marketing services can increase sales and boost your ROI. But don’t just take our word for it, check out what our clients have to say, along with our case studies.