As I’m writing this, entire swathes of people are shut in due to the COVID pandemic. And from what we’ve seen so far, there is a record number of individuals who are hosting for the first time. So it was apt that NameHero recently rolled out its website builder, specifically for newbies with no experience in web hosting. I’d shared given a few hosting tips for beginners to make the transition as easy as possible. However, most people don’t know how to create good SEO titles for their web pages. In this article, I’ll share with you 3 tips to write cracking headlines, and to ensure that your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed by Google.
1. Don’t Be Too Clever – The Title Needs to Reflect the Content
This is a holdover from the print era, where newspapers and columns within them, used clever wordplay and tricks to grab the reader’s attention. For example, here’s one headline I saw last night:
“Old Wine in New Bottles”
The blog post talked about how various martial arts styles often repackage elements from older ones. The principle being that they all reuse the same principles. But while this headline might work in a print setting where it’s part of a newspaper, it fails miserably in the online world. For the Internet, a title needs to reflect, at a glance, what the content is talking about.
The reason this works in print, is that those reading a newspaper are rarely searching for answers about a specific topic. So their eyes casually graze over interesting looking headlines, and are drawn to articles that excite their curiosity. With search engines however, it’s completely different. People who query Google know precisely what they need, and they will only click a link if they think that it will answer their specific query.
In addition, Google itself will never rank a page that has a cryptic title with no connection to the subject matter. So overly clever headlines will fail.
2. Don’t Be Too Boring – Have a Provocative Opinion!
This seems to directly clash with point 1. But no! SEO is about walking a fine line between being too clever and too banal. If it’s too clever, your content will never rank. If it’s too boring, users won’t click on it!
The average search page is saturated with carefully optimized headlines. You need something to stand out. So for example, if you’re comparing two products “A” and “B”, you can either have a title that says:
“A vs B. Which is Better?”
“A is Crap. B is Clearly the Better Choice!”
Of these two, the second headline grabs a user’s attention and differentiates your page from the dozens of other generic “A vs B” titles. You’ll notice your click through rates (CTRs) increase massively just by having an interesting opinion, and luring your customers in.
Just make sure they know what the page is about at a glance!
3. Leave Space for Your Site Name
Your site name needs to be appended to every article and blog post on your website. An SEO plugin like Yoast will do this for you. But make sure that your title length leaves enough space so that your total size WITH your site name is around 60 characters.
For example, I know that for my website WP-Tweaks, I need to keep my title length under 45 characters to accommodate both desktop and mobile sites. Each site is different, and you need to figure out the right length for you. The Yoast SEO title length tool can be misleading, and it’s often good to keep your titles lower than the max “green” slider.
So these are a few title tips for newbies who are just starting out with their website. I hope you find this useful. Happy ranking!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!