I regularly use a headline analyzer to see if the titles I’ve come up with are impactful. For the most part it does a good job, and I’m learning what words have more punch – at least as far as the programmers of the analyzer believe. (That is another rant altogether.)
Admittedly, I am cheap and use the free version of my analyzer of choice. If I were to pay “just a nominal fee,” I could get help with word choices where it now just tells me I don’t have enough of a certain type of word. Recently, the analyzer has added an SEO service – also paid – that earned an, “ah, sh!t!!!”
As you may recall from a previous blog, while I know some about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it drives me nuts!
Why SEO Annoys Me
I write for people. I like writing for people. The problem is that people are not search engines and writing for those is an ENTIRELY different skill set; those skill sets are not necessarily compatible.
I love how words have power. A great headline or email subject that jumps out at you so you have to keep reading takes work. A headline that makes Google jump you to page one also takes work, just a different kind, and it is not as likely to grab the human reader’s attention.
So, how do you write a blog title that appeals to both Google and humans?
The SEO-Friendly Headline
The “trick” is to clearly describe the content of the article while using keywords that people actually use to search for the information you are providing while including words that attract humans – all in 55 to 60 characters.
I don’t know about you, to me that’s asking a lot.
In truth, for me the hard part is the keywords. I have no idea how other people search for things; it just seems to be other than how I search for things. (Once again, the drawbacks of being in my head.)
I also tend to be attracted to words that the analyzers find boring. Or, and this one really gets my goat, not all forms of a word make the analyzers sing. For example, “pioneering” and “powerful” get credit but “pioneer” and “power” do not.
And Life Goes On
The good news is that there are people who do know how to balance Google-friendly and people-friendly. And they write blogs that I can use for reference. Today’s advice comes from How to Write SEO Headlines That Rank (+ 9 Powerful Templates). For me, it got a bit into the weeds, so I scanned more than read. Well, either it got into the weeds, or I really don’t care enough about SEO. The templates were not so new to me. It seems the formulas that annoy me are still working.
I fully believe in taking all the help I can get. So, I do what I can to improve my writing by using headline analyzers and keywords other people give me.
– Lorrie Nicoles